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Introduction to ASP

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An ASP file can contain text, HTML tags and scripts. Scripts in an ASP file are executed on the server


What you should already know

Before you continue you should have some basic understanding of the following:

  • WWW, HTML and the basics of building Web pages
  • A scripting language like JavaScript or VBScript

What is ASP?

  • ASP stands for Active Server Pages
  • ASP is a program that runs inside IIS
  • IIS stands for Internet Information Services
  • IIS comes as a free component with Windows 2000
  • IIS is also a part of the Windows NT 4.0 Option Pack
  • The Option Pack can be downloaded from Microsoft
  • PWS is a smaller - but fully functional - version of IIS
  • PWS can be found on your Windows 95/98 CD

ASP Compatibility

  • ASP is a Microsoft Technology
  • To run IIS you must have Windows NT 4.0 or later
  • To run PWS you must have Windows 95 or later
  • ChiliASP is a technology that runs ASP without Windows OS
  • InstantASP is another technology that runs ASP without Windows

What is an ASP File?

  • An ASP file is just the same as an HTML file
  • An ASP file can contain text, HTML, XML, and scripts
  • Scripts in an ASP file are executed on the server
  • An ASP file has the file extension ".asp"

How Does ASP Differ from HTML?

  • When a browser requests an HTML file, the server returns the file
  • When a browser requests an ASP file, IIS passes the request to the ASP engine. The ASP engine reads the ASP file, line by line, and executes the scripts in the file. Finally, the ASP file is returned to the browser as plain HTML

What can ASP do for you?

  • Dynamically edit, change or add any content of a Web page
  • Respond to user queries or data submitted from HTML forms
  • Access any data or databases and return the results to a browser
  • Customize a Web page to make it more useful for individual users
  • The advantages of using ASP instead of CGI and Perl, are those of simplicity and speed
  • Provides security since your ASP code can not be viewed from the browser
  • Since ASP files are returned as plain HTML, they can be viewed in any browser
  • Clever ASP programming can minimize the network traffic

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