ASP is a server-side scripting technology developed by Microsoft. It is an open, compile-free application environment in which you can combine HTML, scripts, and reusable components to build dynamic and powerful Web applications.
An ASP application consists of ASP pages published on a Web site. ASP pages can contain HTML code, client-side scripts, and server-side scripts. When a user requests an ASP page, the Web server calls the ASP Server, which processes the requested file from top to bottom, executing any server-side scripts. It then formats a standard Web page and sends the results to the user's browser.
Because scripts can run on the server rather than on the client, the Web server can do much of the work involved in generating the HTML pages sent to browsers. Server-side scripts cannot be readily copied because only the result of the script is returned to the browser. Users cannot view the script commands that created the page they are viewing.
ASP was designed as a faster and easier alternative to Common Gateway Interface (CGI) scripting using Perl or C scripts. ASP provides an easy-to-learn scripting interface (including native support for both VBScript and JScript), along with a number of predefined objects that simplify many development tasks, such as maintaining user state and defining global variables within an application. You can also use Active-X Data Objects (ADO) components to perform additional functions, including accessing ODBC-compliant databases and outputting data to text files.
You can extend ASP scripts by using Java components and extensible markup language (XML) .
ASP runs as a service of the Web server, and is optimized for multiple threads and multiple users. This means that ASP is fast and easy to implement. ASP enables you to separate the design of your Web page from the details of programming access to databases and applications, so programmers and Web designers can focus exclusively on what they do best.
Following are a few examples of what you can do with ASP applications. You can:
· Put your employee handbook online, and build an application that allows employees to update their information.
· Connect customer orders from an online storefront to an existing inventory database and order-processing system.
· Give visitors a personalized view of information on your Web site, flagging items that are new since their last visit.
· ASP for the HTML Author in this chapter
· ASP for the Experienced Web Scripter in this chapter
· ASP for the Web Developer and Programmer in this chapter
· Chapter 4: Building a Sun Chili!Soft ASP Application
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