I need to make a web server (application) which will let user to upload some files, process them somehow (run a script) and return result as http document and optionally let user download a file. This is for private intranet (no serious security needed) and low volume of requests. The OS should be Linux. Does some framework exist for such applications?

  • If you're experienced with PHP Javascript and html you can use TinyMCE.
    – onurcano
    Apr 4, 2019 at 13:13

3 Answers 3


Alfresco lets you do this.

It is a document management server, so you can upload files via the web interface, or via WebDAV/FTP/CMIS/etc.

A folder in Alfresco can have rules.

A rule has a condition and a procedure. Example:

  • Condition: Any file that arrives in this folder
  • Procedure:
    • Create a backup of the original in the "archive" folder
    • Convert the file to PDF and to HTML
    • Move it to the "output" folder
    • Send an email notification to the file's owner

Conditions and procedures can be as easy or as complex as you want. For most simple actions like document conversion and moving files around, clicking in the web UI is enough, but for more complex things you can also write your own actions, in JavaScript or even in Java if you need. There is a JavaScript debugging console to make this task easier.

People can download anything from Alfresco if they have the correct login/password and permissions.

Alfresco rule configuration:

Alfresco rule configuration

Free and open source.

  • Thank you Nicolas this is close. Though a bit heavy, need to see what are resource requirements. Meanwhile, I've found Jupyter and Interactive Python. This is really close to my need, but there I'm feeling too dumb and unable to connect dots... How to stuff a binary file into a Jupyter sheet? And the UI is nerdy, so I'd prefer Alfresco ...
    – ddbug
    Jun 24, 2017 at 11:12
  • .Is there something like Alfresco but simpler/smaller?
    – ddbug
    Jun 24, 2017 at 11:19

I use CubicleSoft Admin Pack for creating admin interfaces and internal software such as Intranets all the time. Not too long ago, I added a multiple file uploader widget to FlexForms Modules, which could be useful for your needs.

Admin Pack my go-to tool of choice for building web backends since it is written in PHP and therefore runs on a standard LAMP/WAMP stack. PHP is an excellent server-side scripting language. Admin Pack is just a framework (of sorts) that does require writing software, but I've found that custom-built software solutions are usually better than prepackaged software when it comes to streamlining business processes because you get only what you need.

What most people don't realize is that PHP is also a fantastic command-line scripting language. If you have a long-running process or need to run a process as a user other than the web server user (e.g. 'root'), there are two routes that you can take to run a command-line PHP script:

  1. A cron job that runs periodically (e.g. every minute), where the script looks at a specific directory for new files, processes them, and then stops running when it runs out of files to process. This is the classic quick-n-dirty solution.

  2. Trigger a script to run via Cloud Storage Server /scripts. This is much more efficient since processing is triggered to start only when there is something to do. However, this solution takes more effort to set up and also blurs the web vs. system security line a bit.

Your web app drops uploaded files in a folder, the processing script picks them up and processes them, and processed files are dropped into an output folder, which the web app can show to the user. Periodic, automated cleanup of both folders should also take place. This sort of workflow is all fairly standard fare.

Standard Apache + PHP offers certain security and process isolation metrics that you won't find in other tools that emit a dynamic web server interface. When it comes to open ports in network infrastructure, even internally, the fewer the better. Also, system security should be the first priority in selecting a piece of software as many successful attacks against infrastructure start by exploiting internal actors (e.g. convincing an employee they should run some piece of software not caught by malware filters).

For a quick-n-dirty solution from a pure security standpoint, I'd stick with a package managed LAMP stack and fill in the long-running process bits with command-line PHP scripting.

  • Thank you. ....................................
    – ddbug
    Oct 5, 2017 at 20:09


If you are familiar with Java, I recommend the Vaadin Framework for developing your user-interface and application server.

You write your business logic and UI code in pure Java. At runtime, that Java code runs in the server-side in a Java Servlet web container. Vaadin automagically renders your UI using HTML5 web standards technology (HTML, CSS, DOM, JavaScript, WebSocket, Push, and such) for remote display in the user’s web browser.

Here's the amazing thing about Vaadin: You do not need to learn about all that HTML, CSS, DOM, JavaScript, WebSocket, Push, and such! All you need know is Java. Vaadin does all the heavy-lifting of dynamically generating the web-based UI seen by the user.

(source: vaadin.com)

Vaadin includes an upload widget. Your server-side Java app can then manipulate that uploaded file, output some other file, and offer that new file for download.

With Vaadin 8.1, the Vaadin team is working on advanced support for new HTML5 drag-and-drop protocols being defined by the web standards community. This should result in smoother interaction for dragging files from the user's computer's file system into the web browser and your Vaadin app. See the Drag-and-Drop chapter of Vaadin documentation.

  • This looks good, especially drag and drop files and responsive UI . But Java is a steep learning ramps for us. Maybe we'll be able to outsource. Thanks.
    – ddbug
    Jun 29, 2017 at 13:33

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