Files that contain the file extension ASP originate from Active Server Pages which is Microsoftâ€™s scripting engine that allows web developers to create dynamic web pages. Dynamic web pages are those that allow you to interact with the content, and the ASP files are created from the server side to enable the dynamic content to be displayed in your web browser.
Web pages which contain ASP files are typically displayed in the URL address bar of your browser with the ASP file extension as opposed to the HTM extension. When the page containing the ASP file is requested using your browser, the ASP extension tells the web server how to interpret the page before sending the final version to your browser for viewing.
Web pages with ASP files cannot run Active Server Page content unless the page has been requested through a web server that is capable of supporting these files.
How to Open ASP Files
The ASP file extension is typically associated with web-based applications which are offered on a Microsoft IIS (Internet Information Server). ASP format is commonly used with business-to-business applications in the online environment. Since it is a server side format, you cannot view the contents of an ASP file simply by opening your browser and requesting a web page with ASP files.
If you are use Windows, ASP files are viewed in the resulting HTML format using any web browser. However, if you want to view the actual contents of an ASP file, it will be necessary to run Microsoft IIS or view the file using a text editor such as Notepad.
Microsoft IIS can be installed using the Microsoft Web Platform Installer which is available for download from the Microsoft website. This is a free download that allows you to obtain access to the latest web development components.
To view the contents of an ASP file using a text editor, you can download the ASP file you want to open and save it on your PC in a location of your choice. Open Notepad and then click on File and choose Open from the drop-down menu. Browse to the file you want to open and click on it to open it in the text editor.
You can also open ASP files using compatible software, such as Adobe Dreamweaver, Contribute, or ExtendScript, which also works well with Mac OS X. Other programs include SmartLinks Framework for ASP.NET and Visual Studio.