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General Glossary

This glossary defines general terms you might encounter when administering Sun ONE ASP and developing ASP applications.


Absolute path name

In a computer operating system, a path is the route through a file system to a particular file. A path name (or pathname in Windows) is the specification of that path, including the name of the file. An absolute path name (or fully qualified path name) specifies the complete path name. A relative path name specifies a path relative to the directory to which the operating system is currently set.

Each operating system has its own format for specifying a path name. The DOS, Windows, and OS/2 operating systems use this format:

Drive_letter:\directoryname\subdirectoryname\file name.suffix

UNIX-based systems use this format:


In UNIX, the storage drive location is not an explicit part of the path name.

Active Server component

An Active Server component runs on the server side as part of an ASP application. Active Server components are activated through ASP (Active Server Pages), but do not require a Windows interface.


ActiveX is a set of technologies built on the COM (Component Object Model) that enable software components, regardless of the language in which they were developed, to work together in a networked environment. Although ActiveX technologies are used primarily to develop interactive Web content, they also can be used in desktop applications and other programs.

ActiveX controls

ActiveX controls are reusable, stand-alone software components that often expose a subset of the total functionality of a product or application. They were formerly referred to as OLE controls or OCX. ActiveX controls cannot run stand-alone. They must be loaded into a control container, such as Visual Basic or Internet Explorer. An ActiveX control can also be embedded in a Visual C++ resource.

ActiveX scripting

ActiveX scripting controls the integrated behavior of ActiveX controls and/or Java applets from the server or the browser. To enable server-side scripting, such as with ASP, ActiveX scripting requires that the appropriate interpreter for the scripting language be installed on the server. Sun ONE Active Server Pages includes script interpreters for both VBScript and JScript. These interpreters are Sun ONE ASP VBScript and Sun ONE ASP JavaScript, which provide functionality equivalent to version 5.5 of Microsoft VBScript and JScript.

Administration Console

The Sun ONE ASP Administration Console is a browser-based application used for managing Sun ONE ASP. It enables administrators to configure and control the Sun ONE ASP Server and its bindings to Web servers and database servers from a Web browser, either locally or remotely. Most configuration settings are accessible from the Administration Console. Whenever possible, you should use the Administration Console for product configuration.

The Administration Console is hosted by the Administration Web site, which is installed on the computer running the ASP Server. The Administration Web site consists of its own Apache Web Server and its own ASP Server. By default, the Administration Web site is configured to start when you start the computer running Sun ONE ASP.

See Using the Administration Console.

ADO (ActiveX Data Objects)

ADO is a high-level interface that Microsoft developed for data objects. ADO can be used to access many different types of data, including Web pages, spreadsheets, and other types of documents. Within ASP, ADO is most commonly used in conjunction with ODBC drivers to connect to databases and other data sources available through ODBC drivers. Sun ONE Active Server Pages includes its own implementation of ADO, which supports all of the commonly used functionality found in Microsoft ADO 2.0 and some of the popular functionality found in Microsoft ADO 2.5. The implementation of ADO used with Sun ONE ASP is called ADODB.

See ADO Component Reference.

Apache Web Server

Apache Web Server is a Web server that is developed and maintained through an open-source project. For the list of Apache Web Server versions supported in Sun ONE ASP, see Supported in This Release.

Application object

The Application object is one of the built-in objects included in Sun ONE Active Server Pages. The Application object stores variables and objects that are available to scripts running within the scope of an ASP application. A simple example of how you can use this object would be to store a counter that tracks the number of users (and thus sessions) currently active for a given ASP application.

See ASP Application Object.

Application server

An application server is a program that handles all Web application operations between Web browsers and back-end business or database servers. Because many databases cannot interpret commands written in HTML, the application server works as a translator by retrieving data from databases and using business logic encapsulated in code to output dynamically generated HTML code. The Sun ONE ASP Server is an application server that enables you to use ASP (Active Server Pages) specification to execute database queries, execute business logic, and generate the presentation layer for Web applications.


In object-oriented programming, an argument is a value passed from one function to another. Methods can take one or more arguments, or none at all. Arguments can be optional, in which case you do not need to enter anything for an argument. If an argument is optional, all arguments following it are also optional.

ASP (Active Server Pages)

ASP is a specification for a dynamically created Web page having an .asp extension. ASP technology provides an open, compile-free application environment in which Web developers can combine HTML, scripts, and reusable Active Server components. A Sun ONE Active Server Pages page uses VBScript or JScript code to access the ASP object model, which exposes functionality that is often used in Web application environments. When a browser requests an ASP page, the Web server passes execution to the Sun ONE ASP Server, which processes the scripts, generates an HTML page, and sends it back to the browser.

ASPError object

The ASPError object is one of the built-in objects included in Sun ONE Active Server Pages. The ASPError object reports error information, and can be used to obtain information about an error condition that has occurred in script in an ASP page.

See ASPError Object.

ASP application

An ASP application is a set of Active Server Pages files contained within a single root directory. For the Sun ONE ASP Server to recognize an ASP application, the root directory must be defined as an application on the ASP Server or as a virtual directory on the Web server. The files within the root directory of an ASP application share the same global.asa file, which must be contained in the root directory itself, rather than in a subdirectory under the root. All variables and objects for an ASP application are scoped from the root directory.

ASP component

An ASP component is designed to run on a Web server as part of an ASP application. ASP components provide key functionality needed for Web applications, such as database access, so that developers do not need to create and re-create the code to perform these tasks. ASP components do not require browser-scripting ability, so they are useful for implementing tasks that are difficult to accomplish with browser scripting.

ASP engine

The Sun ONE ASP Server uses an ASP engine to execute ASP scripts. A single ASP engine executes as many threads as are specified in the Sun ONE ASP Administration Console.

ASP page

The first step in building an ASP application is creating an ASP page. An ASP page is simply a plain text file with the .asp file name extension.

An ASP page contains optional text (usually HTML and/or client-side scripts), interspersed with one or more script blocks. To create an ASP page, you insert script commands into an HTML page. With Sun ONE Active Server Pages, you can write scripts in VBScript or JScript. Any valid HTML page can be a valid ASP page, enabling Web developers to easily transform a static Web site into a dynamic one by adding ASP scripts to existing documents. Saving the page with an .asp file name extension tells the Web server how to process the script commands.

See Building Sun ONE ASP Applications.

ASP script

An ASP script is a server-side script that is included on an ASP (Active Server Pages) page. With Sun ONE Active Server Pages, scripts can be written in either VBScript or JScript.

ASP Server

When a browser requests an ASP page, the Web server passes execution to the Sun ONE ASP Server, which processes the HTML code and ASP scripts on the page, generates an HTML page, and sends the page back to the browser.

ASP session

An ASP session is created by using the Sun ONE Active Server Pages built-in Session object, which uses ASP technology to share information about a user between Web pages. As the user navigates between the pages of a site, information about the user is maintained through a cookie.


Built-in objects

Sun ONE Active Server Pages includes built-in or intrinsic objects that handle many common programming tasks. The objects are Application, ASPError, Request, Response, Server, and Session. These objects enable you to avoid much of the overhead associated with complex Web programming, so you can focus on creating interesting, interactive Web content rather than on low-level programming. Built-in objects are included on all ASP pages, and do not need to be created before they can be used.

See ASP Built-in Objects Reference.



C++ is a high-level, object-oriented version of the C programming language. C++ is one of the most popular programming languages for graphical applications that run on systems that have graphical user interfaces.

CAB (cabinet)

CAB is a technology for compression and distribution of files. When used for Java applets, the CAB file serves as a single, compressed repository for all .class files and all audio and image data required by the applet. Only the CAB file is downloaded, so the time of download is the time it takes to negotiate the transfer and download the compressed bytes. Once downloaded, the contents of the CAB file are extracted and installed.


CASP is a commonly used abbreviation for Sun ONE Active Server Pages, formerly known as Chili!Soft ASP (thus the "CASP" abbreviation). CASP is used for the default installation directory name, and for several virtual directories installed by the Sun ONE ASP setup program.

CGI (Common Gateway Interface)

CGI is a server-side interface for initiating software services. Software that handles input and output in accordance with the CGI standard is considered a CGI application. For example, when a user submits a form through a Web browser, the server executes an application, known as a CGI script, and passes the user's input information to that application by using CGI. The application then returns information to the server by using CGI. Active Server Pages technology is a high-performance alternative to CGI.


Sun ONE ASP Chili!Beans enables access to Java classes (including JavaBeans and Enterprise JavaBeans) from the ASP environment by wrapping Java classes in a COM layer. This enables Java objects to be used by COM controllers, such as ActiveX scripting engines like VBScript. The Chili!Beans ActiveX control is included in Sun ONE Active Server Pages, and is designed to work with Java virtual machine (JVM) versions 1.4 or greater.

See Chili!Beans Component Reference.

CIFS (Common Internet File System)

CIFS is an open, cross-platform technology that defines a standard remote file system access protocol for use over the Internet. CIFS enables groups of users to work together and share documents across the Internet or within their corporate intranets regardless of their computer or operating system platform. CIFS runs over TCP/IP and uses the Internet's global DNS (Domain Naming Service) for scalability. It is specifically optimized to support slower speed dial-up connections common on the Internet.

Client-side script

A client-side script is part of an HTML document that is downloaded to the user's browser. The browser interprets and executes the script on the client computer. Benefits of client-side scripting include increased speed, and the ability to make a page act more like a real application by connecting embedded components and responding to events. Client-side scripting can also be used in applications that are not Web-based, but which use Dynamic HTML. Examples of client-side scripting languages include VBScript, JScript, and ECMAScript. Unlike server-side scripting, client-side scripting requires no special implementation on the Web server, but it does require the appropriate support on the client browser. Sun ONE Active Server Pages applications involve server-side scripts and can also include client-side scripts.

Code page

A code page is a character set that a computer uses to interpret and display data properly. Code pages usually correspond to different platforms and languages and are important in international applications. Your system administrator can use the Sun ONE Active Server Pages Administration Console to set the correct code page and LCID for a given language.

See Configuring International Support.

COM (Component Object Model)

COM is a model for binary code developed by Microsoft that enables programmers to develop objects that can be accessed by any COM-compliant application. Both OLE and ActiveX are based on COM. In COM, client software accesses an object through a pointer to an interface, or a related set of functions called methods, on the object. Sun ONE Active Server Pages supports COM components on Windows. On UNIX and Linux, components based on Java(TM) technology are required (JavaBeans[TM]).


A component is an object that encapsulates both data and code, and provides a well-specified set of publicly available services. Components encapsulate the business logic in your ASP applications. You can create your own components, or buy them "off the shelf." Once you have a component, you can reuse it wherever it’s needed.

See Using Custom Server Components and Chili!Beans Component Reference.

Connection pooling

To improve server performance, you can configure the Sun ONE ASP Server to share open database connections among multiple users who are accessing the Web application. This is called database connection pooling. With connection pooling, rather than opening and closing a database connection for each individual request, the ASP Server uses a connection that is already open.

Connection string

A connection string defines the source of data for an external database. On a Sun ONE ASP page, a connection string must include values for all required parameters for the database, or one of the following:


A cookie is a file of encoded information, stored on a user's computer, which identifies the user's computer during current and subsequent visits to a Web site.

CORBA (Common Object Request Broker Architecture)

CORBA enables pieces of applications, called objects, to communicate with one another, regardless of which programming language they were written in or on which operating system they're running. CORBA objects can be accessed by using Sun ONE ASP’s COM-to-Java bridge.


Database server

A database server exclusively serves database connections.

Data connection

A data connection is a collection of information required to access a specific database. This information includes a DSN (data source name) and logon information. For example, a data connection for a MySQL database consists of the name of the database, the location of the server on which it resides, network information used to access that server, a user ID, and a password.

See Configuring a Database.


IBM DB2 is a relational database management system for large business computers. DB2 products are offered for UNIX-based systems and personal-computer operating systems. DB2 databases can be accessed from any application program by using ADO and the ODBC interface, the JDBC interface, or a CORBA interface broker. Sun ONE Active Server Pages includes an ODBC driver for connecting to DB2.


dBASE is a database management system. Sun ONE Active Server Pages includes an ODBC driver for connecting to dBASE 5.

Dedicated hosting

Dedicated hosting refers to the practice of dedicating the resources of an entire server or group of servers to a specific Web site. This helps to maintain the performance of high-traffic, high-volume Web sites because server resources are not shared with other Web sites.

Design-time control

Design-time controls are visual design components written in ActiveX that help developers construct dynamic Web applications by automatically generating standard HTML and/or scripting code at design time, instead of at run time. Design-time controls found in the many development tools that Sun ONE ASP supports generate code that is compatible with Sun ONE ASP. These tools include Adobe GoLive, Macromedia UltraDev, and others.

DLL (dynamic-link library)

A DLL is a code file containing functions that can be called from other executable code (either an application or another DLL). Programmers use DLLs to reuse code and parcel out distinct jobs. Unlike an executable (EXE) file, a DLL cannot be directly run. DLLs must be called from other code that is already executing. DLLs and EXEs apply only to Windows environments. In UNIX environments, the Sun ONE ASP engine and all components run on a Windows emulation layer. The equivalent of a DLL on these emulation layers are files having an *.so (Shared Object) file name extension.

DOM (Document Object Model)

DOM is a programming interface specification of the W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) that enables programmers to create and modify HTML pages and XML documents as full-fledged program objects. Currently, HTML and XML can be used to express a document in terms of a data structure. By defining documents as program objects, their contents and data can be "hidden" within the object, helping to ensure control over who can manipulate the document. As objects, documents can carry with them the object-oriented procedures called methods. DOM is a strategic and open effort to specify how to provide programming control over documents. It was inspired in part by the advent of the new HTML capabilities generally called dynamic HTML, and as a way to encourage consistent browser behavior with Web pages and their elements.

DSN (data source name)

DSN refers to a collection of information required to connect an ASP application to a particular ODBC-compliant database. The ODBC Manager uses this information to create the database connection. Sun ONE Active Server Pages supports two types of DSNs: system DSNs and file DSNs.

See Configuring Data Source Names (DSNs) and Connecting to a Database.

DSN-less connection string

A DSN-less connection string is a connection string that includes all of the information needed for connecting to a data source, rather than incorporating the information by reference to a system DSN or a file DSN. DSN-less connection strings enable you to move the ASP application from one server to another without recreating a system DSN on the new server. File DSNs provide this advantage as well. Note that when migrating ASP applications from one environment to another, such as from Windows to UNIX or Linux, you must make changes to your connection strings for them to work in the new environment.

See Creating Connection Strings.

DSO (Dynamic Shared Object)

Sun ONE Active Server Pages communicates with Apache Web Server through an object module. In the DSO version, Apache Web Server object module entries are loaded on an as-needed basis. Sun ONE ASP 4.0 does not support non-DSO versions of Apache Web Server.


ECMAScript (European Computer Manufacturers Association Script)

ECMAScript is a scripting language based on JavaScript that meets the ECMA-262 standard. ECMA, like other scripting languages, enriches and enlivens Web pages, but is the only scripting language on the Web based on a standard. The ECMA-262 specification outlines an object-oriented programming language that performs computations and manipulates objects within a host environment, such as the browser.

EJB (Enterprise JavaBeans)

Enterprise JavaBeans(TM) is an architecture for setting up program components written in the Java programming language that run in the server parts of a computer network running under the client/server model. Sun ONE Active Server Pages enables ASP applications to access EJB through Sun ONE ASP’s COM-to-Java bridge.

EJB is built on the JavaBeans technology for distributing program components (called beans) to clients in a network. With EJB, enterprises can control changes at the server, instead of having to update each individual client whenever a new program component is changed or added. EJB components are reusable in multiple applications. To deploy an EJB or component, it must be part of a specific application, called a container.

Originated by Sun Microsystems, EJB is roughly equivalent to the Microsoft Component Object Model/Distributed Component Object Model architecture. However, like all Java-based architectures, EJB-based applications can be deployed across all major operating systems, not just Windows. EJB program components are generally known as servlets (little server programs). The application or container that runs the servlets is sometimes called an application server. A typical use of servlets is to replace Web programs that use CGI (Common Gateway Interface) and a Perl script. Another general use is providing an interface between Web users and a legacy mainframe application and its database.

With EJB, there are two types of beans: session beans and entity beans. An entity bean is one that, unlike a session bean, has persistence and can retain its original behavior or state.


In application programming, an event is a notification that occurs in response to some action. It can be a change in state; the result of the user clicking or moving the mouse or pressing a keyboard key; or other actions that are focus-related, element-specific, or object-specific. Programmers write code that responds to these actions. In Web development, HTML events are triggered and handled by code that is executed in the browser, and thus don’t generally apply to ASP. Strictly speaking, only events that require a round-trip back to the Web server involve ASP code.


In application programming, expression is any combination of operators, constants, literal values, functions, names of columns, controls, and properties that result in a single value.


File DSN (data source name)

File DSN refers to a collection of information, in the form of parameters and their values, required for connecting an ASP application to a particular database. The information is contained within a file having a *.dsn file name extension. Developers can incorporate the database information into a connection string by referring to the file DSN rather than having to specify the values for each required parameter. A file DSN can be shared among several users. Sun ONE ASP also supports system DSNs.

See Configuring Data Source Names (DSNs) and Connecting to a Database.

FileSystemObject object

In ASP applications, the FileSystemObject object provides access to a computer's file system. The object can perform simple functions such as opening and closing files. Various methods can be applied to the FileSystemObject object to affect the organization and properties of a file system.

File upload

File upload refers to the transmission of a file from one computer system to another. To upload is to send a file to another computer, and to download is to receive a file.

FrontPage Server Extensions

Sun ONE Active Server Pages supports but does not install Microsoft FrontPage Server Extensions. FrontPage Server Extensions are a set of server-side applications (i.e., CGI programs) that enable you to publish Web pages and applications to UNIX- or Linux-based Web servers, or to Windows NT- and Windows 2000-based computers running a Web server other than IIS.

Sun ONE ASP enables you to run ASP pages generated by Microsoft FrontPage. Specific questions about the installation, configuration, and use of FrontPage and FrontPage Server Extensions should be directed to Microsoft or its representatives.


In application programming, a function is the general term used for a bit of code that performs a specific, limited task. Functions (also known as subroutines) enable the programmer to divide complex tasks into smaller, more manageable pieces. Problems can be isolated more readily because each subroutine or function can be tested separately.



Global.asa is a file that contains information that is global to a specific ASP application. The file is read and its application and session variables are initialized before the first ASP page in a given ASP application is read. Global.asa enables developers to specify event procedures and declare objects that have session or application scope.

See Using the Global.asa File.



A hostname is the valid DNS (Domain Naming Service) name for a Web server.

HTML (Hypertext Markup Language)

HTML is the set of markup symbols or codes inserted in a file intended for display on a Web page. The markup tells the Web browser how to display text and images. Each individual markup code is referred to as an element or tag. Some elements come in pairs, which indicate when some display effect is to begin and when it is to end.

HTML is a formal Recommendation by the W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) and is generally adhered to by the major browsers (although both Internet Explorer and Netscape do implement some features differently and provide nonstandard extensions).

HTTP server

An HTTP server, also called a Web server, uses the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) to provide information in hypertext format. Client software relays this input from the user to the server and displays information from the server in HTTP format. Other types of Internet-based servers include FTP (File Transfer Protocol) and Gopher. The Web is a network consisting of these types of servers. Among the most popular HTTP servers are the Sun ONE Web Server (formerly iPlanet Web Server, Enterprise Edition), and the Apache Web Server.


IIS (Internet Information Server)

IIS is Microsoft’s Web server that runs on the Windows NT and Windows 2000 platforms only.

iPlanet Web Server, Enterprise Edition (Sun ONE Web Server)

iPlanet(TM) Web Server, Enterprise Edition is Web server software originally developed by Netscape and now offered by Sun Microsystems. iPlanet Web Server, Enterprise Edition is now called Sun ONE Web Server.

ISAPI (Internet Services Application Programming Interface)

ISAPI is a specification for extending Web server functionality in the Windows environment. An ISAPI extension is a DLL that exports specific functions according to the ISAPI specification. There are two types of ISAPI extensions: ISAPI filters and ISAPI applications. ISAPI provides comparable functionality to CGI (Common Gateway Interface), but offers performance improvements on Windows-based Web servers.



Developed by Sun Microsystems, Java(TM) is an object-oriented programming language, similar to C++. Java-based applications, or applets, can be quickly downloaded from a Web site and run using a Java-compatible Web browser such as Netscape Navigator or Microsoft Internet Explorer.

Java programs, or source code files (.java), are compiled into a format known as bytecode files (.class). Once compiled, these files can be executed by a Java interpreter. Most operating systems have Java interpreters and run-time environments known as Java virtual machines.

Java applet

A Java applet is an HTML-based program built with Java, which a browser temporarily downloads to and runs from a user's hard disk. Java applets can be downloaded and run by any Java-interpreting Web browser, such as Netscape Navigator and Microsoft Internet Explorer. Java applets can be used to add multimedia effects (such as background music, real-time video displays, and animation), and interactivity (such as calculators and games) to Web pages.


JavaBeans(TM) is an object-oriented programming interface developed by Sun Microsystems that enables developers to build reusable applications or program building blocks called components, which can be deployed on any major operating system platform. Like Java applets, JavaBeans components (called beans) give Web pages (or other applications) interactive capabilities such as computing interest rates or varying page content based on user or browser characteristics. Sun ONE Active Server Pages enables ASP applications to access Java objects and classes through Sun ONE ASP Chili!Beans.

From a user's point-of-view, a component can be a button that you interact with or a small calculating program that is initiated when you press the button. From a developer's point-of-view, the button component and the calculator component are created separately and can then be used together or in different combinations with other components in different applications or situations.

When the components or beans are in use, the properties of a bean (for example, the background color of a window) are visible to other beans. Beans that haven't "met" before can learn each other's properties dynamically, and interact accordingly.

Beans are developed by using a JavaBeans Development Kit from Sun Microsystems. They can be run on any major operating system platform inside a number of application environments (known as containers), including browsers, word processors, and other applications.

To build a component with JavaBeans, you write language statements using the Java programming language and include JavaBeans statements that describe component properties, such as user interface characteristics and events that trigger a bean to communicate with other beans in the same container or elsewhere in the network.

Beans also have persistence, which is a mechanism for storing the state of a component in a safe place. This would allow, for example, a component (bean) to "remember" data that a particular user had already entered in an earlier user session.

JavaBeans gives Java applications the compound document capability that the OpenDoc and ActiveX interfaces provide.


JavaScript is a scripting language that interacts with HTML source code and is compatible with the Java programming language. JavaScript is the Netscape implementation of the ECMA-262 standard.

JDBC (Java Database Connectivity)

JDBC is a data access interface based on ODBC (Open Database Connectivity) and used with the Java programming language.


The Microsoft version of JavaScript, JScript is a standard scripting language based on the ECMA-262 standard. JScript is specifically targeted for the Internet and is built into Internet Explorer browsers. JScript is implemented as a fast, portable, lightweight interpreter that processes source code embedded directly in the HTML. JScript code does not produce stand-alone applets, but it is used to add interactivity to HTML documents. JScript uses syntax and language features similar to the Java, C, and C++ programming languages.

JVM (Java virtual machine)

The Java(TM) virtual machine is the cornerstone of the Sun Microsystem’s Java programming language. It is the component of the Java technology responsible for Java's cross-platform delivery, the small size of its compiled code, and its ability to protect users from malicious programs.

The Java virtual machine is an abstract computing machine. Like a real computing machine, it has an instruction set and uses various memory areas. It is reasonably common to implement a programming language using a virtual machine. The best-known virtual machine may be the P-Code machine of UCSD Pascal. The Java virtual machine does not assume any particular implementation technology or host platform. It is not inherently interpreted, and it may just as well be implemented by compiling its instruction set to that of a real CPU, as for a conventional programming language. It may also be implemented in microcode, or directly in silicon.

The Java virtual machine knows nothing of the Java programming language, only of a particular file format, the .class file format. A .class file contains Java virtual machine instructions (or bytecodes) and a symbol table, as well as other ancillary information.



In application programming, a key is the code for deciphering encrypted data.


LCID (Local Language Identifier)

An LCID is a 32-bit value that identifies a geographic locale. An LCID consists of a LangID and a sort key ID. The system administrator can use the Sun ONE ASP Administration Console to set the LCID.

See Configuring International Support.


Linux is an open source, UNIX-like operating system that runs on a variety of hardware platforms and is distributed free or at low cost. Unlike proprietary operating systems, Linux is publicly open and extendible by contributors. Linux's kernel (the central part of the operating system) was developed by Linus Torvalds. Linux is also distributed commercially by a number of companies.



In application programming, a method is a logical operation provided by an object. In object-oriented programming, an object invokes a method by sending a message that contains the receiving object and the name of the specific method to invoke. Often, the name of the method is called a selector. Objects use messages as the mechanism through which they interact.

MDAC (Microsoft Data Access Components)

Microsoft Data Access Components are comprised of ADO and RDS (Remote Data Service), ODBC, and the Microsoft OLE DB Provider for ODBC, which are released, documented, and supported together. Of these, Sun ONE Active Server Pages supports ADO and ODBC only.


A moniker is a name that uniquely identifies a COM object. Monikers support an operation known as binding, which is the process of locating the object named by the moniker, activating it or loading it in memory if it isn't already there, and returning an interface pointer to it.

MTS (Microsoft Transaction Server)

MTS is a component-based transaction processing system available on the Windows platform only. MTS defines an application-programming model for developing distributed, components-based applications, and provides a run-time infrastructure for deploying and managing these applications. Sun ONE Active Server Pages does not support MTS.


Multi-threading refers to running several processes in rapid sequence within a single program, regardless of which logical method of multi-tasking is being used by the operating system. Because the user's sense of time is much slower than the processing speed of a computer, the impression of multi-tasking appears simultaneous, even though only one task at a time can use a computer processing cycle.


MySQL is an open source database and relational database management system. MySQL uses an implementation of SQL (Structured Query Language). Sun ONE Active Server Pages includes an ODBC driver for connecting to MySQL.

Sun ONE ASP also includes two database tools related to MySQL: Sun ONE ASP Database Publisher (Database Publisher), and Sun ONE ASP Database Management System for MySQL (DBMS). Database Publisher is a client/server application that enables a Microsoft Access database running on Windows to be published to a MySQL database running on UNIX or Linux. DBMS is a database administration system for MySQL, enabling MySQL databases to be administered from a user-friendly administration console instead of strictly from the command line.

For more information about these tools, see Using Database Tools.



NSAPI is the API for Sun ONE Web servers. NSAPI enables programmers to create Web-based applications that are more sophisticated and run much faster than applications based on CGI.

In object-oriented programming, an object is a variable comprising both routines and data that is treated as a discrete entity. An object is based on a specific model, in which a client using an object's services gains access to the object's data through an interface consisting of a set of methods or related functions. The client can then call these methods to perform desired operations.


Object model

In application programming, the object model is the set of rules that makes an object perform a specific task. The object model is the structural foundation for object-oriented programming languages, such as C++.

Object-oriented programming

In object-oriented programming, an application is viewed as a collection of discrete objects (self-contained collections of data structures and routines that interact with other objects).

ODBC (Open Database Connectivity)

ODBC is a standard protocol for database servers. ODBC provides a common language for ASP applications to gain access to databases on a network. UNIX and Linux versions of Sun ONE Active Server Pages include ODBC drivers for a number of different databases. ODBC drivers enable you to connect to the databases and access their data.

See Viewing the List of ODBC Drivers and Configuring Database Parameters.

ODBC driver

An ODBC driver is a module that enables a database to be accessed through ODBC. Each type of database (MySQL, Informix, DB2, and so forth) requires its own ODBC driver. Sun ONE ASP includes ODBC drivers for a number of different databases, and enables you to specify drivers from the Sun ONE ASP Administration Console.

ODBC Manager

The ODBC Manager manages connections between ODBC drivers and databases by using information stored in the DSN (data source name).



In programming, a parameter is a value given to a variable. A parameter acts as placeholder in a query or stored procedure that can be filled in when the query or stored procedure is executed. Parameters enable you to use the same query or stored procedure many times, each time with different values.

Path name

In a computer operating system, a path is the route through a file system to a particular file. A path name (or pathname in Windows) is the specification of that path, including the name of the file. An absolute path name (or fully qualified path name) specifies the complete path name. A relative path name specifies a path relative to the directory to which the operating system is currently set.

Each operating system has its own format for specifying a path name. The DOS, Windows, and OS/2 operating systems use this format:


UNIX-based systems use this format:


In UNIX, the storage drive location is not an explicit part of the path name.

POP3 (Post Office Protocol)

POP3 is a protocol used to retrieve e-mail from a mail server. Most e-mail applications (also called e-mail clients) use the POP protocol, although some can use the newer IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol). POP3 is supported in Sun ONE ASP’s SpicePack with the Chili!Mail component.


A TCP/IP port is a "logical connection place." Using the Internet protocol, TCP/IP, a port enables a client program to specify a particular server program on a computer in a network. Higher-level applications that use TCP/IP, such as HTTP, have port numbers that are preassigned by the IANA (Internet Assigned Numbers Authority). These port numbers are called "well-known ports." Other application processes are assigned port numbers dynamically for each connection. When a service (or server program) is started initially, it is said to "bind" to its designated port number. Any client program that wants to use that server must send a request to bind to the designated port number.

Port numbers are between 0 and 65536. Ports 0 to 1024 are reserved for use by certain privileged services. For the HTTP service, port 80 is the default and does not need to be specified in the URL.


Portability is a characteristic attributed to a computer application if that application can run on an operating system other than the one for which it was developed, without requiring a major rework. Porting software to a different operating system involves doing any work required to make the computer run in the new environment, such as resolving programming language differences, converting data, and adapting to new system procedures for running an application.

In general, applications that use standard APIs (application programming interfaces) such as the X/Open UNIX 95 standard C language interface, are portable. Ideally, such applications can simply be compiled for the operating system to which they are being ported. However, if an application uses operating system extensions or special capabilities that are not present in the new operating system, these features must be replaced with comparable ones in the new operating system.

Porting software typically involves some work. However, the Java programming language and runtime environment makes it possible to develop applications that run on any operating system supporting the Java standard, without any porting work. Java applets in the form of precompiled bytecode can be sent from a server program in one operating system to a client program (such as a Web browser) running on another operating system without change. Sun ONE Active Server Pages supports Java classes through Sun ONE ASP Chili!Beans.

For more information about Chili!Beans, see Chili!Beans Component Reference.


PostgreSQL is a sophisticated Object-Relational Database Management System, supporting almost all SQL constructs including subselects, transactions, and user-defined types and functions. Sun ONE Active Server Pages includes an ODBC driver for connecting to PostgreSQL.


A process is an instance of an application running on a computer. On UNIX and some other operating systems, a process is started when a program is initiated (either by a user entering a shell command or by another program). An application that is being shared by multiple users generally has one process for each user at some stage of execution.


In application programming, a property is a named attribute of an object. Properties define object characteristics, such as size and name, or the state of an object, such as enabled or disabled. Properties do not take any arguments. All properties return a value; however, some properties are read-only, and some are read/write.


Request object

The Request object is a Sun ONE Active Server Pages built-in object that retrieves the values the client browser passed to the server during an HTTP request.

See ASP Request Object.

Response object

The Response object is a Sun ONE Active Server Pages built-in object that can be used to control output sent to the client.

See ASP Response Object.

Root directory

A root directory is the point of entry into the directory tree in a disk-based hierarchical directory structure. Branching from the root are various directories and subdirectories, each of which can contain one or more files and subdirectories.



Scripting is a set of instructions for performing a special task in an application or utility, or on a Web site. Scripting languages are an intermediate stage between HTML and programming languages such as Java, C++, and Visual Basic. The primary difference between scripting languages and programming languages is that the syntax and rules of scripting languages are less rigid and intricate than those of programming languages. On the Web, scripts are processed either by the client (client-side scripting) or the server (server-side scripting). Examples of scripting languages are Perl, VBScript, and JScript. Sun ONE Active Server Pages supports VBScript and JScript.


SequeLink is server-based middleware provided by DataDirect Technologies. Sun ONE Active Server Pages includes the SequeLink client for connecting to remote Microsoft Access and Microsoft SQL Server databases running on Windows systems.

See Configuring SequeLink.

Server-side script

A server-side script is interpreted and executed by the server, and the results are sent to the browser. ASP scripts are server-side scripts. With Sun ONE Active Server Pages, when a browser requests an ASP page, the Web server sends the request to the Sun ONE ASP Server. The Sun ONE ASP Server reads the HTML and interprets and executes the script code, and then sends the resulting page to the browser.

Unlike client-side scripting, server-side scripting enables you to deliver highly customized Web pages without requiring any scripting intelligence on the client side. Server-side scripting enables users to receive customized pages based on browser capabilities, user preferences, and content from a server-side database.


A servlet is a small application that runs on a server. The term was coined in the context of the Java applet, a small application that is sent as a separate file along with a Web (HTML) page. Java applets usually run on a client and provide services such as performing a calculation for a user or positioning an image based on user interaction.

Server Name

Server Name (or ServerName) is a parameter specifying the name given to a specific database server either on the Internet or within an intranet. Sometimes referred to as a "friendly name," this name is a string of letters that gives the server an identity and resolves to the IP address of the computer running the database server.

Server object

The Server object is a Sun ONE Active Server Pages built-in object that provides access to methods and properties on the server. Most of its methods and properties serve as utility functions.

See ASP Server Object.

Session object

The Session object is a Sun ONE Active Server Pages built-in object that stores information needed for a particular user session. Variables stored in the Session object are not discarded when the user jumps between pages in the application, but rather persist for the entire user session. The Sun ONE ASP Server automatically creates a Session object when a user who does not already have a session requests an ASP page. The server destroys the Session object when the session expires or is abandoned. The Session object enables developers to:

See ASP Session Object.

Session state

Session state refers to information that the Sun ONE ASP Server stores in the ASP Session object about a sequence of requests that all come from the same browser. HTTP is a stateless protocol, meaning that it provides no way for the ASP Server to keep track of session state. As a result, ASP applications that maintain session-state information (such as shopping carts and data scrolling) require this type of infrastructure help.

Shared hosting

Shared hosting refers to a Web-hosting environment where multiple Web sites share the resources of a single server (or group of servers) by means of virtual hosts or virtual servers. These Web sites may have different domain names, but they all ultimately resolve to the same IP address on the computer hosting the Web sites.

SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol)

SMTP is a TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) protocol used for sending and receiving e-mail. However, because SMTP is limited in its ability to queue messages at the receiving end, it is usually used with one of two other protocols: POP3 (Post Office Protocol 3) or IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol). Those protocols enable the user to save messages in a server mailbox and download them periodically from the server. Messaging applications typically use SMTP for sending e-mail and either POP3 or IMAP for downloading messages that have been received for them by the mail server.

SMTP is usually implemented to operate over TCP port 25. You can find the details of SMTP in Request for Comments 821 of the IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force).


The Solaris(TM) Operating Environment is the platform provided by Sun Microsystems for its family of Scalable Processor Architecture-based processors and for Intel-based processors. Sun emphasizes the system's availability, its large number of features, and its Internet-savvy design. Sun developed the platform-independent Java(TM) programming language and runtime environment, and Solaris systems include Java and the JDK(TM) (Java Development Kit).


The SpicePack is a collection of COM components that handle commonly used ASP application functionality. The SpicePack is no longer a separate product, but is now bundled with Sun ONE Active Server Pages. The components are Chili!Mail, Chili!POP3, and Chili!Upload. These components can be instantiated and called from ASP pages to send and receive e-mail and upload files from client browsers.

See SpicePack Component Reference.

SQL (Structured Query Language)

SQL is the international standard database language used in querying, updating, and managing relational databases. SQL can be used to retrieve, sort, and filter data extracted from a database.

SQL Server

Microsoft SQL Server is SQL server software offered by Microsoft. Sun ONE Active Server Pages is fully compatible with Microsoft SQL Server systems.

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer)

SSL is a security standard developed by Netscape Communications to secure application protocols such as HTTP over the Internet. SSL uses a key exchange method (RSA is most common) to establish an environment in which all data exchanged is encrypted with a cipher and hashed to protect it from eavesdropping and alteration. Primarily used for handling commerce payments, SSL is the most widely deployed security protocol on the Internet today. The IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force) has generated a successor of SSL, a network standard called TLS (Transport Layer Security).

Symbolic link

A symbolic link is a reference to an item that, when accessed, takes the user directly to that item. For example, a symbolic link in one directory could, when double-clicked, open a file that is in a completely different directory. In ASP applications, you can use a symbolic link (also called a virtual link) to redirect the browser to a different HTTP path name than the URL address provided by the user. This function is useful when you want Web site visitors to always use the same URL to get the most current information. A symbolic link can be programmed to refer to any HTTP path name.

System DSN (data source name)

A system DSN stores information, in the form of parameters and their values, that the ASP Server needs for connecting to a particular database. The system administrator creates system DSNs by using the Sun ONE Active Server Pages Administration Console. ASP developers can then incorporate this information in a connection string simply by referencing the DSN, rather than specifying all of the parameters in the connection string.

See Configuring Data Source Names (DSNs) and Connecting to a Database.



In computer programming, a thread is a process that is part of a larger process or application. For an application that can handle multiple concurrent users, a thread is the information needed to serve one individual user or a particular service request. It is placeholder information associated with a single use of an application that can handle multiple concurrent users.

Threading refers to the number of processes that are run within a single application. Multi-threading refers to running several processes in rapid sequence within a single program, regardless of which logical method of multi-tasking is being used by the operating system. Because the user's sense of time is much slower than the processing speed of a computer, the impression of multi-tasking appears simultaneous, even though only one task can use a computer processing cycle at a time.


VB (Visual Basic)

VB is a high-level, visual programming language based on the BASIC (Beginner's All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code) language, designed by Microsoft for building Windows-based applications. VB was one of the first products to provide a graphical programming environment and a paint metaphor for developing user interfaces. By dragging and dropping controls, such as buttons and dialog boxes, and then defining their appearance and behavior, the VB programmer is able to add a substantial amount of code without getting bogged down in syntactical details.

Although VB is not considered a true object-oriented programming language, it does embrace an object-oriented philosophy. It is sometimes called an event-driven language, because each object can react to different events.

VBScript (Visual Basic Scripting Edition)

VBScript is a scripting language developed by Microsoft that is based on the more complex VB (Visual Basic) programming language. Similar to both JScript and JavaScript, VBScript enables Web authors to include interactive controls, such as buttons and scroll bars, on their Web pages. For a VB programmer, VBScript is the easiest scripting language to learn. (JScript is easier for C/C++ programmers.) Sun ONE Active Server Pages supports both VBScript and JScript.

Virtual directory

A virtual directory is a URL defined on a Web server that refers to a physical directory on the server file system. For example, on a Windows-based system, the URL http://myserver/caspdoc might refer to a physical directory having the path name c:\my documents\caspdoc. When a browser requests the URL for a virtual directory, the Web server returns the content contained in the physical directory to which it refers.

Virtual host

A virtual host is a Web server feature that enables one instance of the Web server to service multiple hostnames. Depending on the type of Web server, a virtual host might or might not be given a unique IP address. For more information, consult the documentation for the Web server you are running. Sun ONE Active Server Pages supports virtual hosts (referred to as virtual servers on Sun ONE Web Server).


W3C (World Wide Web Consortium)

The W3C was founded in 1994 to develop common standards and protocols for the World Wide Web. Jointly hosted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Laboratory for Computer Science (MIT/LCS) in the United States, the Keio University Shonan Fujisawa Campus in Asia, and the Institut National de Recherche en Informatique et en Automatique (INRIA) in Europe, the W3C is a vendor-neutral international industry consortium. Working with its staff and the global Web community, the W3C produces free, interoperable specifications and sample code, along with reference materials for the World Wide Web.

Web server

A Web server, also called an HTTP server, uses the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) to provide information in hypertext format. Clients relay this input from the user to the server and display information on the server in the HTTP format. Other types of Internet-based servers include FTP (File Transfer Protocol) and Gopher. The Web is a network consisting of these types of servers. HTTP servers are commonly referred to as Web servers. Among the most popular Web servers are the Sun ONE Web Server (formerly iPlanet Web Server, Enterprise Edition), and the Apache Web Server.

Web session

Web session defines a period of time during which a user's browser is requesting information from a Web server. Because HTTP is a stateless protocol, it does not provide a mechanism to maintain state information between requests from a browser. With Sun ONE Active Server Pages, developers can use the built-in Session object to maintain session information for each user, providing consistent user sessions on the Web.


XML (Extensible Markup Language)

XML is a simplified subset of SGML (Standard Generalized Markup Language) that provides a file format for representing data, a method for describing data structure, and a mechanism for extending and annotating HTML with semantic information. Allowing an unlimited set of tags, XML tags indicate what kind of data each tag contains, rather than indicating how something should look. For instance, a tag might hold a price, an order number, or a name. The flexibility of XML allows the document's author to determine what kind of data to use and to choose the tag types that most fit the author's needs.

As a universal data format, XML provides a standard for the server-to-server transfer of different types of structured data so that the information can be decoded, manipulated, and displayed consistently and correctly. In addition, it enables the development of three-tier Web applications, acting as the data transfer format between the middle-tier Web server and the client.

XML data type

An XML data type indicates that the contents of an element can be interpreted both as a string and as a typed value (number, date, and so forth). The data type of an XML element indicates that the element contents can be parsed or interpreted to yield an object more specific than a string. Universal Resource Identifiers (URIs) identify data types. The URI is simply a reference to a section of a document that defines the appropriate parser and storage format to the element.

There are two main contexts for data types. The first occurs when dealing with database APIs (application programming interfaces) in which all elements with the same name typically contain the same type of contents (for example, all sizes contain integers). The second context occurs when the type of content varies widely from instance to instance. The frequency and flexibility of this context varies according to the software being created. For instance, size could contain the integer 6, or the word "small," or even a formula for computing the size.

XML object model

The XML object model tracks the W3C DOM (Document Object Model). The XML parser exposes the XML object model, making it possible to access as objects each of the nodes within an XML tree. Through script, it is then possible to navigate and manipulate an XML tree.

XSL (Extensible Stylesheet Language)

XSL is a language that defines the rules for mapping structured XML data and documents. Derived from DSSSL (Document Style Semantics and Specification Language), XSL also has roots in the SGML (Standard Generalized Markup Language) community.

Using XSL, an element can be formatted and displayed in multiple places on a Web page, or rearranged or removed from the page. Developers can then generate a presentation structure that may be quite different from the original data structure. XSL does not replace CSS (Cascading Style Sheets), but rather is designed to handle the new capabilities of XML that CSS cannot.

XSL control

The XSL control is an ActiveX control that enables a Web browser to display output. In other words, the XSL control enables XML data to be displayed within an HTML page by using an XSL style sheet.


Zeus Web Server

The Zeus Web Server is a Web server produced by Zeus Technologies. The Zeus Web Server is not supported in Sun ONE Active Server Pages 4.0.