ASP Hosting – Why Do People Still Use Classic ASP?

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Did you notice that many people are still using ASP? This is somewhat strange due to the popularity of.NET. Why are they still using the classic instead of the new and powerful ASP.NET? First of all,.NET has XML-based components, better language support and user authentication, and a huge set of new controls. It can also increase performance by running code that is already compiled. However,.NET code is not backward compatible with ASP code, making transitions somewhat time consuming.

Classic, unlike ASP.NET, is running under the IIS process space, otherwise knows as inetinfo.exe. It is prone to crashes and can also force the IIS to be restarted..NET has the entry point in the IIS, the process itself is separate from it. Classic does not know how to operate on non-Microsoft platforms (for example on the Apache server) whereas.NET is fully capable of doing so. Classic only supports JavaScript and VBScript as scripting languages while ASP.NET can work with all.NET languages. Classic ASP has limited support for debugging, making it a tough job while its competitor not only improves the performance of debugging, but also adds debugging tools for developers.

In ASP, if you have a script block that is marked as “runat=server” and this block contains a function, you are allowed to include executable code outside the scope of the function. ASP.NET does not allow this and instead uses the code-behind technique. There are a lot of pros and cons to this technique. Another strong side of classic ASP is the threading model. The threading model is Single Threaded Apartment (STA) and the older one’s worker thread is contained in its own STA. This ensures compatibility and also increases performance. ASP.NET uses the MTA (Multiple Threaded Apartment) which forces developers to take extra precautions.

So why do people still use ASP instead of the more powerful.NET? Well, one cause would be the knowledge. You need a lot more basic knowledge to work in.NET than you need in classic ASP. Even low level things seem hard to do in.NET. There are a lot of things you should learn and you should have a lot of free time if you truly want to master.NET. Many people recommend classic to average users because they don’t need any of the new features and the performance is almost the same. There are also a lot of applications, tips and tricks, and tutorials available for classic ASP. Only large corporations truly have to work with ASP.NET to gain scalability in their technology.

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