How Does Web Server Communicate With Database Server?


Larry Thompson

How Does Web Server Communicate With Database Server?

When building a dynamic website or web application, it is essential to understand how the web server communicates with the database server. This communication plays a crucial role in retrieving and storing data required for the functioning of the website or application.

Client-Server Architecture

In order to grasp the concept of how a web server communicates with a database server, it is important to understand the client-server architecture. In this architecture, the client refers to the user’s device (such as a computer or smartphone) that sends requests to the web server. The web server, in turn, processes these requests and communicates with the database server to retrieve or store data.

The Role of HTTP

The Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) serves as a foundation for communication between the client and the web server. When a user interacts with a website by clicking on links or submitting forms, an HTTP request is sent from their device to the web server.

HTTP Request:

  • Method: Specifies whether it is a GET, POST, PUT, DELETE, etc.
  • URL: The address of the requested resource.
  • Headers: Additional information about the request (e.g., accepted content types).
  • Payload: Data sent along with POST or PUT requests.

The Role of Backend Programming Languages

In order for a web server to communicate with a database server effectively, backend programming languages such as PHP, Python, Ruby, or Node.js are used. These languages provide frameworks and libraries that simplify communication with the database.

Backend programming languages provide a way to establish a connection with the database server using specific drivers or extensions. These drivers act as intermediaries, allowing the web server to send queries and receive responses from the database server.

Structured Query Language (SQL)

Structured Query Language (SQL) is a standard language for interacting with relational databases. It allows us to perform various operations such as retrieving data, inserting new records, updating existing records, and deleting records.

When communicating with a database server, the web server constructs SQL queries based on the user’s request. These queries are then sent to the database server for execution. The results of these queries are obtained and processed by the web server before being returned to the client’s device.

Data Formats: JSON and XML

In addition to SQL, data retrieved from or sent to the database server is often represented in formats like JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) or XML (eXtensible Markup Language). These formats provide a structured way to represent complex data structures.

JSON and XML are widely used because they are easily understandable by both humans and machines. They allow for efficient data transfer between the web server and client devices.


In summary, communication between a web server and a database server is vital for dynamic websites and applications. Through HTTP requests, backend programming languages, SQL queries, and data formats like JSON or XML, information is exchanged seamlessly between the two servers. Understanding this process is crucial for building robust and efficient web solutions.

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