ASP stands for Active Server Page. The newest version is known as ASP.NET. Although you may choose to use ASP, consider PHP first. ASP.NET requires an understanding of VBScript, C#, and other programming languages.

ASP runs on Windows web servers and is a feature of the Microsoft Internet Information Server (IIS). Microsoft recommends the use of the server-side ASP rather than a client-side script. Typically, the script in the web page at the server uses input received as the result of the user's request for the page to access data from a database and then builds or customizes the page on the fly before sending it to the requestor.

ASP.NET (originally called ASP+) is the next generation of Microsoft's Active Server Page (ASP), a feature of their Internet Information Server (IIS). It allows a web site builder to dynamically build Web pages on the fly by inserting queries to a relational database in the Web page. ASP.NET is different than its predecessor in two major ways: it supports code written in compiled languages such as Visual Basic, C++, C#, and Perl. It also features server controls that can separate the code from the content, allowing WYSIWYG editing of pages.

Although ASP.NET is not backwards compatible with ASP, it is able to run side by side with ASP applications.

readRead Active Server Pages from wikipedia for an overview.

ASP & ASP.NET Basics

Developers can create an ASP file by including a script written in VBScript or JScript in an HTML file or by using ActiveX Data Objects (ADOs) program statements in the HTML file. The HTML file is named with the ".asp" file extension. ASP.NET files can be recognized by their .aspx extension

Learn More

There are many excellent books and websites available on this topic. You might wish to start with the following, easy-to-use texts:

Parnell, Ryan & Martinez, Joel (2003). ASP.NET Development with Dreamweaver MX: Visual QuickPro Guide. Peachpit Press. ISBN 0321146425

ASP Tutorial from W3 School

ASP Tutorial from Basic to Advance

Additional Resources

ASP 101

ASP Resource Index


INFO: ASP.NET Roadmap at Microsoft

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