Is it ASP (Application Service Provider) or ASP (Active Server Page)

This can be confusing for newcomers, so what is the difference?

Application Service Provider

ASP is a business that provides computer-based services to individuals or companies.  This means small business or individuals have access to software and services without needing to purchase them outright.  This can dramatically lower costs.  Also known as SaaS (software as a service) they can be operated through a browser, or a secure port.

Active Server Page

 ASP was introduced by Microsoft and is part of the ASP.NET.

ASP is a HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) page which includes one or more small embedded program (also known as ‘scripts’).  The scripts are processed on a Microsoft web server and then the page is sent to the user.

Using ASP makes a website more dynamic, and it can be activated each time the site is visited.  Although similar to other platforms, different programming languages can be used.  It defaults to VBScript, but using <%@Page Language=”C#”%> allows other programming languages to be used.

 When you see ‘.asp’ or ‘.aspx’ at the end of the URL, you know you are viewing an ASP page.

ASP is a feature of the Microsoft Internet Information Service (IIS).

Microsoft Web Development Tool

 These can be found on ASP.NET, with programs such as Visual Studio.NET and Visual Web Developer.  They can be used alone to develop websites that are particularly dynamic, and also allow individual codes and programs to be used.  Other programs supported include Visual Basic .NET, Jscript .NET and languages such as Python and Perl.

The ASP.NET must be on a Web server that supports its applications in order to operate.  Microsoft’s Internet Information Services (ISS) is the most used platform, and while others are available, the ASP.NET provides the most reliable support.

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