A guide to the skills required for state-of-the-art web development, this book covers a variety of web development frameworks. The uses of the standard web API to create applications with increasingly sophisticated architectures are highlighted, and a discussion of the development of industry-accepted best practices for architecture is included. The history and evolution toward this architecture and the reasons it is superior to previous efforts are described, and an overview of the most popular web application frameworks, their architecture, and use is provided. The same application is built in six different frameworks, allowing developers to conduct an informed comparison. An evaluation of the pros and cons of each framework is provided to assist developers in making decisions or evaluating frameworks on their own. Best practices covered include sophisticated user interface techniques, intelligent caching and resource management, performance tuning, debugging, testing, and web services.