E-training diary: week three

It's week three of the four-week e-commerce training course provided as a prize to one of our readers by People Energy Training....

It's week three of the four-week e-commerce training course provided as a prize to one of our readers by People Energy Training. This week, Jonathan Steel, gets to grips with Active Server Pages and related scripting languages.


Continuing in the same vein as last week, on Monday there was an introduction to the week's course contents. The main focus was to be on Active Server Pages and related scripting languages.

Our first lecture of the week was a gentle introduction into the syntax and grammar of what constitutes an ASP page. It is not really different from sections of an HTML (HyperText Markup Language) page but it does allow for each individual page to be built up using, in my case, three reusable ASP pages, which would be standard for every page on my site.


The focus of the lecture in the morning was how to include Visual Basic (VB)script either in a standard HTML page or in an ASP page. This was relatively straightforward. As luck would have it, or not, we had learnt the syntax, structure and form in the first week on the VB course. The afternoon was once again set aside for putting into practice what we had learnt in the morning session.

It became obvious that the simple premise of building a Web page from a set number of standard components was both very productive and less fiddly than would otherwise have been the case coding the page in the standard way.


As normal the morning was set aside for lectures and the focus today was on ADO (ActiveX Data Objects) and ActiveX components that could be included on the server side ASP pages. By the afternoon, fellow student Vernon and myself had our Web site accessing a database, which allowed us to dynamically create Web pages on the fly, showing the stock of our imaginary grocery store. This included pictures, descriptions, prices, and other information.


The class in the morning took us through the differences between VB script and Javascript. The focus particularly on when you should use each. For example, the Netscape browser is not geared to handle VB script processing on the client side. So, effectively, for client side functionality Javascript is the main player.


The formal lecture this morning took the form of talking through sample snippets of code which allow you to create, write and access cookies. This was to form the basis of adding a shopping basket to our imaginary grocery store. Again the afternoon was spent applying that functionality to our sites.

Read more on Business applications