Article | Topic: ASP Dynamic Coding

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ASP Dynamic Coding For The Masses

Dynamic Code Solutions For Web Sites in Single Page Solutions
are among the most common code solutions served by ASP Coding. Dynamic coding does not have to be implemented as a site wide methodology. Single page solutions can be coded in ASP to serve your needs in very simple and useful ways; web based email, secure downloading, FTP access. If you have a need for interaction with your site visitors then you will need to use dynamic scripting.

While it accurate to use Dynamic Web Design to mean pages that are built in ASP and generated upon need employing an ASP database connection to serve the content, it is not accurate to think of ASP coding solutions as vehicles for large, complex development projects only. There are innumerable, single page, solutions that you can - and probably should - use in your own web projects. But like any other technology ASP Coding is a tool and should be used properly. This article will conclude with a brief discussion of when NOT to employ ASP or other dynamic coding.

ASP Solutions Can Come In Many Forms
The above statement is something of a pun actually. Forms are the most likely place you would want to use dynamic coding. Forms exist to provide interaction - and as I've said elsewhere, interaction is what ASP development is all about. You probably have two or more forms in your web project; a contact page that sends you feedback, a customer information form, maybe you use a form to navigate between pages or to redirect to another page based upon user input.

Dynamic coding can make your forms smarter
Using ASP code you can validate the form's content. If you are savvy with web development you might say back to me that Javascript will also do the same (just open and page made in FrontPage and you'll see this in action). You can also use VBScripting instead to accomplish the same end - provided you are using the end user's browser to do the work. For many types of work this is the correct methodology. It is certainly faster to have the browser correct the page - but you will see that a great many forms still wait upon the Submit action to trigger validation. If this occurs then you begin to use the coding inefficiently. The problem is corrected by efficient coding, however, by either using a validation routine as the action in the page (most common) or using the Blur event of the active form element to perform the validation.

If you're not a developer I probably just lost you. Don't worry. The upshot of the previous paragraph is that web scripting, if used properly, can make your forms smart and efficient in collecting the information you need from your visitors. Fortunately the nuts and bolts of efficient coding is not the focus of this discussion. With regard to smart forms, however, one of the reasons you would want to use web scripting would be to ensure that you get the right type of information for your use - and reduce the types of abuse that can fill your email, or worse, your database with garbage. It does not help you to get a visitor's phone number but not the area code, for example. A smart form will insist on all required digits.

Dynamic development and ASP coding come into play more critically once the Form has been sent back to your web server. Once there, Work is done. Performing tasks at the server, referred to as Server-Side Scripting, is not going to be handled by Client-side (or browser based) JavaScript or VBscript. They are simply not designed to perform that type of workload. ASP, however, is designed for work at the server.

The server is where you keep your data (be it flat file text or ORACLE data store), secure your assets, send your email, perform cash & credit acceptance - in short, it's where you do your business. Dynamic web solutions perform the work of that business. While I recognize the value of Python, PHP, Java, even Cold Fusion for scripting the fact is, in my unasked for opinion, that scripting falls into two universal groups: Perl and ASP. Both are sufficiently powerful and widely accepted by most hosting servers. The major distinction comes in database connectivity. ASP, an outgrowth of Microsoft's enormously popular Visual Basic development environment, has inherited the capabilities of OLEDB connectivity. What that means to the non-coder is that you can connect to virtually any form of data source reliably and across multiple platforms.

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