Active Server Pages

Definition of Active Server Pages

Active Server Pages (ASP) is a server-side scripting technology developed by Microsoft, which allows for creating dynamic and interactive web applications. ASP uses embedded server-side scripts, often in VBScript or JScript, to generate HTML content tailored to the user’s preferences or input. Its main purpose is to produce web pages that are both dynamic and data-driven, providing a more engaging user experience than static HTML pages.


The phonetics of the keyword “Active Server Pages” is as follows:- Active: /ˈæktɪv/- Server: /ˈsɜːrvər/- Pages: /ˈpeɪdʒɪz/

Key Takeaways

  1. Active Server Pages (ASP) is a server-side scripting technology designed for creating dynamic, interactive web pages.
  2. ASP uses built-in server-side objects and languages like VBScript or JScript to combine HTML, CSS, and scripts, enabling web developers to create data-driven and interactive websites.
  3. ASP is supported by the Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) web server, providing seamless integration with the Windows operating system and access to native resources.

Importance of Active Server Pages

Active Server Pages (ASP) is an important technology term because it was a pioneering server-side scripting technology developed by Microsoft in the late 1990s.

It enabled developers to create dynamic, interactive web pages by embedding scripts, primarily written in VBScript or JScript, within HTML pages.

This server-side processing allowed web applications to generate customized content based on user inputs or other data sources, such as databases, making websites more engaging and responsive to user needs.

Although ASP has largely been replaced by more advanced technologies, like ASP.NET, it played a significant role in the evolution of web development and laid the groundwork for modern web applications.


Active Server Pages, often abbreviated as ASP, is a server-side scripting technology that plays a crucial role in the dynamic development and management of web content. The purpose of ASP is to enable the smooth creation of interactive and engaging web applications or web services, catering to the growing demand for agile and user-friendly web experiences.

By providing a flexible platform for developers, ASP allows them to dynamically generate HTML pages, interact with databases, and effortlessly integrate with other web technologies such as JavaScript and XML. This, in turn, empowers businesses and organizations to provide tailored, data-driven content offerings to their audience, thereby boosting their overall user engagement and satisfaction levels.

While the ASP technology mainly runs on Microsoft’s Internet Information Services (IIS) web server, its versatility lies in the seamless integration it offers with diverse programming languages, such as VBScript, JavaScript, and even Python. This empowers developers to create robust web applications that are adaptable and responsive to user inputs, both at scale and in real-time.

Key industries across sectors, such as retail, finance, and health, harness the power of ASP to create enhanced user experiences through features like password-protected pages, custom forms, and personalized content delivery. In essence, Active Server Pages serve as a dynamic web development tool to stay relevant in an ever-evolving digital landscape, catering to the shifting mindset and preferences of both clients and users.

Examples of Active Server Pages

Active Server Pages (ASP) is a server-side scripting technology developed by Microsoft that enables developers to create dynamic web applications. ASP pages interact with databases and other web services, resulting in data-driven and interactive web experiences. Here are three real-world examples of its use:

E-commerce websites: ASP has been used to build many e-commerce websites, such as online stores and shopping carts. These sites rely on database-driven product catalogs, real-time order processing, and secure payment systems. Using ASP, developers can easily handle user authentication, product search and filtering, and customer order management.

Content management systems: Before the rise of popular content management systems (CMS) like WordPress and Joomla, many website owners turned to ASP-based CMS to manage their online content. These systems allowed users to create, edit, publish, and manage web pages dynamically without having any HTML or programming knowledge. They often included components like blogs, news sections, and forums, all powered by the ASP technology.

Web-based applications: ASP has been widely used in the development of web-based applications, such as project management tools, customer relationship management (CRM) systems, and intranet solutions. These applications usually involve complex business logic and require extensive interactions with databases and other web services. ASP simplifies the development process by providing a server-side scripting environment for creating and managing these types of applications.

Active Server Pages FAQ

What are Active Server Pages (ASP)?

Active Server Pages (ASP) is a server-side scripting technology developed by Microsoft. It enables embedding scripts in HTML pages to create dynamic web content and interactive web applications.

How do Active Server Pages work?

When a user requests an ASP page from a web server, the server processes the embedded scripts and executes the server-side code. The resulting HTML is then sent to the user’s browser, where it is rendered and displayed.

What scripting languages can be used in ASP?

ASP primarily supports VBScript and JScript (Microsoft’s version of JavaScript) for server-side scripting. However, it can also support other scripting languages such as PerlScript with the right configuration.

What is the difference between ASP and ASP.NET?

ASP is the older technology, whereas ASP.NET is the updated version, introduced in 2002 as part of the .NET framework. ASP.NET offers more features, improved performance, and enhanced security compared to classic ASP. The main difference is that ASP.NET uses compiled languages like C# and VB.NET instead of interpreted scripting languages.

How do I create an Active Server Pages file?

To create an ASP file, simply create a new text file with a .asp extension. Inside the file, you can write your HTML code, along with server-side script enclosed in the ‘<%…%>’ delimiters. Make sure to host the ASP file on a web server that supports ASP, such as Microsoft’s Internet Information Services (IIS).

Related Technology Terms

  • IIS (Internet Information Services)
  • VBScript (Visual Basic Scripting Edition)
  • JScript
  • ADO (ActiveX Data Objects)

Sources for More Information


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