Lesson 1 – Introduction to Visual Basic scripting and ASP

 

Background

 

Students at our school started to study Visual Basic (ver.4) in 1996 and it was clear from the beginning that this fourth generation programming language (4GL) would provide a good tool for promoting students to learn programming.  However, before diving into Visual Basic we teach students QBASIC, a second generation text-based programming language, which allows the student to learn basic programming structures of sequence, decision and repetition without the distraction of the VB GUI development environment.  I believe that a student must understand the logic of code and good structured programming techniques before studying VB.

 

Two years ago, I took a course in Perl and CGI programming and learned how to develop server side applications.   With this knowledge one can write computer programs that will process data on the Internet.  There are several scripting languages on the Internet that enable dynamic web page development ; Javascript, PerlScript, Jscript, JAVA, VBScript and so on.

 

 I believe that VBScript and Active Server Pages provides teachers and students with a good opportunity to learn e-commerce concepts because it builds on prior knowledge.  Many students in Ontario have learned to program in QBASIC and VB and with this sound grounding in coding  they can study Internet programming.  In a few periods, senior computer studies students can learn to design interactive and dynamic web sites that will demonstrate the true power of the Internet, namely its ability to process data using scripting technologies.  To learn more about VBScript check out the following URL :  http://tech.irt.org/articles/js117/

 

One way to introduce the dynamic web design or Internet programming topic is to use the universal system diagram that most computer studies teachers use to demonstrate the relationship of  INPUT,  PROCESS and OUTPUT.

 

INPUT

-         user input via browser : string or numeric

-         HTML forms submit INPUT

-         HTTP governs transfer of input or request

 

 

 

 

PROCESS

-         Personal Web Server (PWS) processes or compiles input and prepares a response to client’s browser

-         ODBC enables connection to databases

-         SQL enables user to search, sort or update data online

-         VBScript objects and components enable data sources to be manipulated

-         programmer will develop an application using scripting technologies to generate desired output

 

 

OUTPUT

-         response or output will appear in clients browser (ex. MSIE, Netscape)