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Why use ASP,PHP,JSP,etc

What is the purpose of basing your site on a server technology such as
ASP, PHP, JSP, et al?

My company's web provider bases our two sites on ASP and JSP
respectively. One effect I notice is that it makes it almost impossible
for our own people to put content onto our sites directly.
Jul 24 '05 #1
28 6077
towlersimon wrote:
What is the purpose of basing your site on a server technology such as
ASP, PHP, JSP, et al?
Its rather difficult to process user input without such a technology.
My company's web provider bases our two sites on ASP and JSP
respectively. One effect I notice is that it makes it almost impossible
for our own people to put content onto our sites directly.


Then you need a better content management system and/or better written
server side scripts.

--
David Dorward <http://blog.dorward.me.uk/> <http://dorward.me.uk/>
Home is where the ~/.bashrc is
Jul 24 '05 #2
On Tue, 5 Apr 2005, towlersimon wrote:
What is the purpose of basing your site on a server technology such as
ASP, PHP, JSP, et al?
Erm, "42".
My company's web provider bases our two sites on ASP and JSP
respectively. One effect I notice is that it makes it almost
impossible for our own people to put content onto our sites
directly.


The key technique in solving a complex problem seems to me to be
partitioning the problem. You've given no indication yet of being
able to do it.

There's no Earthly reason why server-side processing should not be
able to access material provided by your "own people". But first you
probably need to define the requirement.
Jul 24 '05 #3
Databases...

Being able (from the users perspective) to enter in data, then come back a
week later and edit that data (and in some cases, see data others have
entered), no matter what you have cleared from your local system.

Being able to connect directly with information in another database on the
other side of the country... the world.

It's only 'impossible' because you are not familiar or comfortable with the
code that does the above. I work for state government, and have been in
contact with many people that just because someone loaded Front Page on
their computer, think they can do web development. Of these people, 90% of
them (in my case) should not be allowed access to a web server. I know that
sounds harsh, but it is true. There have been countless times that I have
had to bail someone out, and the trip to their office (across the street)
took longer than fixing the problem.

Find someone either inside, or outside your organization that *really*
understands web development, and cut the others loose.

--
SamMan
Rip it to reply
"towlersimon" <to*********@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:1gukgou.xsedi4r6gomkN%to*********@hotmail.com ...
What is the purpose of basing your site on a server technology such as
ASP, PHP, JSP, et al?

My company's web provider bases our two sites on ASP and JSP
respectively. One effect I notice is that it makes it almost impossible
for our own people to put content onto our sites directly.

Jul 24 '05 #4
"SamMan" <sa*@psfdevrip-it.com> wrote in message
news:im****************@tornado.rdc-kc.rr.com...
Databases...

snip...


Sorry for the top-post...

--
SamMan
Rip it to reply

Jul 24 '05 #5
towlersimon wrote:
What is the purpose of basing your site on a server technology such as
ASP, PHP, JSP, et al?

My company's web provider bases our two sites on ASP and JSP
respectively. One effect I notice is that it makes it almost impossible
for our own people to put content onto our sites directly.


it should actually make it easier to add/change/maintain content on your
site.
Jul 24 '05 #6
Alan J. Flavell <fl*****@ph.gla.ac.uk> wrote:
On Tue, 5 Apr 2005, towlersimon wrote:
What is the purpose of basing your site on a server technology such as
ASP, PHP, JSP, et al?


Erm, "42".
My company's web provider bases our two sites on ASP and JSP
respectively. One effect I notice is that it makes it almost
impossible for our own people to put content onto our sites
directly.


The key technique in solving a complex problem seems to me to be
partitioning the problem. You've given no indication yet of being
able to do it.

There's no Earthly reason why server-side processing should not be
able to access material provided by your "own people". But first you
probably need to define the requirement.


The initial problem I'm trying to overcome here is my own ignorance. I
don't know what the rationale for server technologies is.

My colleagues and I prepare home page and supplementary material and ask
our web provider to upload it to our sites. However, because the sites
use ASP and JSP we cannot make our own links using simple html hrefs. We
have to ask our web provider to add the links for us. This takes time
and we usually have to accept a compromise between the result we asked
for and the result we are actually given!

I have a real feeling that one of the reasons for imposing the tyranny
of a server technology on us is to lock us out of our own site!

However, since I don't know the underlying rationale for server
technologies in the first place, I can't even begin to approach solving
this problem.

I hope this is clearer!
Jul 24 '05 #7
SamMan <sa*@psfdevrip-it.com> wrote:
Databases...

Being able (from the users perspective) to enter in data, then come back a
week later and edit that data (and in some cases, see data others have
entered), no matter what you have cleared from your local system.

Being able to connect directly with information in another database on the
other side of the country... the world.

It's only 'impossible' because you are not familiar or comfortable with the
code that does the above. I work for state government, and have been in
contact with many people that just because someone loaded Front Page on
their computer, think they can do web development. Of these people, 90% of
them (in my case) should not be allowed access to a web server. I know that
sounds harsh, but it is true. There have been countless times that I have
had to bail someone out, and the trip to their office (across the street)
took longer than fixing the problem.

Find someone either inside, or outside your organization that *really*
understands web development, and cut the others loose.


We're a small company. The people we rely on to really understand web
development are our contracted web provider.

It's true, neither I nor my colleagues are familiar with ASP and JSP
code.

But, for example, if we need to make a simple link from a graphic on our
home page to a product page on our ASP based web site, shouldn't we be
able to do that using a simple URL?

What are the advantages of using a server technology?
Jul 24 '05 #8
Martin! <m.*******@gmail.komkommer> wrote:
towlersimon wrote:
What is the purpose of basing your site on a server technology such as
ASP, PHP, JSP, et al?

My company's web provider bases our two sites on ASP and JSP
respectively. One effect I notice is that it makes it almost impossible
for our own people to put content onto our sites directly.


it should actually make it easier to add/change/maintain content on your
site.


Okay, but how?

Imagine I'm somebody who doesn't know anything about web development.
How would you explain to me why my organization needs to use a server
technology as the basis of its shopping site?
Jul 24 '05 #9
towlersimon wrote:
Imagine I'm somebody who doesn't know anything about web development.
How would you explain to me why my organization needs to use a server
technology as the basis of its shopping site?


Think about it: if your shopping site's code was all client side, how
would you stop a malicious individual from changing the code which is
running on their computer so that it doesn't charge for the products
they're buying?
Jul 24 '05 #10
Gazing into my crystal ball I observed to*********@hotmail.com
(towlersimon) writing in news:1gukgou.xsedi4r6gomkN%
to*********@hotmail.com:
What is the purpose of basing your site on a server technology such as
ASP, PHP, JSP, et al?

My company's web provider bases our two sites on ASP and JSP
respectively. One effect I notice is that it makes it almost impossible
for our own people to put content onto our sites directly.


Let's take some examples:

1. Your website has products and picture of those products. The records
are stored in a database, and the server gets the records and writes the
HTML to the browser. If you have hundreds of products in different
categories, it's a lot easier for the server to do it than a person
sitting there typing every single product out.

2. Your website has a list of links and wants to keep track of when
someone has clicked on one of those links. The links are stored in a
database, and each time someone clicks on it, the counter is increased by
one. At the end of the month, a report could be generated showing how
many hits each link had.

If you cannot add/delete/modify these things, then you need to tell your
web provider that they need to create pages that allow you to do that.

--
Adrienne Boswell
http://www.cavalcade-of-coding.info
Please respond to the group so others can share
Jul 24 '05 #11
"towlersimon" <to*********@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:1gul2p2.14qv2473h0aoN%to*********@hotmail.com ...
SamMan <sa*@psfdevrip-it.com> wrote:
We're a small company. The people we rely on to really understand web
development are our contracted web provider.

It's true, neither I nor my colleagues are familiar with ASP and JSP
code.

But, for example, if we need to make a simple link from a graphic on our
home page to a product page on our ASP based web site, shouldn't we be
able to do that using a simple URL?

What are the advantages of using a server technology?


In theory, yes... it just depends on where you are taking the user. If
there will be some processing of information on the way to the target URL,
then the link may not look as simple as you'd like.

What ever you do, do not 'grab' your page from the web, do editing and then
upload to the server, this will erase all the server-side code and make your
developers very unhappy. Get all pages directly from the server.

Databases... (read my previous message)

E-mail processing... A user fills out a form. This information can then be
formatted in any number of ways that you simply can't do on the client side,
for instance, creating a .pdf file of that information.

Shopping / purchasing items... Others here have made good points on this..

--
SamMan
Rip it to reply

Jul 24 '05 #12
On Wed, 6 Apr 2005 06:22:59 +0100, to*********@hotmail.com
(towlersimon) wrote:
We're a small company. The people we rely on to really understand web
development are our contracted web provider.


So what does the contract say ? What did you engage these people to
do, are they doing it, and was it really what you should have asked
for?

If you have a contract to "Make everything work", then having a second
competing web team (i.e. you and your colleagues) just doesn't work.
You either need a contract that says you'll both be cooperating (this
is technically awkward), you'll have to get them to implement some
form of CMS, or you should simply back away and let them get on with
the work they were contracted to do.

Trying to work on a web site simultaneously with your main developers
does _NOT_ work. They already hate you - if they have sense, they have
enormous penalty clauses in the contract to stop you doing this, to
pay them for all work planned, and to allow them to walk away from the
whole mess. Clients that try to do this sort of interference are pure
evil and pretty much impossible to work with - web developers go to a
lot of trouble to avoid them.

Overall the CMS (Content Management System) is the best option. As a
business you _will_ need to change the content (i.e. what's on the
pages, not the HTML guff that makes it work) and the technical people
(which you're clearly not, and no reason why you should be) should be
left to get on with things. Querying their choice of platform isn't
helpful either.

Jul 24 '05 #13
In article <1g******************************@hotmail.com>,
to*********@hotmail.com enlightened us with...

Imagine I'm somebody who doesn't know anything about web development.
How would you explain to me why my organization needs to use a server
technology as the basis of its shopping site?
Because it can't be done without it (in some form or another). ;)
It's a little hard to process things without a server. It's also really,
really not wise to store things on the client, even when you can. Pretty much
anyone could modify it and get some really great deals if you did that!
(hey, everyone, look, computers for $1.00!! LOL)

Think of it like this:
You go to the grocery store. You want to buy some bread. You go to the
checkout counter. The person there scans your bread. Where is the price for
the bread stored?
....
On a server somewhere.
Same thing for a web shopping application.
Prices for things have to be stored somewhere. That somewhere is usually a
database. In order to talk to the database, you use a server-side scripting
language. You *could* theoretically do it from the client, but then if the
client felt like changing the price, they could. Not a good idea.
Not to mention payment processing. That's definitely never done on the
client. It can't be, actually. You need SSL, a gateway, a merchant account,
and so on. (assuming an actual payment processing app, not 3rd party like
paypal)

The problem is your host / provider, not the technology being used.
Any idiot can throw some code together. The hard part is actually making it
work well.

If you didn't provide good requirements documents to the people you're
complaining about, then the problem is yours. If you did and they didn't
follow them, the problem is theirs. If no requirements were sent, you might
want to either give them some or switch providers.
if we need to make a simple link from a graphic on our
home page to a product page on our ASP based web site, shouldn't we be
able to do that using a simple URL?


Yes.
If you can't, someone did some funky designing...
Although it may be a matter of something you aren't aware of, so you aren't
telling us. For example, a real estate site I work on has to have graphics
inserted into a database because the image rotator script looks there and
because different graphics go in different spots (according to the county
they advertize for).
I didn't design it that way -- I took over from what someone else did. But
the fact remains that in order to add another image, it needs to be inserted
(as a path, not a blob) into the database along with the URL it points to, an
alt text, which county it goes with, etc.

--
--
~kaeli~
If a chicken and a half can lay an egg and a half in a day
and a half, how long would it take for a monkey with a
wooden leg to kick the dill seeds out of a pickle?
http://www.ipwebdesign.net/wildAtHeart
http://www.ipwebdesign.net/kaelisSpace

Jul 24 '05 #14
towlersimon wrote:
Martin! <m.*******@gmail.komkommer> wrote:

towlersimon wrote:
What is the purpose of basing your site on a server technology such as
ASP, PHP, JSP, et al?

My company's web provider bases our two sites on ASP and JSP
respectively. One effect I notice is that it makes it almost impossible
for our own people to put content onto our sites directly.


it should actually make it easier to add/change/maintain content on your
site.

Okay, but how?

Imagine I'm somebody who doesn't know anything about web development.
How would you explain to me why my organization needs to use a server
technology as the basis of its shopping site?


Without programming, a "shopping site" would be like a mail-order sales
catalog without an order form or a phone number to call to place an
order. It can't just show you pretty pictures and descriptions. It has
to *do* something. That doesn't happen by magic, it happens through
programming. No programming, no order processing.
Jul 24 '05 #15
In article <1g*******************************@hotmail.com>,
to*********@hotmail.com (towlersimon) wrote:
My colleagues and I prepare home page and supplementary material and ask
our web provider to upload it to our sites. However, because the sites
use ASP and JSP we cannot make our own links using simple html hrefs. We
have to ask our web provider to add the links for us.


Server-side programming, when done right, does not have to force ".asp",
".php" or ".jsp" in URLs.

--
Henri Sivonen
hs******@iki.fi
http://hsivonen.iki.fi/
Mozilla Web Author FAQ: http://mozilla.org/docs/web-developer/faq.html
Jul 24 '05 #16
DM
towlersimon wrote:
Imagine I'm somebody who doesn't know anything about web development.
How would you explain to me why my organization needs to use a server
technology as the basis of its shopping site?


It would simply be impossible to have an acceptable shopping cart site without
some kind of server-side technology. That's why your organization needs to use a
server technology for the shopping cart. They aren't just doing it to make your
life difficult. There's no other reasonable way to do it.

As others have pointed out, the only way to do it without server-side code would
be totally unacceptable for business purposes.

However, that doesn't solve your problem of allowing nontechnical users to
update the site. If allowing such access is an actual requirement (meaning
management is willing to spend money to make it happen), then you should have
the contractor add that functionality to the site.
Jul 24 '05 #17
On Wed, 06 Apr 2005 21:00:45 +0300, Henri Sivonen <hs******@iki.fi>
wrote:
Server-side programming, when done right, does not have to force ".asp",
".php" or ".jsp" in URLs.


But the file extension isn't causing the problem.

Jul 24 '05 #18
Henri Sivonen <hs******@iki.fi> wrote:
In article <1g*******************************@hotmail.com>,
to*********@hotmail.com (towlersimon) wrote:
My colleagues and I prepare home page and supplementary material and ask
our web provider to upload it to our sites. However, because the sites
use ASP and JSP we cannot make our own links using simple html hrefs. We
have to ask our web provider to add the links for us.


Server-side programming, when done right, does not have to force ".asp",
".php" or ".jsp" in URLs.


Thanks, Henri. That's an invaluable nugget of information, and exactly
the sort of thing I was looking for.

I will put this to our provider.

---towlersimon.
Jul 24 '05 #19
Andy Dingley <di*****@codesmiths.com> wrote:
So what does the contract say ? What did you engage these people to
do, are they doing it, and was it really what you should have asked
for?

If you have a contract to "Make everything work", then having a second
competing web team (i.e. you and your colleagues) just doesn't work.
You either need a contract that says you'll both be cooperating (this
is technically awkward), you'll have to get them to implement some
form of CMS, or you should simply back away and let them get on with
the work they were contracted to do.

Trying to work on a web site simultaneously with your main developers
does _NOT_ work.
I have to confess to not having read the contract (it was in place
before I came to this company), but I do understand the established
relationship.

Our in-house graphics studio and our techies are not trying to get
involved in development and maintenance. They are simply trying to get
content included on the site.
Querying their choice of platform isn't
helpful


I'm not really querying their choice of platform. I'm agnostic re ASP vs
JSP vs PHP, etc. It's just that all the links in new content from our
studio have to be recoded for the server technology by our provider. How
do these server technologies work, exactly?

---towlersimon.
Jul 24 '05 #20
SamMan <sa*@psfdevrip-it.com> wrote:
In theory, yes... it just depends on where you are taking the user. If
there will be some processing of information on the way to the target URL,
then the link may not look as simple as you'd like.

What ever you do, do not 'grab' your page from the web, do editing and then
upload to the server, this will erase all the server-side code and make your
developers very unhappy. Get all pages directly from the server.

A typical need for us is to be able to adverise a product on the home
page, and have a link from the ad to the sell page for the product.
Simple, you would think?

We don't have any direct access to the server. All changes are made by
passing instructions by email and telephone to our provider. We do study
html source from the site in order to prepare our new content, though.

---towlersimon.
Jul 24 '05 #21
kaeli <ti******@NOSPAM.comcast.net> wrote:
if we need to make a simple link from a graphic on our
home page to a product page on our ASP based web site, shouldn't we be
able to do that using a simple URL?


Yes.
If you can't, someone did some funky designing...


Thankyou!

---towlersimon.
Jul 24 '05 #22
In article <jn********************************@4ax.com>,
Andy Dingley <di*****@codesmiths.com> wrote:
On Wed, 06 Apr 2005 21:00:45 +0300, Henri Sivonen <hs******@iki.fi>
wrote:
Server-side programming, when done right, does not have to force ".asp",
".php" or ".jsp" in URLs.


But the file extension isn't causing the problem.


Depends on what the exact problem is. If the content provider makes
foo.html that links to bar.html and the site manager renames them to
foo.php and bar.php, then it is the extension change breaking the link.
Perhaps I missed something in the thread.

Anyway, using PATH_INFO or mod_rewrite the URL structure can look nice
and non-crufty even when server-side programming is used.

--
Henri Sivonen
hs******@iki.fi
http://hsivonen.iki.fi/
Mozilla Web Author FAQ: http://mozilla.org/docs/web-developer/faq.html
Jul 24 '05 #23
"towlersimon" <to*********@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:1gumucm.107iiqa1pd9r0iN%to*********@hotmail.c om...


A typical need for us is to be able to adverise a product on the home
page, and have a link from the ad to the sell page for the product.
Simple, you would think?

We don't have any direct access to the server. All changes are made by
passing instructions by email and telephone to our provider. We do study
html source from the site in order to prepare our new content, though.

---towlersimon.


If the site is static, then yes it would be simple. If a site is dynamic
(database driven as in your case), then the link becomes less simple.

Let's say that product A's information (including images) is stored in a
database. The page that will display the information is a 'blank', or
'template' page that will accept information about any product. The database
needs to be queried to put the information into the template page. This
information could come from several tables within the database. As you can
see, it is not as simple as linking to 'product_A.html', as there really is
no such page.

The source code that you are looking at is different from what is actually
on the server. The server-side code is executed, or rendered, and then
'given' to the browser in HTML (a very simplistic explanation of the
process). There could be a good deal of actual programming code in the page
that you will never see once it gets to your browser. Although developers
should strive to separate the programming from the HTML (separate the model
from the view), it is very hard (if not impossible) to do this completely.

HTH

--
SamMan
Rip it to reply

Jul 24 '05 #24
On Thu, 07 Apr 2005 10:06:56 +0300, Henri Sivonen <hs******@iki.fi>
wrote:
Depends on what the exact problem is.


I read the problem as this:

There is a page "foo.asp", authored by the techies

The content authors make a new page "bar.htm". They wish to (and can)
link this to foo.asp. They _can't_ change foo.asp to give a link to
bar.htm, because they're not in a position to change the existing .asp
files.

Jul 24 '05 #25
In article <N7*****************@tornado.rdc-kc.rr.com>, sa*@psfdevrip-it.com
enlightened us with...

Let's say that product A's information (including images) is stored in a
database. The page that will display the information is a 'blank', or
'template' page that will accept information about any product. The database
needs to be queried to put the information into the template page. This
information could come from several tables within the database. As you can
see, it is not as simple as linking to 'product_A.html', as there really is
no such page.


If the designers coded properly, you could still link it. The link would just
be more unwieldy.
i.e.

<a href="someProductPage.jsp?prodId=34&view=detail&co lor=blue">
or some such.

If the designer can link to it, the OP certainly should be able to, provided
(s)he (?) knew the parameters to pass as appropriate. Which I think is the
real issue. The OP *doesn't* know the right parameters to pass in GET.

--
--
~kaeli~
Quantum Express: When you absolutely, positively, don't
know where it's going or when it needs to be there.
http://www.ipwebdesign.net/wildAtHeart
http://www.ipwebdesign.net/kaelisSpace

Jul 24 '05 #26
kaeli wrote:
If the designers coded properly, you could still link it. The link would just
be more unwieldy.
i.e.

<a href="someProductPage.jsp?prodId=34&view=detail&co lor=blue">
or some such.


And with a well-designed script, it would be much simpler than that:

<a href="products/32/blue">
Jul 24 '05 #27
kaeli wrote:
In article <N7*****************@tornado.rdc-kc.rr.com>, sa*@psfdevrip-it.com
enlightened us with...
Let's say that product A's information (including images) is stored in a
database. The page that will display the information is a 'blank', or
'template' page that will accept information about any product. The database
needs to be queried to put the information into the template page. This
information could come from several tables within the database. As you can
see, it is not as simple as linking to 'product_A.html', as there really is
no such page.

If the designers coded properly, you could still link it. The link would just
be more unwieldy.
i.e.

<a href="someProductPage.jsp?prodId=34&view=detail&co lor=blue">
or some such.

If the designer can link to it, the OP certainly should be able to, provided
(s)he (?) knew the parameters to pass as appropriate. Which I think is the
real issue. The OP *doesn't* know the right parameters to pass in GET.


Exactly, & studying the served html, while of some use, isn't going to
answer as many questions as having read access to the original script.

There are two solutions that come to mind:

i) learn a little about the scripting language the providers use /&/
require they at least give you read access to the scripts.

ii) find a provider who is competent & capable of communication - so
that they can explain the url structure you require to access a
particular page.

--
Michael
m r o z a t u k g a t e w a y d o t n e t
Jul 24 '05 #28
On Wed, 06 Apr 2005 21:00:45 +0300, Henri Sivonen <hs******@iki.fi>
wrote:
In article <1g*******************************@hotmail.com>,
to*********@hotmail.com (towlersimon) wrote:
My colleagues and I prepare home page and supplementary material and ask
our web provider to upload it to our sites. However, because the sites
use ASP and JSP we cannot make our own links using simple html hrefs. We
have to ask our web provider to add the links for us.


Server-side programming, when done right, does not have to force ".asp",
".php" or ".jsp" in URLs.


And this is an answer to a different question than was originally
posed.
Jul 24 '05 #29

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