"Life After ASP" Article On DevNet

Microsoft ASP is one of the most popular scripting languages out there, or rather, it was one of the most popular scripting languages out there. With the introduction of the Microsoft .NET platform, Microsoft is no longer developing ASP; it’s investing in ASP.NET instead. ASP.NET is an entirely new language with powerful new capabilities, but it is not ASP.
If you are an ASP user, or if you are finding yourself in a ColdFusion vs. ASP/ASP.NET debate, then my new “Life After ASP” article on Macromedia’s DevNet may be on interest to you. The URL is:

6 responses to “"Life After ASP" Article On DevNet”

  1. Nathan Strutz Avatar
    Nathan Strutz

    Good article Ben.
    One comment about it, I wish you would explain the differences between cfml and cfscript a bit better, and their relation to CF in general, basically how almost everything you can do in CFML, you can do in cfscript if you prefer, that sort of thing. I imagine ASP programmers would greatly benefit from it. (or did I skim too lightly on that paragraph?) It’s good though. Lots of good coding examples. I’ll recommend it to my ASP buddies.
    PS, page 6, asp example you use:
    Age: <% Request.Url("age") %>
    this should be
    Age: <% Request.QueryString("age") %>

  2. Nathan Strutz Avatar
    Nathan Strutz

    Correction, I forgot the = sign as well… 2 asp coding mistakes on one line, shame shame (waves finger)
    Age: <%= Request.QueryString("age") %>

  3. Felix Avatar

    It seems a bit disingenuous to present this article as a discussion of alternatives to classic ASP, when it’s clearly an advert for ColdFusion.

  4. Dennis Spaag Avatar
    Dennis Spaag

    Not disingenuous – it’s on Macromedia’s site under the ColdFusion section of the Developer Center. The top of the page says, ‘ColdFusion Article.’ For a contrast that does not address CFMX 6.1, cf. <a href="">this article on MSDN</a>.

  5. Bryan V. Avatar
    Bryan V.

    Let me first say that I have always wanted to thank you for the well written ColdFusion MX books that you wrote. I have read a great deal of programming books (desktop, web, scripting, etc.) in the last 5 years, and of them all, I found your two books on CFMX to be the most succinct, comprehensive, organized, and easy to understand books on any one subject that I’ve ever encountered. Thank you.
    That said, as a context for my comments, I have developed 3 CFMX web applications in the last year, and just recently completed 3 web applications using ASP.NET (previously had done some work in classic ASP). I read the article you posted on Macromedia and I have two comments.
    "In fact, ColdFusion developers are shielded from the application server internals far more than ASP.NET developers are, allowing them to concentrate on being productive within their own code. After all, whereas ColdFusion provides simple tag abstractions, ASP.NET requires that developers tinker with objects, and APIs at a much lower level (a lower level even than that of ASP)."
    Yes, CF is great in that it does "shield" developers from dealing with the underlying or low-level aspects of the application server. This is a good thing for Rapid Application Development (RAD), bad thing for [very] complex web applications. The ability to write HTTPHandlers (akin to the ISAPI filters in classic ASP days) gives a much greater power to ASP developers than CF.
    "However, ColdFusion Java guts are transparent to ColdFusion developers, they can (and do) leverage Java when they want to and can ignore it the rest of the time."
    Yes, but Java is an entirely different language! You can’t write Java applications in CFML; however, you can tap in to the power of the "low-level" (such a terrible adjective!) aspects of the application server in .NET with the same language that you use to write the individual pages themselves. That is the *power*. In order to really leverage the J2EE environment for a web application, you have to be a skilled Java programmer. Likewise, an ASP.NET developer is "shielded" from the inner workings of the application server and the framework. You don’t *have* to compile delve in to the ASP.NET pipeline, and you don’t have to write business components–but you can! And you can do it the same way you write any other page. Once you are familiar with the framework itself and know one language, you can do *anything*.
    "What all this means is that ASP developers can feel quickly at home in ColdFusion, probably more so than they do in ASP.NET."
    Yes, you are right. The bottom line is making the transition to ASP.NET from classic ASP is much more difficult than to CFML. The parallel’s between classic ASP and CF are much greater. The ease of ColdFusion is unbeatable. But, my own personal conclusion from this comparison wouldn’t be for ASP developers to necessarily choose CF (and trust me, I LOVE CF!), but rather to learn both. CF is great for quick and efficient websites, but I can’t imagine having to write a very complex web application using the language. ASP.NET’s power and flexibility allow for a great deal of possibilities that can’t be imagined for a CF developer unless they know Java.

  6. Craig Avatar

    I love ColdFusion, because for me, it’s easy to use and learn.
    Which of course is different than it being mastered.
    It really deplores me, when any one in the WebDev field feels a need to get the goat of others, by claiming what or what not their specific technology can do.
    Who really cares?
    My choice of technology is not based on a poll or opinions of others. It is based on my own experience and knowledge.
    I think honestly that object orientation is pure idiocy. Because real-world people don’t think object orientation, they think logically.
    I am at Point A, how do i get to Point B.
    Also this talk about seperating layers is also pure stupid.
    All of my jobs, i have in either for a dot-com or web shoppe, been doing all the coding myself, sure i may break things up into includes for readability and organizational use.
    But i do all the queries, and logic flow, and everything in the application itself.
    There are two real goals in web application development.
    (1) Thorough and Planned and Developed to the point where you don’t have to go back and fix any mistakes you made: Either in not understanding the true project goals or objects or in not executing correctly.
    (2) Deploy it in high scalible manner: Caching, Clean Logic Flow, No Redundent coding, Error-Proofing Your Code, Making sure that it can handle multiple requests.
    I am not immature to have some need to prove that Coldfusion is the best or that asp or .net are worse than ColdFusion.
    ColdFusion, ASP, .Net are all great tools, if coded and planned and executed well.
    Think about that above.

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