What is ASP?
, or Active Server Pages
, is a Microsoft-implemented server-side scripting. Server-site scripting means that the server parses a script (breaks the script down into smaller components to examine closely for a more detailed analysis)
and then executes it. For example, a user requests for a webpage with this kind of server, the code will be parsed by the web-server then deliver the result to the user. This means that the code or information will not reach the user’s browser.
Understanding ASP means you need to have basic HTML knowledge. To use its scripts, Microsoft’s IIS (Internet Information Services)
would need to be installed. This is included in Windows XP Professional and Windows 2000, and a part of Windows NT 4.0 Option Pack. You don’t have to worry if you don’t have it installed on your PC. Just install it through the Add/Remove Programs option in the Control Panel. IIS already has this engine, which means you don’t have to download or install it separately. To run IIS, you must have at least Windows NT 4.0. For Windows 98 users, you can install Personal Web Server (PWS). PWS is a smaller version of IIS but fully functional.
Through these codes, you can pretty much do everything – access or query databases, add, change, or edit the webpage’s content, connect to remote PCs, write or read files, or even create images. How different ASP is to HTML? First of all, HTML files don’t have the .asp extension. This, however, doesn’t mean that its and HTML codes must be separated. Just one file which contains both HTML and ASP codes can be used. This won’t cause any confusion for the web-server as it will output the HTML instead of the ASP’s original code. This means that the browser will only see the HTML codes.
It is mainly because of this process which makes it safe to use these codes. No one will be able to see, copy, and use your codes for any webpage other than yours. These scripts can be viewed in any web browser, which means no additional browser components need to be downloaded or installed.
Since ASP’s scripts are only available for Windows platforms, there are different adaptations made for it to run in other operating systems (OS). ChiliASP and iASP (instantASP) were created to take advantage of the benefits of ASP’s scripts via web-servers other than IIS. And since other web-servers run on other OS (e.g. Apache web-server), this technology can be run on other OS.