Microsoft.NET

……………………………………………….Expertise in .NET Technologies

Drawbacks of ASP

Posted by Ravi Varma Thumati on July 15, 2009

Looking Back: Active Server Pages (ASP)

Microsoft Active Server Pages (ASP) is a server-side scripting technology. ASP is a technology that Microsoft created to ease the development of interactive Web applications. With ASP you can use client-side scripts as well as server-side scripts. Maybe you want to validate user input or access a database. ASP provides solutions for transaction processing and managing session state. Asp is one of the most successful languages used in web development.

Problems with Traditional ASP

There are many problems with ASP if you think of needs for Today’s powerful Web applications.

    • Interpreted and Loosely-Typed Code

      ASP scripting code is usually written in languages such as JScript or VBScript. The script-execution engine that Active Server Pages relies on interprets code line by line, every time the page is called. In addition, although variables are supported, they are all loosely typed as variants and bound to particular types only when the code is run. Both these factors impede performance, and late binding of types makes it harder to catch errors when you are writing code.

        • Mixes layout (HTML) and logic (scripting code)

          ASP files frequently combine script code with HTML. This results in ASP scripts that are lengthy, difficult to read, and switch frequently between code and HTML. The interspersion of HTML with ASP code is particularly problematic for larger web applications, where content must be kept separate from business logic.

            • Limited Development and Debugging Tools

              Microsoft Visual InterDev, Macromedia Visual UltraDev, and other tools have attempted to increase the productivity of ASP programmers by providing graphical development environments. However, these tools never achieved the ease of use or the level of acceptance achieved by Microsoft Windows application development tools, such as Visual Basic or Microsoft Access. ASP developers still rely heavily or exclusively on Notepad.

              Debugging is an unavoidable part of any software development process, and the debugging tools for ASP have been minimal. Most ASP programmers resort to embedding temporary Response. Write statements in their code to trace the progress of its execution.

                • No real state management

                  Session state is only maintained if the client browser supports cookies. Session state information can only be held by using the ASP Session object. And you have to implement additional code if you, for example, want to identify a user.

                    • Update files only when server is down

                      If your Web application makes use of components, copying new files to your application should only be done when the Web server is stopped. Otherwise it is like pulling the rug from under your application’s feet, because the components may be in use (and locked) and must be registered.

                        • Obscure Configuration Settings

                          The configuration information for an ASP web application (such as session state and server timeouts) is stored in the IIS metabase. Because the metabase is stored in a proprietary format, it can only be modified on the server machine with utilities such as the Internet Service Manager. With limited support for programmatically manipulating or extracting these settings, it is often an arduous task to port an ASP application from one server to another.

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