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 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,
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
You can display date, time, and other information in different
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
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 programmers.