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Table of contents
1.
Introduction
2.
What is Web2py?
3.
Why to use Web2py?
4.
Security Improvements
5.
Workflow of Web2py
6.
Advantages and Disadvantages 
6.1.
Advantages of using Web2py
6.2.
Disadvantages of using Web2py
7.
Frequently Asked Questions
7.1.
What is a pylon framework?
7.2.
Which is better, web2py or Django?
7.3.
What are Django and Flask?
7.4.
What is the web2py framework?
7.5.
How are postbacks performed in Web2py?
8.
Conclusion
Last Updated: Mar 27, 2024

Why To Use Web2py?

Author Aditya kumar
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Introduction

A web application is a software or a set of instructions that executes whenever a client hits a specific URL(Uniform Resource Locator). Various programming languages are used to develop web applications, but starting from scratch can be time-consuming. Web frameworks are frequently used by developers to create web apps quickly. A web framework is a collection of modules, libraries, and application programming interfaces (APIs) that enables programmers to quickly and easily create web applications without worrying about the complex technical terms and protocols used in web development. 

Web2py

Web2py, written in Python and programmable in Python, is a free, open-source online framework for agile development that involves database-driven web applications. Using Web2py, we can create dynamic web applications. Web2py is a full-stack framework with every part a developer might require to create a fully functional web application.

What is Web2py?

Python is used to create the open-source Web2py framework for web applications. Python dynamic web content programming is made possible via Web2py.

The Model View Controller (MVC) pattern is one of the quality standards for software engineering that web2py is intended to help web developers comply to. The data presentation (the view) and data representation (the model) are separated by web2py, along with the application logic and workflow (the controller). These three components may be designed, implemented, and tested separately using web2py's libraries, enabling them to function together.

web2py

For more detailed information about Web2py, refer to What is Web2py

Let's discuss why to use web2py.

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Why to use Web2py?

Although many web application frameworks exist, web2py provides exciting and distinctive features. 

Web2py was initially created as a teaching resource with the following main goals in mind:

  • Without sacrificing functionality, server-side web programming is simple for users to learn. Because of this, web2py has no installation or configuration requirements, doesn't depend on anything (aside from the source code distribution, which needs Python 2.7 or 3.5+ and their standard library modules), and exposes the majority of its functionality via a Web interface, including an Integrated Development Environment with Debugger and database interface.
     
  • Since it uses a top-down design approach, its API was created before it was implemented. Web2py has been solid from the start. Web2py has never damaged backward compatibility even as new features have been added, and it won't break compatibility when new features are added in the future.
     
  • According to OWASP(Open Web Application Security Project), web2py proactively addresses the critical security problems that plague many modern web applications.
     
  • Web2py is quick and has a modest memory footprint. It uses Timothy Farrell's Rocket[rocket] WSGI web server. It supports SSL and IPv6 and is just as quick as Apache with mod wsgi.
     
  • Models, controllers, and views in web2py are written in Python, but unlike all other Python frameworks, it does not import models and controllers; instead, it executes them. It implies that various apps can operate without causing their modules to interfere with one another and that apps can be installed, uninstalled, and modified without having to restart the web server (even in production).

Security Improvements

A free and open global community dedicated to enhancing application software security is known as the Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP).

Some prominent security flaws that threaten web applications are identified by OWASP. This list is reproduced together with an explanation of how web2py addresses each issue:

  • Cross-Site Scripting (XSS): When an application delivers user-supplied data to a web browser without first verifying or encoding it, it has an XSS issue. Through XSS, attackers can run scripts that can takeover user sessions, destroy websites, perhaps introduce malware, etc., in the victim's browser. To prevent XSS, web2py, by default, escapes all variables rendered in the view.
     
  • Injection vulnerabilities: Web applications frequently suffer from injection flaws, particularly SQL injection. This is known as an injection when user-supplied data is passed to an interpreter as a command or query. The interpreter is tricked by the attacker's malicious material into sending out unexpected commands or modifying data. Because of the Database Abstraction Layer(DAL) in web2py, SQL injection is not feasible. SQL statements are typically not created by developers. Instead, the DAL uses dynamic SQL generation to ensure all added data is correctly escaped.
     
  • Malicious File Execution: Code that is susceptible to remote file inclusion (RFI) enables hackers to include malicious code and data, leading to severe cyberattacks, including total server compromise. Web2py prevents harmful file execution by only allowing exposed functions to run. Only actions are exposed; imported functions are never exposed. The management interface for web2py is web-based, making it very simple to keep track of what is exposed and what is not.
     
  • Insecure Direct Object Reference: A developer exposes a reference to an internal implementation object, such as a file, directory, database record, or key, as a URL or form parameter, creating an insecure direct object reference. Attackers can alter the references to gain unauthorized access to other items. Web2py verifies all URLs and doesn't expose any internal objects, protecting against directory traversal attacks. Additionally, web2py offers a straightforward method for developing forms with automatic input value validation.
     
  • Information Leakage and Improper Error Handling: Applications may unintentionally leak information about their internal workings, violate privacy, or disclose information about their configuration through various application issues. Web2py has a ticketing system that attackers employ to steal sensitive data or carry out more severe attacks. Code cannot ever be disclosed to people due to an error. Each problem is noted, and the user receives a ticket that enables error tracking. However, only the administrator has access to errors and the source code.
     
  • Broken Authentication and Session Management: Account credentials and session tokens are frequently not protected adequately due to defective authentication and session management. Attackers steal passwords, keys, or authentication tokens to assume other users' identities. Web2py offers an integrated mechanism for administrator authentication and handles sessions for each application separately. When the client is not "localhost", the administrative interface requires using secure session cookies. It comes with a robust Role-Based Access Control API for apps.
     
  • Failure to Restrict URL Access: Often, a program protects necessary functionality by prohibiting unauthorized users from seeing links or URLs. By directly accessing those URLs, attackers can take advantage of this flaw to get access and carry out illegal actions. URL queries are converted to Python modules and functions using web2py. With the help of web2py, you can specify which functions are open to the public and which call for authentication and authorization. Using the provided Role-Based Access Control API, developers can limit access to any function based on login, group membership, or group-based permissions. The permissions are pretty detailed and can be used in conjunction with CRUD to, for instance, provide access to particular tables and/or records. Additionally, web2py supports digitally signed URLs and offers an API for Ajax callbacks.

Workflow of Web2py

View the workflow diagram provided below:

Workflow of Web2py

The description of the workflow diagram of web2py is given below:

  • The user web2py application comprises the components Models, Views, and Controller.
     
  • Using web2py’s single instance, we can host several applications.
     
  • The server receives the HTTP request from the browser and uses it to communicate with the Model, Controller, and View to retrieve the required output.
     
  • The arrows show how the database engine and user are in communication. The web2py application code is agnostic of any database engine because the database queries can be written in raw SQL or utilizing the web2py Database Abstraction Layer.
     
  • The Model communicates with the Controller and creates the database connection with the database. Conversely, the Controller works with the View to create the data presentation.
     
  • The Dispatcher converts the requested URL from the HTTP response to a call to a controller function. The function's output can either be a hash table or a string.
     
  • The View displays the data. The data is rendered into an HTML page if the user wants one (this is the default). Web2py searches for a view that can render the dictionary in XML if the user requests the same page in XML.
     
  • Web2py supports the following protocols: HTMLXMLJSON, RSS, CSV, and RTF.

Advantages and Disadvantages 

The advantages and disadvantages of using web2py are mentioned below:

Advantages of using Web2py

Web2py's built-in programming environment is its main draw. A web interface, essentially an online Python application editor where you may configure the program's components, is provided when you set up the web2py instance. Typically, this entails developing models, views, and controllers, each explained by a Python module or HTML template.

Disadvantages of using Web2py

The fact that web2py is only compatible with Python 2X is a significant constraint. First, this rules out using Python 3's asynchronous syntax with web2py. You're not in luck if you depend on Python 3's particular external library. Web2py Python 3 compatibility is still being worked on and is almost completed.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a pylon framework?

Python-based Pylons Framework is an open-source Web application framework. The Web Server Gateway Interface standard is heavily utilized to encourage reusability and divide functionality into independent modules.

Which is better, web2py or Django?

Due to its smaller size, more straightforward learning curve, and lack of project-level configuration files, web2py differs from Django. Compared to PHP-based frameworks and Java-based frameworks, web2py has a significantly more straightforward syntax.

What are Django and Flask?

While Django is a high-level web framework for Python, Flask is a micro-framework. As a result, the flask is considerably simpler to comprehend and learn. Both are open-source platforms. However, the flask is more commonly used for lightweight apps than Django. Both are utilized differently and for various purposes.

What is the web2py framework?

Web2py, written in Python and programmable in Python, is a free, open-source online framework for agile development that involves database-driven web applications.

How are postbacks performed in Web2py?

A postback is an act of sending an HTTP POST Request to the page that originally contained the form. Postbacks have various applications, but form input validation is where they are most frequently utilized.

Conclusion

In this article, we have extensively discussed why should we use Web2py and the security issues associated with it, and how it handles all these issues. We have also discussed what we can do using Web2py.

To know more about web2py, you can look at the following articles.

Recommended Readings:

Look at the official documentations of  Web2pyWeb2py initWeb2py InstallationTroubleshooting, and Application Creation.

Refer to our guided paths on Coding Ninjas Studio to learn more about DSA, Competitive Programming, JavaScript, System Design, etc. Enroll in our courses and refer to the mock test and problems available; look at the Top 150 Interview Puzzles interview experiences, and interview bundle for placement preparations.

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