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ASP FAQ

What is ASP?
ASP stands for "Active Server Pages". The concept behind it is really simple, although using it can be difficult. When your browser requests a web page, the server responsible for that web site simply sends an HTML document to your computer. Your browser interprets the HTML and displays the results to you. This process is similar to opening a document in your word processor.

ASP works similarly, except for one thing: the server interprets the document BEFORE your web browser does. In other words, certain instructions within the HTML document (ASP code) are read by the server. Once the server translates the ASP code into plain old HTML, it then passed it on to your browser like it normally would.

So, what the heck is ASP good for? Lots of things! HTML documents are static and only gain dynamic elements through scripting languages, CGI and JAVA applets. With ASP, you can place code inside of your HTML document (similar to a scripting language) that can tell the server to do a variety of things. A common use for ASP is to retrieve and store information from a database located on the server. The great thing about ASP is that the information sent to the user is always HTML, as opposed to a script or JAVA applet that might not be compatible with their browser. With ASP, browser compatibility issues are almost completely eliminated.

There are many uses for ASP, and the best way to learn them is to get a good book on the subject.

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