What Is the Default Scripting Language in ASP?


Larry Thompson

ASP (Active Server Pages) is a server-side scripting language used to create dynamic web pages and applications. It is widely used for developing websites and web-based applications due to its simplicity and versatility.

In ASP, the default scripting language is VBScript (Visual Basic Scripting Edition). Let’s dive into what this means and how it affects ASP development.

What Is VBScript?
VBScript is a lightweight scripting language developed by Microsoft. It is based on the Visual Basic programming language and is primarily used for client-side scripting in web browsers. However, in the context of ASP, VBScript is also used as the default server-side scripting language.

Why VBScript in ASP?
The choice of VBScript as the default scripting language in ASP has historical reasons. When Microsoft introduced ASP, they wanted to provide a familiar programming model for developers who were already using Visual Basic for desktop application development. Therefore, they incorporated VBScript into ASP, making it the default choice.

  • Easy to Learn: One of the primary advantages of using VBScript in ASP is its simplicity. If you are already familiar with Visual Basic or have experience with any other programming language, learning VBScript will be relatively easy.
  • Tight Integration with COM: VBScript seamlessly integrates with Component Object Model (COM), allowing developers to leverage existing COM components within their ASP applications.
  • Broad Community Support: As one of the oldest scripting languages still in use today, VBScript has a large community of developers who can provide support and share knowledge.

The Role of Scripting Languages in ASP

In ASP, scripting languages like VBScript are used to embed server-side logic directly into HTML code. This allows developers to dynamically generate HTML content based on user input, database queries, or other server-side interactions.

By default, when you create an ASP page, the server expects the code to be written in VBScript. However, it is important to note that ASP also supports other scripting languages, such as JScript (Microsoft’s version of JavaScript).

Changing the Default Scripting Language

While VBScript is the default scripting language in ASP, developers have the flexibility to choose a different language if desired. This can be done by simply specifying the language at the beginning of an ASP page using the <%@ Language %> directive.

For example, to use JScript as the scripting language instead of VBScript, you can add the following line at the top of your ASP page:

<%@ Language=”JScript” %>

Once you specify a different scripting language using this directive, all subsequent code within that page will be interpreted accordingly.

The Power of Choice

The ability to choose between scripting languages gives developers freedom and flexibility. Depending on their preferences and requirements, they can leverage their existing knowledge or explore new languages and technologies for ASP development.

It is worth mentioning that while VBScript is still widely used in legacy ASP applications, many developers now prefer using other languages like C# or JavaScript for modern ASP.NET development.


In summary, VBScript is the default scripting language in ASP. Its simplicity and tight integration with COM have made it a popular choice among developers over the years.

However, ASP provides support for multiple scripting languages like JScript for those who prefer alternatives. Remember that your choice of scripting language depends on your familiarity with programming languages and project requirements. So go ahead and explore what works best for you!

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