History of classic ASP

A Brief History of Classic ASP


What is Classic ASP?

Classic ASP is not a new technology; originally released back in 1996 for Windows NT 4, Classic ASP was a simple scripting language that looked to compete with the likes of PHP and similar languages on other platforms. ASP stands for “Active Server Pages” and was one of the first dynamic web based technologies Microsoft created for use with their web server called IIS (Internet Information Server).  

Microsoft would release ASP 2.0 in 1997 followed by ASP 3.0 in 2000.  From here, Microsoft released ASP+ in 2001 which was the first identifiable forerunner of the .NET framework.  For this reason, Classic ASP can still be used in many of the .NET components and features.

Even today, you can use some inline Classic ASP code in your .NET projects. Classic ASP also formed the basis of the very first version of ASP.NET (then called ASP+). Similarly, you can use Classic ASP within ASP.NET Razor although it’s not really recommended for a number of reasons.

Are there any benefits to using Classic ASP? Surprisingly yes. Despite being a much older technology, Classic ASP developers will typically find their code runs slightly quicker when compared with a similar task being carried out using C#/VB.NET ASP.NET. There are a few reasons for this including a dramatic improvement in speed and performance of computers since the late 90’s. As a result of being simpler technology Classic ASP also has less overheads than many other features in ASP.NET.

The biggest pitfall to ASP of course is that, despite all of this, it is not ‘officially’ supported anymore. You may find it difficult to work with many modern features the web now enjoys (or may end up having to write most of them yourself) without being able to reuse other people’s libraries quite as freely as you might with ASP.NET.

But for these reasons, we often tell people not to move away from Classic ASP unless there is a business case for it: if you would benefit from rebuilding the project in ASP.NET due to ongoing support, maintenance or to take advantage of new features then this may be worth it.  We are Classic ASP developers who specialise in providing Classic ASP support, so if you have a project or task you would like help with, why not get in touch today?

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