Abyss Web Server

In developing FastCGI applications and the  libfcgi2.dll  library, we found the Aprelium Abyss Web Server to be a very valuable tool for the folowing reasons:

  • Its FREE!
  • If you purchase the Professional edition you get 1 year access to support (well worth it)
  • Abyss can run on your local machine under most OS's (NT/XP/Vista/LINUX/MAC)
  • You can create application debug files in the same directory as the FastCGI application (unlike cgi-bin)
  • Detail level of Debugging available

On the face of it, these seem like simple features, but the amount of time they save in developing and testing cannot be underestimated!

For example, if you are developing FastCGI applications for deployment on a Windows IIS server for example, and you are not sitting at the server (most likely) then each time you compile you need to transfer the binary to the server, and then recover the debug spew for examination. Just those two steps become very tiresome very quickly even with a tool like VNC.

This library was developed to specifically support IIS and Abyss so that FastCGI application testing is faster. It also helps in tracking down Web Server specific issues and errors.

Abyss provides two levels of debugging

1. Installing Abyss

I did not install it as a windows service, on demand works just fine.

2. Configuring Abyss
To configure Abyss for FastCGI Applications is easy with their intuitive web management interface called the console.
(which makes the web server configuration like browsing a web site)

Launch Abyss with:
C:\Program Files\Abyss Web Server\abyssws.exe

The Abyss Webserver Is configured Via a Browser pointed to:
(Login with your usename/password)

To Configure the Abyss Web Server, click on configure...

To configure FastCGI click on "Scripting Parameters"...

Next, click on the Pencil...

Specify the FastCGI application and select the communication method
Under Interpreters, navigate to:
C:\Program Files\Abyss Web Server\htdocs\FCGIecho.exe
(no CGI-BIN folder required)

Leave Arguments Blank
Type = Standard
Associate Extensions = ".exe"

Click OK then click on EDIT next to FastCGI Parameters to set up the debugging level...

Under "FastCGI Parameters" set Logging to "Processing Details"
The Full Log now shows calls
C:\Program Files\Abyss Web Server\log\fastcgi.log

3. Using FastCGI

Drop FCGIecho.exe and libfcgi2.dll into the htdocs folder
(C:\Program Files\Abyss Web Server\htdocs)

Set the Http Port

Set the port (something other than port 80 to avoid a conflict and error message)

To run the FastCGI application from your browser, use the URL:
The Abyss FastCGI Debug file can be found at:
C:\Program Files\Abyss Web Server\log\fastcgi.log