This book is about Active Server Pages 3.0, as included with Windows 2000. However, because ASP is now a core part of so many Web-oriented features within Windows, this book covers a far wider area than just how ASP works. ASP is maturing all the time to encompass more integration with other Windows services and software, and so there are many other areas that impinge directly on the use and performance of ASP. In particular this involves the Windows operating system itself, including the new security features of Windows 2000, and the Internet server software that comes with Windows 2000 - Internet Information Server (IIS). On top of this are the other less obvious services, which also have a direct or indirect effect on the way that ASP works. These include COM+, the various Internet service administration tools, and (indirectly) the many other services and installed software packages that either provide additional functionality to ASP, or which have interfaces that are available for use in ASP. So, as well as chapters all about the roots of ASP, the base object structure, and how it's used, you'll also see chapters that demonstrate the many different ways that ASP integrates seamlessly with other software and services in Windows. One of the most obvious of these is access to data in a relational database or other type of data store (such as Active Directory), and you'll see several chapters devoted to these topics. We'll also explore the intimate relationship between Internet Information Server and COM and the new COM+, and see how ASP has changed the way that it hosts and executes external components to provide better performance and scalability. This also affects the way that components are designed and built, and we'll be exploring this topic in some depth as well.
Author: Brian Francis