I am about to embark on a new Web-based application using Internet Information Server (IIS), Active Server Pages (ASP), SQL Server, and Visual InterDev. So, the back end is Microsoft, but the application must have cross browser functionality. Do you advocate using Perl-based CGI/DBD for database manipulation, which I understand is platform independent, rather than, for example, ADO and VBScript which are Internet Explorer specific? Or are there other ways to tackle the cross browser issue?
Your Microsoft back end (IIS, ASP, SQL Server) provides you with all of the tools you need to access your database and display results to any Web browser. In fact, ASP was developed as a browser-independent, easier-to-use alternative to CGI scripting. There is no need to use CGI in your browser-independent application. The important thing to remember is that ASP runs on your server (running Microsoft technologies) and generates pure HTML. All browsers understand pure HTML.
This example page uses ADO and VBScript inside of ASP to retrieve data from a SQL Server database to a browser. Any browser can be used to view this page since the Web server executes the code, and returns pure HTML (not the script code) to the browser. The details of using ADO are beyond the scope of this answer, but this code is sufficient for accessing a system Data Source and retrieving data back to the page. The browser will only see the resulting HTML, not the script. This page will run on IIS and can be viewed in any browser.
<%@ Language=VBScript %>
Retrive Data From a Database<%Set RS = Server.CreateObject("ADODB.Recordset")RS.Open "Select * From Authors","DSN=Pubs"Do Until Rs.EOF Response.Write RS("au_fname") & "
" RS.MoveNext Loop%>