ASP in a Nutshell

Reviewed by: Timothy Ferrill, send e-mail
Published by: O'Reilly and Associates, go to the web site
Requires: N/A
MSRP: US$24.95

Active Server Pages (ASP) in a Nutshell is one of the newer additions to the Nutshell line of books. Published by O'Reilly and Associates, ASP in a Nutshell is a great source of information for anyone interested in learning how to write ASP applications for the World Wide Web or a company intranet.

O'Reilly and Associates has long been a big supporter of the Internet and open source (free) software. From The Whole Internet Users Guide and Catalog, their "Pioneering Bestseller," to WebSite, the first web server software for desktop PCs, O'Reilly has been a leader on the subject of the Internet and the World Wide Web for several years.

ASP in a Nutshell was developed to assist people in tackling the problem of server-side applications. In an area previously only charted by the Common Gateway Interface (CGI) and Server Side Includes (SSI), ASP is now widely considered as an easier and faster option. Though O'Reilly is a major advocate of Unix and Perl (one of the main languages for programming CGI applications), they are also trying to be advocates for open source ASP applications. The ASP technology was created by Microsoft as an alternative to other server-side technologies and is looking to overtake CGI because of its power, speed and ease-of-use.

Each book in the Nutshell series is good as both a starting point for learning something new and as a reference for those more experienced in that particular area. ASP in a Nutshell is no exception. While it contains much on the ASP syntax and different languages that can be used for ASP applications, it also contains information on how ASP works and even an introduction to the Internet Information Server (IIS) object model and the objects it comprises. This is especially valuable when you are in the design stage of your programming because you can see all of the objects and their qualities at the same time and what you need to do to get them to work for you.

ASP in a Nutshell has three parts. Part one is an introduction to ASP. It explains the need for ASP and teaches the differences between client-side and server-side scripting as well as various scripting languages. Part two is an object reference for the IIS object model. It explains each of the different objects and gives examples of how they can be used. Part three is an installable component reference for the additional components available for installation and use on your server.

Although this book is not designed for beginners to the programming field, they can stillbenefit from both the introduction and the reference sections of the book. Whatever your task, be it web design or development, or even if you are a Webmaster running IIS, a knowledge of ASP will be helpful. If ASP is part of your future, consider getting ASP in a Nutshell as both an introduction and a reference guide to ASP and its extensions.

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