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The simple CGI case

A CGI script services a single request. So the baseline for CGI to access a database is to open a connection, run any necessary queries, close the connection, and return content to the Client.

This is fine for a low-traffic site, but grows inefficient as the hit rate rises above a few tens per minute. So as traffic rises, an alternative model is required. For CGI, we can use an alternative implementation such as FastCGI. But the most widely-used architecture is LAMP.