I have been asked all the time why I still use Classic ASP for my solutions and most of the time my question to them is “why not?”

In this article, I will address this formally.

Let me start by saying that I learned Forth, Assembler, Pascal, GWBasic, Quickbasic in my early days. The language that I keep going back to has been BASIC and its not difficult to see why. BASIC has been a simple language to understand and hence I find it easier as a tech to do codes that work more quickly than any other language.

My earliest innovations SMSXchange saw me writing codes to support PHP, .NET and Coldfusion. These days, Python has been touted as a programming language that has quickly gained popularity mostly I believe because it is being taught in schools. However for web development Python is not a language of choice.

Due to the proliferation of free OS such as Linux, and that it is easy to find linux hosting for cheap, PHP has remained the dominant language being used for web development on the server side, so much so that even the largest social network in the world was coded in PHP. Popular content management software such as Wordpress and Magenta have all been done in PHP.

However ASP , specifically classic ASP which Microsoft created as a competitor to PHP is no longer being promoted in the tech industry as It is believed that a simple language that can create almost any solution will not generate much revenue for Microsoft. However the popularity of PHP as a server side language shows that Object Oriented programming language and all its touted benefits has not caught on in a big way.

The advantages of ASP include

  • Simple to Understand Syntax
  • No Need to Declare Variables Implicitly
  • It is included in IIS which comes with any version of Windows
  • It can be coded in Notepad or a simple text editor without installing any frameworks and complex tools.
  • Wealth of Knowledge Base Online
  • No need to Install Linux or get a Mac 
  • Runs faster than .NET
  • Ease of Support 

The disadvantages of ASP

  • It is 32-bit 
  • Support for binary and Unicode is slightly tricky but still possible
  • It is no longer updated but still supported  
  • Limited to running on Windows machine
  • Is an Interpreted language

As you can see there simply isn't much disadvantage to ASP besides the fact that Microsoft has been scaring customers to think that it will be discontinued soon. Object oriented languages tend to produce bloatware and any bugs not related to your own codes are hard to identify and make your application stability tied to the vendor's prewritten objects.

As I have demonstrated many a times a ASP page runs faster than a compiled .NET code simply because its just a smaller and less complex Interpreter designed to run on hardware decently 20 years ago and on today's hardware the execution speed simply speeds through. In developing BPLedger, I did an impossible task of coding an online cloud accounting solution within 4 months while holding a 12 hour a day job coding only part-time at night. All this will have been impossible if not for the simplicity of Classic ASP as a development tool.

Also in my opinion, clients do not really care about the platform or language used unless they are developing products to impress investors which most of them do not even know why a particular platform is being used besides the usual case of saying "that's what the industry use".