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What is ASP and What Does ASP Stand For?

written by: Brandy A Burgess•edited by: Ronda Bowen•updated: 5/2/2010

Active Server Pages, or ASP, are commonly used as a middleman between the user and web server. Here, you will learn the answers to common questions such as 'what does ASP stand for?' and 'What is ASP'?

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    What Does ASP Stand For?

    Although it’s a common abbreviation, those in the computer field know the common web development question ‘what does ASP stand for?’ Active server pages, also known as ASP, Classic ASP or ASP classic was developed by Microsoft and initially released as a Perl-like programming language in 1997. Active server pages are web pages that contain various elements including server-side scripts and a blend of HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) and text tags. ASP include one or more embedded programs, or scripts, that are processed on a server and then released to the user.

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    What Are Active Server Pages (ASP)?

    When a web user types a URL into the address bar located at the top of the web browser, the user is asking the web server to send a file to the web browser (client). Once the file is located and received from the web browser, it displays the web page on your computer and its various contents such as text, sounds and images. Active server pages have a similar process involved with one extra step that takes places prior to the server sending the web file to the user.

    Active server pages run all of the server-side scripts on that specific web page before releasing it to the browser for the user to view. Active server pages have an ‘.asp’ extension to distinguish the page from other types of HTML web pages.

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    What Do Active Server Pages (ASP) Do?

    Active server pages have a handful of useful features that can be used to enhance the look and feel of a web page. Some of the more common uses of ASP include displaying time, date and other constantly changing information for users all around the world. Active server pages can also be used to create surveys, create e-mails, contact other web users, and save file information.

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    What Do Active Server Pages (ASP) Look Like?

    The appearance of active server pages will differ depending on how the pages are being viewed. If the ASP are being viewed simply by a common web browser, the pages will appear as regular HTML web pages. If the source code of ASP are viewed by the user or a site visitor, the page will also appear as a normal HTML page. The server file of that specific web page will contain server-side scripts and multiple HTML tags when viewed within the server. This special coding is what the server sees before processing and releasing the web page to the user.

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    How to Write and Run an Active Server Page (ASP)

    One of the best ways to learn about active server pages is to create your own. A general text editor is needed to write script commands to make an HTML page. Examples of ASP scripting can be found below:

    In regular HTML, brackets are used as delimiters.


    In VBScript (ASP coding), a percent sign is used as delimiters.


    Multiple tags can be used a VBScript.

    <%Example, Welcome to BrightHub%>

    Here you will see a basic example of an ASP source code for a web page:




    <TITLE>Welcome to BrightHub</TITLE>




    FirstVar = “Thanks For Reading!”





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    Active Server Pages - Final Thoughts

    Active server pages, also known as ASP, are essential to help run a smooth connection between the web server and browser user. Not only can ASP be used as the middleman for these two activities, it can also be used for various web page development tasks. Although it may take some time to learn how to write active server pages, your time will be well spent.