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Active Server Page

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Note: Many topics at this site are reduced versions of the text in "The Encyclopedia of Networking and Telecommunications." Search results will not be as extensive as a search of the book's CD-ROM.

Active server pages (called ASP here to be concise) are part of Microsoft's Internet Information Server. ASP was originally released with version 3.0, and was enhanced in later versions of the software. ASP assists in the programming of dynamic content Web pages and Web-based applications.

Basically, an Active Server Page is an HTML page that has been created on the fly at the server before being sent to the user. The ASP itself contains a script that takes information that has been input by the client and uses it to build a database query. The results of the query returned by the database server are used to build a custom Web page that is created on the spot and forwarded to the client.

ASP scripts provide the same results as CGI (Common Gateway Interface) and ISAPI (Internet Server API ) applications, but are much easier for programmers to create. ASP maintains the state of a session with the server, thus reducing the amount of information that must be sent back and forth between the client and the server. ASP can work with information entered in HTML forms as well as information embedded as parameters in the URL (Uniform Resource Locator). An ISAPI extension called Asp.dll compiles and caches ASP files in memory at runtime.

With ASP, programmers can create pages that provide interactivity no matter which browser the client might be using. In addition, scripts can be kept on the server for proprietary reasons, rather than being sent as part of a Web page to the client. In addition, programs can create scripts using a number of languages, including VBScript, JScript, PerlScript, REXX, or Python.

Copyright (c) 2001 Tom Sheldon and Big Sur Multimedia.
All rights reserved under Pan American and International copyright conventions.