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MicroHTTP Library: Using Server Side Includes

On this page I will explain how to create dynamic web content with the MicroHTTP library's SSI capabilities.

Enabling SSI

To enable SSI, the application must register a handler for it. The easiest way to do this is to enable default SSI support in the Configurator. The application simply needs to call

int MediaTypeInitDefaults(void);

to activate all configured handlers. For SSI, it will register the internal default handler

int HttpSsiHandler(HTTPD_SESSION *hs, const MEDIA_TYPE_ENTRY *mt, const char *ext);

When the browser requests a file with extension shtml, the web server will redirect the request to the SSI handler. The handler parses the file for SSI elements and replaces them according to the SSI syntax rules.

At the time of this writing, the following SSI elements are recognized by the server:

Support for if-then-else is not provided, probably the most missing feature. If implemented once, we would also miss the set command.

CGI scripts had been discussed on the previous page. Including external files is straight forward and a simple way to add common parts like menus to all your webpages. Retrieving the value of variables will be explained now.

Predefined Variables

The library offers a number of predefined SSI variables, for example the current date and time. The following HTTP snippet displays the local time as well as the Greenwich Mean Time.

<p>Local time <!--#echo var="DATE_LOCAL" --></p>
<p>GMT time <!--#echo var="DATE_GMT" --></p>

To enable these variables, applications must call

int EnvInitDefaults(void);

The first call adds all predefined variables to the environment and the second call is used to register a handler. MicroHTTP offers a default handler named EnvHandler, which can be registered with


The library supports the following variables:

User Defined Variables

The following HTML snippet should display the application's name and version:

<p><!--#echo var="APPNAME" --> <!--#echo var="APPVERSION" --></p>

The default SSI variable handler, that was used for our predefined variables above, also allows to add user defined variables with

int EnvRegisterVariable(char *name, HTTP_ENVVAR_HANDLER handler, int item);

Here is the complete initialization part:

#define APPVAR_NAME 1

EnvRegisterVariable("APPNAME", AppVarHandler, APPVAR_NAME);
EnvRegisterVariable("APPVERSION", AppVarHandler, APPVAR_VERSION);
StreamClientAccept(HttpdClientHandler, NULL);

We can create a single handler for all our user defined variables:

const char *AppVarHandler(HTTPD_SESSION *hs, int item)
    static char value[128];

    value[0] = '\0';
    switch (item) {
    case APPVAR_NAME:
        strcpy(value, "SSI Sample");
        sprintf(value, "%d.%d", MAJOR_VERSION, MINOR_VERSION);
    return value;

Note, that the application must make sure, that each variable, which is sharing the same handler, must have a unique index.

Next Step

CGIs and server side includes are most useful to create a web interface to remotely configure your embedded device. Probably, you do not want to grant access to everyone and need some kind of authentication.