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CGI (Common Gateway Interface)

The CGI (Common Gateway Interface) is a standard way for a Web server to pass a Web user’s request to a software application program running on the server for processing and to receive data back to forward back to the user.

The CGI can be part of the Web HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP) of it can be handled internally by specific configurations within the web server itself.
An alternative to CGI programs by example is Microsoft’s ASP (Active Server Pages) whereby the script is processed within the web server itself.