What are Active Server Pages (ASP)?

Active Server Pages (ASP) is a server-side technology addressing the growing need of dynamic and decision-making oriented Web content. It is a "server-side" technology because it is run on the server upon client's request for a Web page.

Historically, web sites were static: lacking information processing capability. A static web site, for example, cannot process an order or other information from its visitors. Thus static web sites are not very useful when it comes to processing information.

Because a static web site is just a collection of plain or HTML-formatted text, every time the web site loads the exact same content is shown. A static website has to be changed manually to add new content. It is not very efficient to manually update content when it can be easily changed or updated automatically. Suppose we decided to display current date on our web pages. Daily manually changing the date on all of our web pages is not very efficient. Instead of manually editing the date, we could once write an ASP script and the script will automatically output the current date on our pages. It is much more efficient to write a script once for outputting the date and have it executed as many times as needed than manually editing date on every single day.

A page containing script that produces changing content is known as a dynamic page. With dynamic pages, for instance, we can allow visitors to login to access their personal account information or have content generated instantaneously from a database. ASP is one of the many solutions used to create web sites that are customized to the user needs and that are interactive to the user.

ASP scripts can be written with any text editor, including with these:

There are four programming languages that can be used to create an ASP page. They are VBScript, JScript, PerlScript, and Python and any one these can be used to create an ASP page. We will use VBScript to write ASP pages for our examples on this site.