Thursday, March 10, 2005

ASP Retirement Date

Just as Dan Rather retired this week from network news broadcasting another veteran of the communications community will soon bid farewell -- ASP (Active Server Pages). More accurately, Microsoft announced this week that it will no longer provide standard support for its programming language Visual Basic 6.0 (VB6) beyond the end of this month. The planned phase out is designed to encourage programmers to utilize Microsoft's newer Visual Basic .Net platform. An InformationWeek article provides the details.

ASP is a Web-based technology that utilizes VBScript to interact with a Web server. VBScript is a "lite" version of the Visual Basic 6.0 programming language. The practical implication of Microsoft's announcement is that Web developers are being discouraged from creating ASP applications in favor of Microsoft's newer ASP.NET technology.

So what's a Web Developer to do? If you are familiar with creating ASP applications, then you should consider upgrading your skills to include ASP.NET training. If you are not yet familiar with server-side scripting using ASP you might consider learning an open-source alternative called PHP.

Beantown Web will begin monitoring job opportunities in the greater Boston area for ASP.NET and PHP, as well as, ASP in its "Boston Market" report at the beginning of each month.

Keep in mind that Dan Rather is not going away -- you can still see him on 60 Minutes (Wednesday). ASP, likewise will still be around for a while before slowly riding off into the sunset.

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