ASP stands for Active Server Pages.  It is a technology that incorporates a sub-set of the Visual Basic language within an HTML document. This allows the transfer of data from a browser to a server, and the dynamic creation of web pages.

This technology replaces the old Common Gateway Interface, or CGI, process.  In CGI, submitting an HTML form would trigger an executable program on the server. That program would “read” the values from the form fields.

The process passes information to the server in name=value format, where “name” is the name of the form field, and “value” is the value stored in the field.  A form field can be thought of as a variable.

Because it uses a sub-set of Visual Basic, it does not have all the functionality of Visual Basic.  You will find that there are some things that just can’t be done, and that some things are done differently.  Do not confuse ASP code with VBScript. They are not the same, even though they are both sub-sets of Visual Basic.  ASP is designed to run on the server, while VBScript runs in a browser.  Also, each has its own capabilities and limitations that make them different from each other.

Dynamic creation of HTML pages simply means that the file is created “on-the-fly” by the program – it did not exist before.  As opposed to static pages that are created once and placed in the server.  Dynamic pages may have different content each time, static pages are always the same.

ASP code is interpreted.  This means that the lines of code are compiled and run one line at a time every time the page is requested.  As a result, ASP pages tend to be slower.