Active Server Pages (ASP)

Description: So what exactly are they, and what benefits do they have for your business?

If you have read anything at all about the rise and rise of social networking and Web 2.0, you will probably remember reading about something called dynamic web content.

This kind of content basically allows the website visitors to use the site in an interactive manner, instead of simply looking at a web page and reading the content that's on it.

This is where active server pages come in. If you think of them as being more intelligent than standard pages, you'll begin to get an idea of how it works. If you take advantage of this great asset, you will still construct your web pages using standard HTML and the usual kind of tags as well. ?But there is one extra element, and that is a script of some kind that runs on the server before the page is delivered to the viewer's computer.

Think of it as a much more advanced version of a library. If someone requests a book from you, all you do in the normal situation is to go and find the book and give it to the customer. If you want to personalise that book for the customer however, in order to make that book more interactive, you will go and get the book and add a bookmark that appeals to what that customer likes before you give it to them. You might even put their name on it.

Active server pages are basically a more intelligent version of this example. You can add scripts to the active server pages that change the information displayed on the web pages to appeal to each particular visitor. Someone could leave a comment on a form and that form could be updated immediately by using a server side script.

The scripts use a system of coding which is similar in some ways to HTML coding. Even a novice could spot server side scripting, because it looks similar to HTML scripting, with the addition of a % sign - thus you will get <% and %> around each command.

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