ASP is an acronym with multiple meanings.
ASP (Application Service Provider)
The application service provider is an enterprise that offers application services over the internet or network. The application is not installed on the user’s computer but is accessed remotely. The application services offered can include IT outsourcing and web hosting. The services are offered through usage-based or rental pricing models. For example, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) is a type of application service provider.
There are different types of application service providers including local/regional, enterprise-level, single application specialists, or vertical markets that specialize in a single industry.
The benefit of using an application service provider is that companies don’t have to own the software to use it. This is particularly useful for small and medium-sized businesses that can have limited IT budgets. Apart from reduced capital infrastructure, this also helps reduce or eliminate the need for hardware maintenance and makes application updates easier.
ASP (Active Server Pages)
Active Service Pages was Microsoft’s first server-side script engine. It was released in December 1996 and was later replaced by ASP.NET in January 2002. Active Service Pages offered a powerful application to create dynamic websites that combined Microsoft ActiveX technologies and HTML. The Microsoft ActiveX technologies included applications such as Microsoft JScript and Microsoft Visual Basic Scripting.
Although ASP.NET has replaced Active Service Pages, they have completely different implementations. ASP.NET uses the .NET framework, while the Active Server Pages was an interpreted language. However, Active Service Papes was replaced because of its limitations in data structures and not being able to call Windows API functions.
ASP (Association of Shareware Professionals)
The Association of Shareware Professionals was formed in 1987. It is a professional trade association of software developers. The name of the association has been changed to Association of Software Professionals. The association was formed with the goal of the advancement of shareware, which refers to software that is free of charge, after which a fee might be charged for continued use. This try-before-you-buy marketing model is an alternative to the typical retail software. The Association of Software Professionals was the pioneer for this marketing method in the industry.
The Association of Software Professionals has hundreds of members around the globe. Members get the benefit of access to the experience, skills, and knowledge of hundreds of software vendors and developers. The association offers 24/7 discussion groups where the members can help each other. They also get access to the monthly newsletter, marketing articles, and discounts on developers’ tools and services.