ASP has two different meanings in the IT world: 1) Application Service Provider, and 2) Active Server Page.

1) Application Service Provider

An Application Service Provider is a company or organization that provides software applications to customers over the Internet. These Internet-based applications are also known as "software as a service" (SaaS) and are often made available on a subscription basis. This means ASP clients often pay a monthly fee to use the software, rather than purchasing a traditional software license. Some SaaS applications can be accessed via a web browser, while others operate over a proprietary secure port.

2) Active Server Page

An Active Server Page, commonly called an "ASP page," is a webpage that may contain scripts as well as standard HTML. The scripts are processed by an ASP interpreter on the web server each time the page is accessed by a visitor. Since the content of an ASP page can be generated on-the-fly, ASP pages are commonly used for creating dynamic websites.

ASP is similar to other scripting platforms, like PHP and JSP, but supports multiple programming languages. While the default ASP language is VBScript, ASP pages can include other programming languages as well, such as C# and JavaScript. However, alternative languages must be defined before the script code using the following declaration:

<%@ Page Language="C#"%>

ASP pages are part of the ASP.NET web application framework developed by Microsoft. Therefore, ASP pages are most often found on Windows-based web servers that run Microsoft Internet Information Services, or IIS. You can tell if you are accessing an ASP page in your browser if the URL has an ".asp" or ".aspx" suffix.

File extensions: .ASP, .ASPX

Updated March 15, 2012 by Per C.

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