To understand how ASP works, you need to have some knowledge about the technologies that support it and work with it:
This is the programme you use to view (or hear) and otherwise interact with resources on the internet. Typical examples of browsers are Internet Explorer, Netscape, Opera, Firefox and Lynx. Whilst nominally based on the worldwide web "standard", competition and non-standard enhancements mean that most browsers interpret web in a different ways. For the sake of this tutorial the internet resources will be termed "web pages". Web browsers are referred to as the "client" and receive pages from web servers.
When you surf the internet, you download pages to your web browser and view (or hear) them. The web pages are stored on a web server, which delivers them to your browser (or client). Anything that happens before a page reaches you is called "server-side" and anything that happens once the page is on your computer is called "client-side".
A static page is a "fixed" page that uses plain HTML page, and is made up of text, images, tables, links etc. The HTML that exists on the server is the same HTML that is displayed by the client (your browser). Whenever you visit the page (using the same browser/operating system), the page you see (or hear) will be the same and will not change no matter what you do to the page.
Hyper Text Mark-up Language is a descriptive "language" that describes the content of a web page using "mark-up" tags. It is not a prescriptive, absolute language and relies on the interpretation of your web browser to determine how the page looks (or sounds). HTML is based on Standard Generalized Mark-up Language (SGML) framework You may have come across other SGML derived-languages such as XML, XHTML and WML.
HTML tags are used to identify elements on a web page and describe
what your browser should do with them. For example, if a web
designer wants to emphasise a particular piece of text, the
<strong> tag may be used:
<strong>this is important!</strong>
Which in your browser appears as:
this is important!
Most tags comprise an opening and a closing pair. Other, hopefully
self-explanatory, tags include
Tags can have various attirbutes that further describe how
the element looks. For example, and <input> tag has
many attributes, some of which describe its type, name and
value, for example:
<input type="text" value="enter your name" size="35">
Which in your browser appears as an input text box thus:
The following link goes to a very useful HTML tutorials. To make the most of this ASP tutorial, you will need a working knowledge of HTML.
Some pages can change depending on certain conditions. Examples of dynamic pages are those that change depending on your choices or preferences, are created "on the fly", or adapt to the type of browser you are using. Dynamic pages may exist in some form on the server or they may not exist at all!
Dynamic pages are controlled using scripting languages. Some pages react locally on you computer using client-side script, perhaps producing a pop-up error message when you fill out a text field incorrectly. Other pages may react after you have submitted them using server-side script, for example, resulting in an error message on the returned page.
A database is a collection of, usually, related data organised in some logical way, for example user names, engine parts and product details. The data can be retrieved, changed, deleted and searched using ASP script.
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