JSP and Beyond

a pragmatic primer on building web-based solutions with Java technologies

Active Server Pages (ASP Classic or ASP 3.0)

Active Server Pages represented Microsoft’s first foray into tools that helped people create dynamic web content. The technology was derived from an acquisition made by a company that produced a product called DBWeb for the purpose of creating dynamic, data-driven websites. Released in 1996, ASP-based applications ran in conjunction with Internet Information Services 3.0, Microsoft’s web server.

ASP provided developers with a series of tools to solve common web application needs. This allowed them to speed application development and focus more on the solution, rather than building the underlying processes to facilitate communications and functions.

ASP also allows access to COM objects. This allows it to use existing business logic that has been built using COM objects.

ASP Hello World
Response.Write(’Hello World!’);

Drawbacks of ASP
Many web sites use ASP to generate content. However, newer languages that provide more robust functionality and ASP is becoming a less common solution for building dynamic web sites.

Platform – ASP can only run on a Microsoft’s Internet Information Services web server on a Microsoft operating system*.

Separation of Presentation and Logic – Using ASP it is difficult to separate business logic from presentation, however leveraging COM can mitigate this issue.

Interpreted at Run Time – ASP code is interpreted line by line with each request. This means that it is less efficient than compiled code.

*There are some third party tools that will allow ASP to run on a different operating system and web server.