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Introduction to ASP

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A D V E R T I S E M E N T
What is an ASP File?
ASP is the acronym for Active Server Pages
File extension: .asp
MIME type: text/html
Type code: TEXT
Uniform Type Identifier: public.html
Developed by: Microsoft
Type of format: Technology
Extended to: ASP.NET
Standard(s): ASP 3.0
ASP is a specification for a dynamically created Web page
An ASP file contains text, HTML, XML, and scripts also.
An ASP file must have an .asp file extension
An ASP file can be created using a simple text editor
ASP is a program that will run inside IIS or PWS.
Scripts in an ASP file are executed on the server only.



What Is ASP?

(Active Server Page) A Web server technology that allows for the creation of dynamic, interactive sessions with the user. An ASP is a Web page that contains HTML code and embedded programming code written in VBScript or Jscript. It was introduced with Version 3.0 of Microsoft's Internet Information Server . When Internet Information Server encounters an ASP page requested by the browser, it executes the embedded program. ASPs are Microsoft's alternative to CGI scripts and JavaServer Pages (JSPs), which allow Web pages to interact with databases and other programs. Third- party products add ASP capability to non-Microsoft Web servers. The Active Server Page technology is an ISAPI program and ASP documents use an .ASP extension.



Creating an ASP Document

Creating an ASP document is easy. To begin coding ASP you need only two things: a simple-text editor like notepad or Textpad or Editplus and the dedication to follow our tutorial! Notepad is the most basic of simple-text editors and you will probably code a fair amount of HTML with it.

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

ASP can connect to databases, dynamically format the page, execute statements, and much more. You may use VBScript, JavaScript, PerlScript, and PythonScript within Active Server Pages, with VBScript set as the default scripting language. We recommend that you use VBScript as this should do everything you need and is the most commonly used.

The appearance of an Active Server Page depends on what is viewing it. An Active Server Page looks just like a normal HTML page to the Web browser that receives it. If a visitor to your Web site views the source code of an Active Server Page, that's what they see: a normal HTML page. However, the file located in the server looks very different. You also see server-side scripts. This is what the Active Server Page looks like to the Web server before it is processed and sent in response to a request.



The Most Common Mistake

You can insert server-side scripts anywhere in your Web page--even inside HTML tags.ASP script must be enclosed in <% and %>

Quick example:

<html> <body> <% response.write("Hello World!") %> </body> </html>



Frequently Asked Questions

» What is ASP?

Active Server Pages:
Active Server Pages (ASP) is a server side scripting language that lets a webmaster transform the plain, static web site into dynamic solution. With Microsoft's server side scripting language you can gather data from your site's visitors, use sessions, cookies, application variables, and more.

» Is ASP complete solution?

While ASP is useful, it is not a stand alone solution. Rather, ASP is a supplement to HTML (and CSS and even Javascript) and your final ASP code will often contain bits of pieces of code that are not ASP. If you had ever wanted to take orders, gather emails, or make a decent guestbook, ASP will provide you the necessary tools to complete these tasks.

» Does my computer have to run Windows? What about a Mac?

You allcan do your training on a non-Windows computer like Mac. But some of the examples in our advanced classes require a newer version of Windows, like Windows 98 or Windows 2000.

» What you need to know?

Before you start in on Academic ASP Tutorial, it is recommended that you have a some knowledge of HTML, as this tutorial will not explain the HTML code in any great depth. If your HTML knowledge could use a touchup, check out our HTML Tutorial or for the complete HTML Beginner: First Web Site Walkthrough. This ASP Tutorial is quite long, so do not try to take it on all at once. We find that reading a couple lessons at one sitting and then giving yourself time to reflect on what you learned really helps to understand the subject better. Good luck!

» After I have edited an ASP file, I cannot view the result in my browser. Why?

Make sure that you have saved the file with a proper name and extension like "C:\Inetpub\wwwroot\mypage.asp". Also make sure that you use the same file name when you open the file in your browser.It should be like localhost/mypage.asp


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