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INTRODUCTION TO ASP
Active Server page is a technology developed by Microsoft group in 1996 for use on their IIS
server. Active server Page (ASP) is a mix of HTML, scripts and ASP code that enable the user to
build dynamic and database-driver web sites. Microsoft describes it as "a server - side
scripting environment that the user can use to create and run the dynamic, interactive,
high -performance Web / server applications." While standard HTML is only a display language,
ASP allow the user to connect the information displayed on the page based on user interaction.
Also, Server-side ASP is interpreted by the server and the information is returned to the
browser to display. ' Therefore, ASP is cross - browser compatible if used as server-side
scripting - in other words, if the script is interpreted on the server, is
the user target audience, however, this might not be a problem, as the percentage of Lynx users
is quit low. There is also client-side scripting, which is interpreted by the browser. So, Active
server Pages (ASP) are a way of creating pages on the fly. With a little bit of programming
skill and a working knowledge of ASP.
REQUIREMENTS TO WRITE ASP CODE
To write ASP, you will need a tool to help you. The following is tools which will help you in
Text editor (Notepad)
ASP/VBScript is just like HTML, simply text markup stored in a plain text file. As such you
could write your ASP files using a simple text editor.
4 can colour coding your markup. Recognizes VBScript, Cold Fusion and other languages
and can do things like automatically complete tags once you start them. Also has a very neat
global search and replace facility.
One of Microsoft's family of "Visual" products. You will find color coding etc, but also
integration with Front Page, the Front Page extensions and a whole world of information on
VBScript, JScript, HTML etc.
FrontPage is a WYSIWYG editor for HTML, but yon can insert snippets of ASP here and there, but
nothing too complex. So if you already make use of FrontPage, and don't want to move towards
Visual Interdev, it could be all you need.
its a free editor with lots of little bells and whistles. It has been supplied by one of the
To develop an ASP the user must be understand the component of ASP that are use in writing an
ASP program. These terms are:
Hypertext Markup Language (HTML)
HTML includes various "tags" that are explained by the web browsers and
marked up to display text and graphics appropriately. The minimum HTML tags for a web page follow (note that tags
are enclosed by "<" and ">", where a "/" is included to turn a tag oil):
( Here is text that will be displayed '
There are two kinds of scripting, client-side and server-side. That simply means
that the programming script is either processed at the local computer by the browser or at the web
server by its operating system.
Some of the source code for web pages are client-side scripting. The script can be written in
the following format:
client-side lines of scripting code goes here
ASP relies on server-side scripting to dynamically generate HTML documents and send them
back to the browser. There are two ways to include this in an ASP file. First adds a qualifierto the code syntax as follows:
<script language="vbscript" ruo·t="server"> server-side lines
of scripting code goes here </script>.
The alternate method of using script within an ASP document is to enclose the scripting-code
in "<%" and ""/»>". Examples:
Welcome to Kent State at <% = lime %> on
This would dynamically create an HTML document to send back to the browser that would include
the system tune and date of the web server. If users viewed the source code, they would see
the following (assuming a time and date):
Welcome lo Kent State at 12:30:12 on 11/10/98
Here the user do not sec the server-side scripting code, only the HTML docmnent it gene ates.
Note that both client-side and server-side scripting can exist in the same ASP file. The
Structured Query Language (SQL)
it was developed by BM in the early 1970s. SQL is a nonprocedural language used in
database management systems to define and manipulate relational databases. And it divided into two
• Data Definition Language (DDL): Used to create databases and tables, as well as modify the structure of an existing database.
• Data Manipulation Language (DML): Used to insert new records in a table, update existing date, delete records, and select data from a table or tables within the database to create virtual tables called
record sets. In addition, there are build in statistical functions to count, summarize, group data, etc.Much of the SQL performed in ASP pages is related to selecting and analyzing data.
ADVANTAGES OF ASP
ASP has some advantages which are:
Open Language Support
Active Server Pages are compatible with any ActiveX Scripting language. They support VBScript
and Jscript. They can be scripted in any scripting language as long as a scripting engine is
provided. Also, multiple scripting languages can even be used in the same ASP File.
No manual compiling is required for Active Server Pages. To prevent the need for manual
compiling whenever a change is made, just in time compiling automatically recompiles the ASP
files upon the next request, and loads it into the server cache. ASP files are updated immediately on the web.
An Active Server Pages application can integrate with any ODBC-compliant database including
Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, Sybase, Informnix, and DB2 databases.
They provide a browser-neutral approach to application design. All of the application logic to
generate dynamic content can be executed on the server, no one has to worry about what browser
is used to view the site. Browse see the result of an ASP file as a normal HTML page.
Admiral Grace Murry Hopper