Active Server Pages

A Web server technology from Microsoft that allows for the creation of dynamic, interactive sessions with the user. An ASP is a Web page that contains HTML and embedded programming code written in VBScript or Jscript. It was introduced with Version 3.0 of Microsoft's Internet Information Server (IIS). When IIS encounters an ASP page requested by the browser, it executes the embedded program. ASPs are Microsoft's alternative to CGI scripts and JavaServer Pages (JSPs), which allow Web pages to interact with databases and other programs. Third party products add ASP capability to non-Microsoft Web servers. The Active Server Page technology is an ISAPI program and ASP documents use an .ASP extension. ASP.NET is an enhanced version of ASP for the .NET platform. See CGI script, JSP and ISAPI.

Anonymous Connections (FTP)

An FTP site on the Internet that contains files that can be downloaded by anyone. The anonymous FTP directory is isolated from the rest of the system and will generally not accept uploads from users.

Default page

The web page a web server automatically serves when a user accesses a web site.  This page may also be referred to as a home page.


Name resolution software that lets users locate computers on the Internet (TCP/IP network) by domain name. The DNS server maintains a database of domain names (host names) and their corresponding IP addresses. In this hypothetical example, if were presented to a DNS server, the IP address would be returned. DNS has replaced the manual task of updating HOSTS files in an in-house UNIX network, and of course, it would be impossible to do this manually on the global Internet, given its size.


DOS and Windows use a file system known as the File Allocation Table (FAT) to keep track of data on a disk. All floppy disks and hard disks must be initialized with the FAT before use. This is known as a high-level format. Windows NT can optionally use its own native format (see NTFS).

There is also a low-level format required on every disk. The low-level format creates the original sectors on the disk that hold everything, including the FAT and the data. IDE and SCSI hard disks are low-level formatted at the factory. Floppy disks are not. Thus, when you format a floppy, you are putting both a low-level and high-level format on the diskette at the same time. When you format a hard disk, you are doing only a high-level format.

FrontPage Server Extension



A protocol used to transfer files over a TCP/IP network (Internet, UNIX, etc.). For example, after developing the HTML pages for a Web site on a local machine, they are typically uploaded to the Web server using FTP.

FTP includes functions to log onto the network, list directories and copy files. It can also convert between the ASCII and EBCDIC character codes. FTP operations can be performed by typing commands at a command prompt or via an FTP utility running under a graphical interface such as Windows. FTP transfers can also be initiated from within a Web browser by entering the URL preceded with ftp://.

Unlike e-mail programs in which graphics and program files have to be "attached," FTP is designed to handle binary files directly and does not add the overhead of encoding and decoding the data.

Host Headers

Host name resolution means successfully mapping a host name to an IP address. A host name is an alias that is assigned to an IP node to identify it as a TCP/IP host. The host name can be up to 255 characters long and can contain alphabetic and numeric characters, hyphens, and periods. You can assign multiple host names to the same host.


Internet Protocol

Refers to all the standards that keep the Internet running. The foundation protocol is TCP/IP, which provides the basic communications mechanism as well as ways to copy files (FTP) and send e-mail (SMTP). The Web added the HTTP protocol for downloading Web pages and HTML, XML and XHTML for formatting them. There are many others and many more are expected, as the Internet has become "the" arena for global standards.


A system that transmits any combination of voice, video and/or data between users. It includes the cables and all supporting hardware such as bridges, routers and switches. In wireless systems, antennas and towers are also part of the network.

Parent Web site

Webs site that is one level up from the current web site. These are generally separated by the /.  Example:


A subdivision of a hard disk. The maximum size of a disk partition depends on the operating system used.


A rule associated with an object (usually a directory, file, or printer) to regulate which users can have across to the object and in what manner.



In a TCP/IP-based network such as the Internet, it is a number assigned to an application program running in the computer. The number is used to link the incoming data to the correct service. Well-known ports are standard port numbers used by everyone; for example, port 80 is used for HTTP traffic (Web traffic).

Production Web Server

A computer system used to process an organization's daily work. Contrast with a system used only for development and testing or for ad hoc inquiries and analysis.


RAID hard drive Array

(Redundant Array of Independent Disks) A disk subsystem that increases performance and/or provides fault tolerance. RAID is a set of two or more hard disks and a specialized disk controller that contains the RAID functionality. Developed initially for servers and stand-alone disk storage systems, RAID is increasingly becoming available in desktop PCs primarily for fault tolerance. RAID can also be implemented via software only, but with less performance, especially when rebuilding data after a failure.

RAID improves performance by disk striping, which interleaves bytes or groups of bytes across multiple drives, so more than one disk is reading and writing simultaneously. Fault tolerance is achieved by mirroring or parity. Mirroring is 100% duplication of the data on two drives (RAID 1), and parity (RAID 3 and 5) calculates the data in two drives and stores the result on a third drive: a bit from drive 1 is XOR'd with a bit from drive 2, and the result bit is stored on drive 3 (see OR for an explanation of XOR). A failed drive can be hot swapped with a new one, and the RAID controller automatically rebuilds the lost data.

RAID systems come in all sizes from floor-standing cabinets to a complete system in one full-size drive bay. Self-contained systems often include large amounts of cache and redundant power supplies.

RAID used to mean arrays of "inexpensive" disks, which was the title of a paper written in 1988 at the University of California at Berkeley. RAIDs were contrasted with SLEDs (Single Large Expensive Disks), which were still popular on large computers. Today, all hard disks are inexpensive by comparison, and the RAID Advisory Board ( changed the name to "independent" disks. For more details, review the white paper from the RAID Advisory Board at

Redundant Power Supplies

The installation of duplicate power supplies that are designed to come into use to keep equipment working if their counterparts fail.


(Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) The standard e-mail protocol on the Internet. It is a TCP/IP protocol that defines the message format and the message transfer agent (MTA), which stores and forwards the mail. SMTP was originally designed for only ASCII text, but MIME and other encoding methods enable program and multimedia files to be attached to e-mail messages.

SMTP servers route SMTP messages throughout the Internet to a mail server, such as POP3 or IMAP4, which provides a message store for incoming mail. See POP3, IMAP and messaging system. See also SNMP.


(Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) A communications protocol developed under contract from the U.S. Department of Defense to internetwork dissimilar systems. Invented by Vinton Cerf and Bob Kahn, this de facto UNIX standard is the protocol of the Internet and has become the global standard for communications.

TCP provides transport functions, which ensures that the total amount of bytes sent is received correctly at the other end. UDP, which is part of the TCP/IP suite, is an alternate transport that does not guarantee delivery. It is widely used for realtime voice and video transmissions where erroneous packets are not retransmitted.

TCP/IP is a routable protocol, and the IP part of TCP/IP provides the routing capability. In a routable protocol, all messages contain not only the address of the destination station, but the address of a destination network. This allows TCP/IP messages to be sent to multiple networks within an organization or around the world, hence its use in the worldwide Internet (see Internet address). Every client and server in a TCP/IP network requires an IP address, which is either permanently assigned or dynamically assigned at startup.

Virtual Server

With Internet Information Server (IIS), you can create virtual servers that enable a single server to appear as several servers. By convention, each domain name (for example, represents an individual computer. However, it is possible to use a single computer and make it appear to be not only a primary server (for example, named, but also servers for different departments of your company (for example,,, etc.). You can create virtual servers for these departments with Microsoft Internet Information Server. You do not need a different computer for each domain name.

Web Folder

A shortcut to a Web server. When you save a file to a Web folder, the file is saved on a Web server, not on your computer's hard disk. You create Web folders by using the Add Web Folder Wizard, which is located at the root directory of Web Folders in Windows Explorer. You can also create a Web folder from the Open or Save As dialog box in any Microsoft Office program. The Web server that you save files to must have Microsoft FrontPage server extensions installed.



Glossary definition provided by TechEncyclopedia and Microsoft.