6  Comparison of JSP and Java with ASP and C# 
An alternative to Open Source Web application technologies, which predominantly use Java as 
the programming language, is available with Microsoft's Web servers, namely Personal Web 
Server (PWS) and Internet Information Server (IIS). Microsoft's Web application enabling 
technologies are Active Server Pages (ASP), which will soon enter a new stage with the 
introduction of the .NET platform and C#. In this chapter, the author takes a closer look at ASP 
and C# as the core technologies of Microsoft's Web application development platform, and 
compares them to Sun Microsystems' Java products. 
6.1  JavaServer Pages versus MS Active Server Pages 
The main purpose of both JSP and ASP is to add dynamic capabilities to web sites. This is done 
on the server side, i.e. the browser request is processed on the server before a dynamically 
generated web page is sent to the client. This extends the functionality of web applications 
significantly beyond the initial approach of generating dynamic content directly on the client (e.g. 
with client side scripting languages or Java Applets). 
JavaServer Pages and Java Servlets have been introduced in detail in earlier chapters. In this 
section, Microsoft's ASP 3.0 and the announced ASP.NET will be introduced briefly, and then 
compared to Servlets and JSP. 
6.1.1  Microsoft Active Server Pages 3.0 
An Active Server Page combines HTML, scripting, and server side components in one file called 
Active Server Page. Supported scripting languages are VBScript and JavaScript (other scripting 
languages are supported through third parties). 
ASP provides the programmer with a few objects that can be accessed from the ASP page 
without explicit instantiation. The objects have application, session, or page scope, and are 
used to process client interactions and store any data that is required to manage these 
interactions. The available objects are listed below. 
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