Programming Tutorials

Perl Applications

By: Boopathy in Perl Tutorials on 2011-02-05  

Perl has many and varied applications, compounded by the availability of many standard and third-party modules.

Ever since the early days of the Web, programmers have used Perl to write CGI scripts. Perl is known as one of "the three Ps" (along with Python and PHP), the most popular dynamic languages for writing Web applications. It is also an integral component of the popular LAMP solution stack for web development. Large projects written in Perl include cPanel, Slash, Bugzilla, RT, TWiki, and Movable Type. Many high-traffic websites use Perl extensively. Examples include,,, Craigslist, IMDb, LiveJournal, Slashdot and Ticketmaster.

Perl is often used as a glue language, tying together systems and interfaces that were not specifically designed to interoperate, and for "data munging", that is, converting or processing large amounts of data for tasks such as creating reports. In fact, these strengths are intimately linked. The combination makes Perl a popular all-purpose language for system administrators, particularly because short programs can be entered and run on a single command line.

With a degree of care, Perl code can be made portable across Windows and Unix. Portable Perl code is often used by suppliers of software (both COTS and bespoke) to simplify packaging and maintenance of software build- and deployment-scripts.

Graphical user interfaces (GUIs) may be developed using Perl. For example, Perl/Tk is commonly used to enable user interaction with Perl scripts. Such interaction may be synchronous or asynchronous, using callbacks to update the GUI. For more information about the technologies involved, see Tk, Tcl and WxPerl.

Perl is also widely used in finance and in bioinformatics, where it is valued for rapid application development and deployment and for its capability to handle large data-sets.

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