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You may find this relevant information helpful

Active Server Pages (ASP)

Are you looking for a way to create dynamic, interactive personalized pages for your Web site? Active Server Pages, or ASP, may be exactly the technology you are looking for. And this ASP information will take you through the steps to decide whether ASP is right for you.

ASP is a technology developed by Microsoft to take text scripts in an HTML context and run them on the Web server to create dynamic and interactive pages. Until very recently, ASP was limited to Web servers running IIS and Microsoft Personal Web Server. But then Chili!Soft developed an ASP server for Unix and Linux.


Firstly, while ASP is different from HTML, it is usually written as scripts within an HTML document. HTML is a static document that the Web server displays upon request by the browser.

But if the HTML has ASP scripts embeded within it, the server will run those scripts and then display the results within the page on the browser.

ASP vs. JavaScript

So, it sounds like ASP is more like JavaScript than HTML. However, JavaScript is run in the Web browser itself rather than on the server side. This gives you all the processing power of the Web server to back up your scripts. Plus, because it is run separately from the browser, it can interact with other server-side technology such as databases, unlike JavaScript.


In some ways, ASP and CGI are similar. You can use CGI to access databases and create dynamic, interactive, personalized pages. CGI programs run on the Web server rather than in the browser. But CGI uses an external program to do the work, which means that there is an additional layer on your Web server, which can cause more load and slow pages down.

Example: Processing a form on the Web


While you can create a form with HTML, you cannot process it using just HTML.


JavaScript processes the form within the browser itself. It cannot do any interaction with non-browser objects, such as writing the data to a file.


CGI opens a connection with another program on the Web server. The form data can be manipulated in any way that you can write a program to handle. But the server has to maintain both the connection and run the program itself.


ASP allows the server to do the work of processing the form. The ASP directives are included in the .asp file itself.

When you write ASP you generally use objects to create and manipulate your pages. There are several objects that are intrinsic within the IIS object model. This means that you can use these objects in your ASP pages without any additional components required. Application Object ASP defines an application as all the files that can be accessed in any given directory and all its sub-directories. For example, if I had ASP pages in a directory /database, all pages within that directory would be a part of the "database" application. Whenever an ASP page is opened the Application object is initialized. You can use the Application object as global variables for your ASP documents. Global variables can be powerful, but they can also cause problems, so be careful you know the scope of your variable before you are going to use it.