Top Tips for Developing Components for ASP
The first thing Ill do will be to give you a little background on the topic of ASP and components. ASP seems to be coming into its own right now, and many people are starting to migrate to the Windows platform to support this new technology. One of its key advantages is that you can write components in a language such as VB and use them through ASP.
A typical component might interact with a SQL Server database handling information about customers or their orders. Whatever the task, it would appear that there are a wide variety of technologies available to help you out here.
For starters, Microsoft Transaction Server enables you to pool a small amount of resources that can be shared amongst many users. You can host a VB DLL within MTS, and share SQL Server connections as required.
Next, Internet Information Server, Microsofts free web server product allows you to run your DLLs out of the IIS process, meaning that you DLL can crash but not take down the whole web server as well. IIS 5 (in Windows 2000) now supports a multitude of component pooling and looks very handy.
OK so whats useful about a component? Well, it encapsulates all the code for a specific function into one part making bug fixing and updating much easier. You can host this DLL on another machine if necessary, using DCOM to communicate with it as well as hosting it in Microsoft Transaction Server. But the real benefits of using a component come about when writing it. Using a language we all know well, VB, in an excellent design environment makes things a lot easier.
Over the next few pages I will give you a stack of tips to help you develop, debug and test such components.
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