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Where the script runs

Jan 06, 20034 mins
Enterprise Applications

With Christmas fading to nothing more than a pleasant memory (except around the waistline where the consequences of unbridled gustatory abandon has left its seasonal evidence) we need to get fit again by leaping into an Active Server Page technology workout.

So let’s get fancy. Suppose we want to let the user choose the size of an array of radio buttons on a Web page and we want each button to be linked to client-side JavaScript. This means that we’ll need to create the array on the fly and generate a handler for each button in the array. Here’s a Web page that we’ll use to specify the size of the array:


Array Creator



Load this page and fill in the form entering, say, seven in the Rows field and six in the Columns field, and hit submit. This will create an HTTP request that will request array2.asp. This page looks like (for brevity we’ve only shown the code in the body and included line numbers for reference):

 2 MaxRows = Request.Form(“rows”)

 3 MaxCols = Request.Form(“cols”)

 4 For intR = 1 to MaxRows

 5 For intC = 1 to MaxCols

 6 %>


 8 OnClick = “Button_Click()”>






14 For intR = 1 to MaxRows

15 For intC = 1 to MaxCols

16 %>

17 SubButton_Click()

18 MsgBox “That is column , row .”

19 End Sub


21 Next

22 Next

23 %>


Here’s where we meet a major architectural feature of ASP: The IIS Object Model. The model is based on six core objects: Application, ObjectContext, Request, Response, Session and Server. Each one of these objects has its own events, properties, methods and collections (objects that contain a set of related objects).

In the ASP page above, lines 2 and 3 use the Request object to retrieve the arguments submitted by the form in the first Web page using the HTTP POST method. The Request object gives you access to the HTTP header and body and the “Form” object is the collection of all the POST items. Note that “Request.Form” is an abbreviated version of “Request.Form.Item” – the “Item” property is used to get a specific element in the collection by name. This means that we could have written lines 2 and 3 more properly as:

2 MaxRows = Request.Form.Item("Rows")

3 MaxCols = Request.Form.Item(“Cols”)

This code retrieves the arguments by their explicit names, that is “Rows” and “Cols,” respectively.

If we didn’t know the names but knew that the order of the arguments, then we could use the following code to retrieve the correct values:

2 MaxRows = Request.Form. (Request.Form.Key(1))

3 MaxCols = Request.Form. (Request.Form.Key(2))

The “Key” property is used to get items by number. If we had had a variable number of arguments to handle then we could get a count of how many arguments are in the Request object using:

NumArgs = Request.Form.Count

The array2.asp Web page consists of sections of scripting and other sections HTML content. The scripts are framed by “”. But we also have scripting inside the tags “ “. Our generated VBScript (to be executed on the browser) will be inside these tags.

Get these files from; put the ASP page in a server subdirectory where it can be executed (put the form that requests the page in the same directory for the sake of simplicity). Send your variables to


Mark Gibbs is an author, journalist, and man of mystery. His writing for Network World is widely considered to be vastly underpaid. For more than 30 years, Gibbs has consulted, lectured, and authored numerous articles and books about networking, information technology, and the social and political issues surrounding them. His complete bio can be found at

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