Welcome to ASP Programming for the Absolute Beginner. By developing an
interest in Active Server Pages (ASP), you stand at the threshold of a very
exciting programming adventure. When first introduced, ASP offered the
promise of an easy, powerful method of breaking through the functional
shackles of the Common Gateway Interface (CGI)—it has delivered on that promise.
Now, several years into its history, ASP technology has become a central component of
the Microsoft development strategy. Moreover, it has become the scripting language of
choice for literally thousands of programmers, so you are in good company in wanting
to learn more.
Although ASP is relatively easy to learn, it does require some degree of general programming
knowledge to best utilize its power. Additionally, ASP allows for easy integration of
data sources (Access, SQL Server, and so on), so an understanding of basic database development
comes into play. Finally, because ASP is, at its core, a Web scripting language,
you should have some basic knowledge of HTML to better understand how ASP can be
used to bring a previously unleashed power and functionality to your Web pages.
This book does assume that you have some working knowledge of HTML. You’ve probably
created a few Web pages, perhaps using a development tool such as Microsoft
FrontPage or Macromedia HomeSite. Maybe you’ve also added some advanced functionality
to said Web pages, perhaps by adding tables, Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), and forms.
If you have done this level of Web development, you can build on this experience while
learning to work with ASP. Even if you haven’t done much Web development (again,
aside from having a general understanding of HTML), you can still learn to work with
ASP—and have fun in the process. Don’t be intimidated by the programming aspect of
ASP. Yes, you do have to learn some programming to most effectively work with ASP.
However, I’m assuming from your purchase of this book that you are willing and ready
to dive into the exciting and rewarding world of ASP development. This book shows
you how to do just that.