Active Server Pages (ASP) programming is writing code to facilitate ASP functionality on websites. Such functionality includes the delivery of dynamic, database-driven content to website viewers without taxing the server-side system. ASP programming involves writing ASP files and HTML files. The ASP code is placed within the HTML pages, enclosed in special tags. When you need to make changes in the code, you need to change only the ASP files; the HTML files, which do nothing but go and get the ASP files' coding, need not be changed.
ASP files have a file extension of .asp, much like HTML files have file extensions of either .htm or .html. The HTML files that contain the ASP instructions enclose those instructions within tags that look like this: <% and %>. Notice that unlike HTML, the ASP ending tag does not include a slash. To send the results of an ASP instruction directly to a browser, you add an equals sign: <%=.
ASP programming involves scripting in Visual Basic Script, Jscript, Perl, Python, or other languages. Certain modifications are necessary, but the programmer who has written code in these other languages will find ASP programming to be familiar indeed. The two languages that work the best for this type of programming are VBScript and Jscript.
One common use of ASP programming is to gather data from the user and display it at another time. For example, you can use ASP programming to query the user to type in his or her name and then display that name on subsequent pages during the user's visit. Once the name is input, the programming protocols transfer that data to the requisite database, from which it can be accessed by other HTML pages that contain the coding guiding such requests. Such data requests and displays can be as complex as you want to make them.
Written data isn’t the only thing that can be uploaded to your website using ASP programming. You can design forms that allow users to upload image files to your site as well. Real estate websites are perfect examples of sites that can take advantage of this functionality.
ASP programming also comes in handy when your HTML pages and what they display involve accessing large databases containing tons of data. In this case, you will really appreciate the benefits of not having to change HTML files when you update the parameters of your databases. ASP programming makes this process simple.