What is an Apache module?
As you probably already know, Apache is an open source HTTP server. This just means that it’s a web server used to help process requests to a website(s) that can be hosted on the server itself, and it’s the most popular web server available. The name Apache is used to refer to the core functionality that is used to process those HTTP requests. But, there are many things that the core functionality of Apache can not do. For that reason, there are modules available that extend and add to the functionality offered by the core Apache webserver.
There are two types of Apache modules available – first party and third party Apache modules. Let’s go over both types and the differences between third party and first party modules in Apache.
What is a first party Apache module?
First party Apache modules are those modules which are developed by the Apache Foundation themselves (the same people who develop and maintain the core Apache web server). Many of these modules come prepackaged with the Apache web server as well – so they are included by default with any new installation of Apache.
What is a third party Apache module?
Third party Apache modules are those modules which are developed by different people and organizations that are not part of the Apache Foundation. One of the most popular third party apache modules is known as mod_security, which is developed by SpiderLabs, a division of the company TrustWave. Mod_security is used to add an extra layer of security to the web server by denying bad requests. Mod_security is a web application firewall.
Third party versus First party Apache modules
You can probably now understand that the difference between first and third party Apache modules is the fact that first party modules are developed by the Apache Foundation itself, but third party modules are developed by other organizations not a part of the Apache Foundation.