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This is not a page on how to setup your computer to be able to write and serve ASP pages. There is plenty of documentation in the online help files produced by Microsoft. Nor is it an attempt to help you diagnose setup problems - the range of possible systems (hardware and software combinations) is too great to even begin to start.

Instead this is page that is designed to get you setup to write ASP pages. To be able to do this you need more than a webserver, you need to also download or bookmark the following resources. (all open in a new browser window)

Essential Downloads

  • Windows NT Option Pack - necessary for users of WindowsNT v4 (Server and Workstation) and Windows95. Installs IIS v4 (on NT) and PWS (on Win95).

  • Microsoft Data Access Components - ASP uses special components to be able to connect to databases and other data stores (eg Excel Spreadsheets). You'll be wanting to get the latest version of these. The actual download page is here.

  • VBScript & JScript Engines - Regardless of whether you want to write your pages in VBScript or JScript make sure you have the latest scripting engine (installing the lastest version of Internet Explorer will also update your computer's scripting engine)

Essential Offline Resources

  • VBScript Reference - This document in Windows Help File format will become your number 1 reference if you write in VBScript. It is also possible to access the VBScript reference online at

  • JScript Reference - This document in Windows Help File format will become your number 1 reference if you write in JScript. It is also possible to access the JScript reference online at

  • ADO Reference - If you want to use ADO (and who doesn't?) to access databases you need to get an ADO reference. There is an online reference in Microsoft's MSDN, but an offline reference is more useful since there is a huge amount to cover. The link takes you to the page where you download the Platform SDK setup program. Run the setup program and select all the ADO, ODBC and OLEDB options to download those parts. You may also wish to download the parts the deal with the database you wish to use. (Don't be put off by the Whistler Beta heading on the webpage, that doesn't mean anything). If you want to use the online resource at MSDN instead of downloading the Platform SDK you can find it here

Essential Online Resources - bookmark all of these!

  • Robert Chartier's Devlinks - This searchable page contains nearly 4000 (at 23/02/01) links to sites just about every conceivable technology that you'd use with ASP.

  • - Many, many email lists at this site. The link will take you to the main listing of all email lists. If you're just starting out you'll probably be interested in ASPFreeForAll list.

  • Wrox Press - Beginning ASP List - Many people learn ASP by using Wrox Press books, which provide arguably the best coverage of ASP (and related technologies). Wrox has a number of email lists devoted to supporting its books.

  • - ASP List - A busy but fairly advanced list. Probably the email list that I've found the most useful over time.

  • Microsoft KB Search - This will probably become your number 1 troubleshooting resource. Often typing in the error message and/or number that you are receiving and clicking on "search" will reveal an article addressing your very problem. Why wait 2 hours on an email list for someone to just give you a link to something you can find in 2 minutes!

  • Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) - The biggest online collection of documentation, resources and examples that you will find anywhere in the world.

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