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Learning ASP Series – Installing Personal Web Server

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Welcome to the first chapter of your Basic ASP Learning Series.

I mostly communicate on a personal level, so it’s better we acquaint ourselves in the beginning. My name is Amrit Hallan and I’m a web developer. I work through my web site – http://www.bytesworth.com. I’m not a nerd (and don’t want to be) and most of my knowledge has come to me piecemeal through lots of hard work and interaction with my other developer friends. I don’ t think it’d be fair to say that I’m an authority on ASP but yes, I have a few satisfied clients in my portfolio and I know enough to get you started. By the time you are through with these daily chapters, you’ll have learnt enough to make a small shopping cart in ASP.

Most of the chapters will be organized in a linear fashion, so that you always have to work according to your previously acquired knowledge. Sometimes I’ll sound like writing the entire chapter in a bulleted form, but that’ll be just to keep the unnecessary (I mean that is out of the scope of this reference) stuff out.

I wish I could know your name too. But I don’t know how many people are going to read this. If you want to let me know that YOU are the one at the moment reading this, you are welcome to send me a friendly message at mailto:amrit@b… I love to hear from people (ok, the word “people” excludes Spammers – they are not people).

Enough of my warming up. Here we go with the first chapter.

Installing Personal Web Server

==> Beginning of Chapter One <==

If you want to work with ASP (Active Server Pages) on your personal computer, you need to install the Personal Web Server (PWS). As the name indicates, it's a server. Unlike the normal HTML pages, dynamic pages (either created with CGI, PHP, ASP or Cold Fusion) require some sort of a server to carry on their business. Without a server, you can create a dynamic page, but you cannot view it decently in the run-time mode.

Since I mostly work with the Active Server Pages using PWS, I'll tell you how to install the PWS.

It ships free with the Win98 CD, and should be in the add-ons folder.

From there, install the PWS on your computer. The installation program creates a folder, inetpub in the directly you specify during the installation. This inetpub, further has a folder, wwwroot. So if you install your PWS on your C drive, the wwwroot path should be

C:INETPUBWWWROOT

All the files that you create, you store under wwwroot. What we generally do is, we create separate folders for separate projects under the wwwroot folder. So if I created bytesworth folder in wwwroot folder, the full path should be

C:INETPUBWWWROOTBYTESWORTH

And when I have to view the page on my browser, I'll have to type

http://localhost/bytesworth">http://localhost/bytesworth

as the URL.

After you’ve installed the PWS, it’s icon appears on your desktop, and at the bottom right of your screen. Click or double-click on the icon. On the main window, you should see the message:

Web publishing is on. Your Home page is available at http://servername

The servername is the name you use instead of localhost. But if you are confused about this name game, just use localhost and it should always work if you haven’t been naughty and messing around with your computer’s basic setup.

Before you proceed further, open the Windows Explorer, go to c:inetpubwwwroot and create a new folder here by the name of “learnASP” (how boringly predictable! So you can name it something else). We’ll be storing ALL our files in this folder.

Hence, whenever we want to run a newly created file, we’d type in the location bar:

http://localhost/learnASP/newfile.asp and press Enter.

Ok, next, click on the Advanced tab. Select Enable Default Document

In the Default Document(s) box, type the list of file names you would like to use as your default file once the name of your site is type in the browser.

If you have no idea what’s the default file, it is the file that answers your call when you type a specific URL without a specific file. For instance, if I type http://www.bytesworth.com the file that actually gets loaded by default is DEFAULT.ASP. This depends on the setting. Some servers use INDEX.ASP or INDEX.HTML or INDEX.SHTML. It all depends on the file parsing set up on your web-hosting server.

Then click on the Edit Properties button, after selecting the Home folder. There are three select boxes, viz., “Read”, “Execute”, “Script”. Select all of them. The selections tell the server that we want to execute server side scripts in our ASP pages. ASP pages won’t run if the server can’t read and execute them.

Close the window, and your PWS is running. Of course do not run two servers simultaneously. So if you installed the Apache Web Server and left it running, and then loaded PWS, there is going to be some problem for you to sort out.

Amrit Hallan is a freelance copywriter,
and a website content writer. He also dabbles
with PHP and HTML. For more tips and tricks in
PHP, JavaScripting, XML, CSS designing and
HTML, visit his blog at

http://www.aboutwebdesigning.com

Learning ASP Series – Installing Personal Web Server
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About Amrit Hallan
Amrit Hallan is a freelance copywriter, and a website content writer. He also dabbles with PHP and HTML. For more tips and tricks in PHP, JavaScripting, XML, CSS designing and HTML, visit his blog at http://www.aboutwebdesigning.com WebProNews Writer
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