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Apache Version 2.2.0

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Apache has been called the engine of the World Wide Web, and for good reason-it is the server that drives most Web sites today. It is also probably the most successful open-source application ever, boasting more than 70 percent market share, according to the most recent Web server survey by Netcraft Ltd. (Microsoft Corp.'s Internet Information Services is a distant second, with 20 percent.)

But, in much the same way people don't tend to think too often about the alternator in their cars, people don't tend to think too much about Apache. This is partly because Apache is a back-end server service, but it is also due to the free Web server's quality, as it is rarely affected by bugs or security problems. It simply works, day in and day out.

Of course, even highly successful products need to evolve, and the latest edition of Apache-Version 2.2.0, released in December-shows the slow and steady progress that has been typical of the Web server. During tests, eWEEK Labs was impressed with Apache 2.2.0, which adds several new capabilities that will improve secure connections, aid in configuration and management, and ease integration.

However, Apache 2.2.0 does make a few core changes that may affect those running non-vanilla Web sites. We highly recommend running the upgrade in development mode for a while before porting an active site to the new version, especially if you use custom modules on your site.

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