I am a new to maps and related services for viewing it. My goal is to display maps on a website and provide several options to the user for interactivity, like overlaying layers on each other etc. GeoServer seems to the only and most promising option. There are certain things I am not able to understand completely.
How does WMS protocol fit with HTTP? When a browser sends a WMS request to GeoServer, is this request an HTTP request? And when the GeoServer WMS returns a map, is this again an HTTP response?
If both these request and response are HTTP, then why do we need OpenLayers?
I also want to add other common functionalities of a web site, like forms, to my web site . Do I need to use OpenLayers then. Also I am struggling to understand the set up of servers. Will there be a set up of both a web server and GeoServer service running simultaneously on my machine?
How does the flow of information happens then? My web server receives an HTTP request, it requests GeoServer in turn (using OpenLayers) and the GeoServer service returns back to Web Server.
Am I correct?