The ASP programming language is used to code dynamic web pages, web services and applications. The term ASP is an acronym for Active Server Pages. The ASP coding language is a proprietary Microsoft product and the code must be run and interpreted on a Windows IIS web server. The ASP language can include HTML tags and text, however, the “active” scripts on the page are server-side code and must be interpreted on the web server. However, some non-Microsoft web servers, such as Apache::ASP, can run ASP pages with limited capacity, according to W3 Schools. ASP pages are returned to the client browser as a plain HTML page. Therefore, the server-side code remains private and more secure.
ASP can be used to code pages that display tailored content to different users based on a number of factors, such as browser type or IP address.
ASP Releases and History
The first stable iteration of ASP was released in 1996, followed by ASP 2.0 in 1997 and ASP 3.0 in 2000. ASP 3.0 was the last version of classic ASP. In 2002, Microsoft introduced an object-oriented version of the ASP language known as ASP.net. However, ASP will be supported by Microsoft until January 14, 2020 on the Windows 7 operating system, and for 10 years after the initial release of Windows 8.
In the early 2000‘s, Sun released a complete emulator written in Java named ChiliSoftASP. This emulator ran ASP pages and allowed to coder to create ASP pages that could run on Unix and Linux based web servers, but this emulator has officially been discontinued and is no longer supported by Sun. However, some of the larger web hosting companies will still host and support ChiliSoftASP sites, according to Webmasters.
Identifying ASP and ASP.net Code Pages
Pages coded with classic ASP have the “.asp” file extension, however, some programmers disguise ASP pages with an “.htm” or “.html” extension for security purposes. Pages coded with ASP.net have the file extention of “.aspx.”
ASP and ASP.net Functionality
ASP enables web pages to query and submit data to a connected database via the Server object. Additionally, ASP pages can process HTML cookies using the Request object via both the POST and GET methods. The Response object sends the requested data back to the client browser. The Application object stores global variables, and the Session object stores values accessible only to a single user. ASP code also includes the Error object, which enables the management of errors.
Programmers can code ASP pages that utilize forms, email, math functions and calculations and embedded security. Both ASP and ASP.net can process XML pages. ASP utilizes the #include directive to include code stored in other ASP pages or text files. ASP and ASP.net also enable the programmer to enable and disable certain browser functions, such as the Back button and Copy and Paste functionality.
Related Resource: Joomla
The classic ASP programming language was Microsoft’s first attempt at creating a server-side scripting language exclusively for the web. ASP gave rise to ASP.net, the object-oriented server-side scripting language that utilizes VBScript. ASP.net is still used by coders and supported by Microsoft today.