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What is ASP?

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ASP stands for Active Server Pages. It is a server side technology that enables you to make dynamic and interactive web pages that are not affected by the type of browser the web site visitor is using.

Actually, ASP pages are scripts that are run, or executed, on the web server. The script is interpreted from top to bottom to create HTML pages that are sent to the browser for display.

ASP is usually run on Microsoft web server, Internet Information Server (IIS). It is this web server that ASP pages usually run best on. IIS or its micro version Personal Web Server (PWS) comes free with Windows.
However, there are products available, such as Chili!Soft ASP, which enables ASP to be used on other web servers, using various operating systems including, Linux, Solaris, HP-UX, AIX, etc.

What languages can you use to program in ASP?

ASP is a scripting technology and it is actually language-independent. Two of the most common scripting languages are supported  right out of the box - VBScript and Jscript (Microsoft's version of JavaScript). Support for other scripting languages, such as Perl, is also available.

However, the more common language used for writing ASP is VBScript. It is a Microsoft scripting language based on Visual Basic. VBScript isn't very different from using VB in applications, or VBA in Microsoft Office.

What Can You Do with Active Server Pages?

ASP is appropriate whenever you want your pages to be created dynamically when the browser requests the page. For example, you can display date, time, and other information in different ways. You can make a survey form and ask people who visit your site to fill it out, send emails, save the information to a file, etc. Often, the ASP scripts will query a database and format the data retrieved for display in a HTML page.

Conclusion

Essentially, ASP is a server-side scripting technology. This means it allows for both HTML and a scripting language to be interspersed in a Web page. The scripting language might access the file system or registry or a database, and will generate HTML code 'on the fly' to make Web sites dynamic and user-specific.




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