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Oct 28, 2012

Asp.Net tutorial (PART-5)

Major Changes with ASP 2

Moving to Active Server Pages 2 brought the developer into a more stable and feature-rich environment. All aspects of the technology were tuned and tweaked,and programmers really felt that things had settled into a stable technology.This newfound confidence was in part due to the evidence of successful transactional sites actually showing that the platform could deliver, but also the fact that the technology had been boosted under the hood with tighter integration with Microsoft Transaction Server (MTS).

In fact, IIS 4 was rebuilt to be a MTS application, and so ASP and MTS components were actually running in the same processes. Another improvement was the work with Microsoft Message Queue.This
allowed ASP and components to communicate across networks, ideal for largescale applications with complex backend requirements, for example, e-commerce systems integrating with existing legacy enterprise resource planning (ERP) infrastructures.

Weaknesses in the ASP 2 Model

Failings in the ASP 2 model were most noticeable when the platform was contrasted against newcomers and developments in other technologies, such as Java Server Pages (JSP), Perl 5, PHP, and ColdFusion.

The main contender for ASP mind-share in Microsoft's most-needed marketplace, large-scale blue chip projects, was Java Server Pages. Microsoft could dismiss the others as low-rent small to medium business and hobbyist technologies, and had an army of certified solutions companies and consultants to take care of those.On the other hand, products from Microsoft's biggest competitors, such as IBM, Oracle, and Sun, supported Java, and these companies had massive opinionforming clout in the world's largest corporations.As well as products such as IBM
Net.Commerce (now Websphere), other vendors such as ATG and Broadvision were releasing application servers based around Java.To make matters worse, Microsoft could not claim to have the better technology.

JSP was outperforming and out-scaling ASP, plus the application servers and host operating systems proved time and again to be more robust and stable, and had lower cost of ownership and higher uptime!

The Java Server Pages and Servlets technologies allowed performance gains against ASP 2 partly because the code is compiled before execution.The Java language also had better error handling, object orientation, housekeeping, and variable typing.ASP, on the other hand, was based around interpreted scripting and languages that were compromised shadows of their already flawed parents.

Developing ASP 3.0   

With the release of Windows 2000,Active Server Pages 3 was available.

Performance was increased considerably by the addition of a step in the execution of the pages that checked for a previously cached version of the compiled page, and the compiler checking for script elements rather than always processing the page line by line.

The Windows 2000 operating system and features in IIS5 that included the option to selectively separate out Web applications and processes addressed stability issues.

Functionally, it did not have many revolutionary additions (perhaps they were waiting for .NET, which was already on the drawing board at Microsoft), but developers did get several features they had been asking for, such as server-side redirects to replace the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP)-header client-side implementation, better error handling, and dynamic includes.

Final Changes to Original ASP Model

With version 3, Microsoft introduced the concept of server scriptlets.These were COM objects that were developed as Extensible Markup Language (XML)-based text files.This enabled programmers to rapidly prototype multi-tiered application business logic without the "change, recompile, upload, stop the server, register, test, change" cycle of component development.

ASP and ActiveX Data Objects (ADO) were given a boost in capability with the addition of XML-processing abilities. XML was, at this point, a massive deal in the developer community, and Microsoft wanted to appear to be fully embracing it, and so the whole of Microsoft's product line seemed to be receiving an XML makeover.

As well as the new script execution changes mentioned earlier, it included many other performance improvements, such as the ability of the Web server to self-tune, checking adding threads when needed, and having response buffering on by default.

Weaknesses in the ASP 3 Model

Despite the great achievements of Active Server Pages, particularly in the areas of speed and stability, the platform was still based on incomplete scripting languages of VBScript and JScript, and third-party languages such as Perl.

Scripting languages required the developer to compromise coding standards and bolster the application with components written in a second language, usually C++ or VB.The languages were not properly object oriented, although they were object-aware, and could never perform very well whenever they required an interpreter to execute.

The reliance on the systems administrator for Web server configurations was also a problem; the administrator must register components, settings, and permissions on the server, and so deployment was not as simple as just uploading your files. Programmers were bound to ask, after several years of Java programmer colleagues evangelizing Java Server Pages,"What is Microsoft going to do?"

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