|Active Server Pages: What are Active Server Pages?
What Are Active Server Pages?
Active Server Pages (ASPs) are Web pages that contain server-side
scripts in addition to the usual mixture of text and HTML (Hypertext
Markup Language) tags. Server-side scripts are special commands you put
in Web pages that are processed before the pages are sent from your Personal
Web Server to the Web browser of someone who's visiting your Web site.
. When you type a URL in the Address box or click a link on a Web page,
you're asking a Web hosting server on a computer somewhere to send a file to the
Web browser (sometimes called a "client") on your computer. If that file
is a normal HTML file, it looks exactly the same when your Web browser
receives it as it did before the Web server sent it. After receiving the
file, your Web browser displays its contents as a combination of text,
images, and sounds.
In the case of an Active Server Page, the process is similar, except
there's an extra processing step that takes place just before the Web server
sends the file. Before the Web server sends the Active Server Page to the
Web browser, it runs all server-side scripts contained in the page. Some
of these scripts display the current date, time, and other information.
Others process information the user has just typed into a form, such as
a page in the Web site's guestbook.
To distinguish them from normal HTML pages, Active Server Pages are
given the ".asp" extension.
What Can You Do with Active Server Pages?
There are many things you can do with Active Server Pages.
You can display date, time, and other information in different ways.
You can make a survey form and ask people who visit your site to fill it
out, send emails, save the information to a file, etc
What Do Active Server Pages Look Like?
The appearance of an Active Server Page depends on who or what is viewing
it. To the Web browser that receives it, an Active Server Page looks just
like a normal HTML page. If a visitor to your Web site views the source
code of an Active Server Page, that's what they see: a normal HTML page.
However, the file located in the server looks very different. In
addition to text and HTML tags, you also see server-side scripts. This
is what the Active Server Page looks like to the Web server before it is
processed and sent in response to a request.
What Do Server-Side Scripts Look Like?
Server-side scripts look a lot like HTML tags. However, instead of starting
and ending with lesser-than ( < ) and greater-than ( > ) brackets, they
typically start with <% and end with %>. The <% is called an opening
tag, and the %> is called a closing tag. In between these tags
are the server-side scripts. You can insert server-side scripts anywhere
in your Web page--even inside HTML tags.
Do You Have to Be a Programmer to Understand Server-Side Scripting?
There's a lot you can do with server-side scripts without learning how
to program. For this reason, much of the online Help for Active Server
Pages is written for people who are familiar with HTML but aren't computer
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