britney_spears-butt-backwardsNote: To preface this article, if you disagree with me I would love to hear your opinion, please leave me a comment with your thoughts on the topic.

ASP is dead. I think that all developers currently developing in classic ASP should move to ASP.NET or another language like PHP or JSP. If that isn’t an option, then they should give up web development. Like Internet Explorer 6, classic ASP was once a great tool for online development. Unfortunately, it has stayed on the shelf long past the expiration date.

I believe developers still developing in classic ASP are doing their customers a serious injustice. Don’t get me wrong, ASP provides a powerful set of tools that are very capable of creating successful websites. I cannot argue with the success ASP has had over the years. The injustice comes from the fact that Microsoft discontinued development of the framework shortly after the introduction of .NET several years ago. In addition to the lack of support and updates from the creator of the language itself, most universities training new programmers discontinued educating students on classic ASP several years ago. This means the pool of ASP familiar programmers is consistently diminishing.

It is already much, much harder to find skilled classic ASP programmers now than it was 2 or 3 years ago and this division will continue to grow quickly. The last major update to classic ASP was version 3.0 distributed with IIS 5.0 in November of 2000. To put this in prospective, this means that ASP hasn’t had a major update since before the September 11th attacks. With a technology product this is obscene. How could something nearly 10 years old still be relevant? The short answer is it cannot. It has been replaced with a much better and more powerful technology, ASP.NET.

I often come across developers still working with classic ASP and it makes me shudder. Unfortunately, customers working with these developers don’t realize how outdated the language or the server software running it often are. These customers also don’t realize they may soon be stuck with this developer because they will be unable to find other companies interested in supporting their outdated website. If you’re an ASP developer I encourage you to think about your customers and the value you are providing them. Please learn ASP.NET, it is not that different from classic ASP in many ways. I am sure you wouldn’t suggest your customer build a website that only supports Internet Explorer 6 so why program it with a comparable technology. Selling a customer a new website programmed in classic ASP is like selling them milk that expired when Britney Spears was a teen sensation and Bill Clinton was President.