I.  Introduction

A. Welcome

ASP-db™ is the first ASP component that has been developed to provide an easy and yet powerful way to display ODBC/OLEDB databases on a web page.  In creating ASP (Active Server Pages), Microsoft has set a new standard for developing powerful dynamic HTML applications and web pages.  To many seasoned programmers, web programming presents a difficult new challenge due to the primitive nature and "stateless" operation of the web development environment.  In many web applications, database viewing represents a significant percentage of the development effort. ASP-db™ allows a web page developer to handle this complicated function with minimum of code in a matter of minutes.  If you are a programmer who is barely familiar with the ASP environment, you may use the ASP-db™ examples as templates to construct entire ASP web pages quickly.  For example, with ASP-db™, an entire database viewing application for a database with 120 fields and 2000 records can be written in only 3 lines of code! Further more, ASP-db™ is known to start where others ends. Majority of the advanced features are simply not found in any competitor's product. While ASP-db™ can product extreme fast functional modules that nobody could match, the ASP-db Designer redefines the word "productivity" of a normal web programming environment. For example, via 18 clicks, Designer can product a set of complete skeleton template (Input, output and source) of a three layers dynamic list with triggers. All needed to be done by the user is to hand over the job to the graphic designer to dress up the template files. This 18 clicks can easily be equivalent to months of programming in many cases. 

Important notes on component names in this document: Since this manual is written to cover all variations of the ASP-db components (Free, View, Pro,  Enterprise, and 2000), you may need to substitute your product name in place of the one used in this document.  ASP-db Enterprise is used in this manual for most installation and programming examples.  If you are using something other than Enterprise, the following table will help you to determine the names you should use instead.  All levels of the product line use the same dll file called ASPdb.dll  The various features for the different levels are simply turned on or off base on the ID file that you went given at the time of purchase.

ASP-db™ includes the following files

B. Overview of how ASP-db™ works

ASP-db™ is COM+ server-side component. It is designed to be installed on a Microsoft web server.  Once installed, any ASP file on that server can “call” ASP-db.  When its “ASPdb” method is called, it will open and read any ODBC data source, and output it as standard HTML, either as a grid, form, or combination of the two. Below is a basic description of how using ASP-db, the information gets from the server to the end-user’s browser:

  1. The .ASP file (web page) is requested by the end-user from their browser. 
  2. The web server reads the .ASP file and “passes the commands between <% and %> through” the ASP interpreter which decodes and executes the ASP. It then encounters the “Create Object” command for the ASP-db™ object. The server loads the ASP-db dll into memory (if it’s not already loaded). 
  3. All of the properties of the ASP-db™ object (i.e. MyDb) are set such as data source, colors, display style, etc. 
  4. The ASPdb method is invoked in the .ASP file (e.g. MyDb.ASPdb). 
  5. ASP-db™ reads from the data source, and outputs it as HTML to the end-user’s browser. 
  6. The rest of the .ASP page (including the programmer’s standard HTML code) is displayed to the user’s browser and the cycle is complete. 
  7. Each time the end user clicks on one of ASP-db’s buttons, the page is redisplayed with the “requested command” passed as a parameter in the URL address (e.g. myfile.asp?But=gridNext::10). 
  8. Note: The user's browser must have cookies  enabled. This is not unique to ASP-db. It is typical of nearly all asp pages. 

C. Installation  Overview 

Installation consists of:

  1. Uncompress the aspdb200?-xxx.exe file that was delivered to you into a directory called  /ASPDB.

  2. Copying the _ASPdb2001.ID file into your System32 folder.  This file should have been provided to you at the time of purchase.  If you run without having this ID file present, ASP-db will simply run in the “evaluation mode”.

  3. Registering the dll.  Note: If you are updating to a newer version of ASP-db™, you must first un-register the previous version and stop (or shut down) the server processes, then register the new dll.

  4. Running the simple test program to be sure that everything is working OK.  

  5. Confirm the new installation using the Designer2002.

ASP-db™ also make available a “developer” version of the software to users under the ASP-db maintenance contract.  The purpose of this copy is for use on stand-alone machines that do not have access to a network where the full server version is installed.  An example of this might be a notebook computer running Personal Web Server (PWS) 4.0 on Windows 98.  With the developer copy installed on this machine, one would have a complete standalone development and testing station that does not require being attached to a network whatsoever.

D. Installation Details

Before ASP-db™ can be used in a web page application, you must install and register the DLL on your Microsoft web server.  To do this, run the ASPDB.EXE setup program.  Please be sure that the directory you choose to install it in has read and execute rights. After the setup program has been run, YOU SHOULD MOVE ALL DLL FILES INTO A FOLDER THAT IS NOT ACCESSIBLE TO INTERNET USERS, SUCH AS \SYSTEM32.

You may then install and register ASP-db™ in one of two ways.

Registering from MTS (Microsoft Transaction Server) - Preferred Method 

Note: In Windows 95/98/NT/XP this is called “MTS”.  In Windows 2000, it is called “Component Services. This instructions are slightly different for Windows 2000.

MTS Instructions (NT):

You can create a Package Component in the Microsoft Transaction Server with the MMC (Microsoft Management Console). 

  1. Open Microsoft Transaction Server

  2. Open Computers

  3. Open My Computer (Note: If updating to a newer version of ASP-db, right click on My Computer and pick Shut Down.)

  4. Open Packages Installed

  5. Left Click on Packages Installed, then Right Click

  6. Choose NEW PACKAGE from the popup menu

  7. Click on Create an Empty Package

  8. Type in a name, such as ASP_Stuff

  9. Click Next then choose either Interactive or This User & FINISH.
    Note: For Windows NT Server installations, we recommend “This User”,
    otherwise, someone must be logged onto the server in order for ASP-db
    to run.

  10. Open up your "ASP_Stuff" package

  11. Left Click on Components, then Right Click on it and...

  12. Choose NEW COMPONENT

  13. Click on Install new component

  14. Click on Add Files and choose the ASPdb.dll file that you wish to register.

  15. Click the Finish button.

Component Services Instructions (Win 2000):  

  1. To start Component Services, go to Control Panel / Administrative Tools/ Component Services.  Once inside component Services, drill down into Computers, then My Computer, then Com + Applications.  Then Right-click on Com + Applications and choose “New” or “New Application”.  

  2. At "Welcome to the COM Application Install Wizard" screen, click Next >.

  3. Click on Create an Empty Application.

  4. Enter a name, like ASP_Stuff. When asked "Library or Server", pick Server.
    Click Next then choose This User.

  5. Enter the User or click Browse to select the user. Clicking Browse is safer, to ensure that the correct domain and spelling are used. Enter the password and confirm the password. Warning, be sure to include the domain/username if required.  Click on Finish.  (Note: We recommend "This User", otherwise, someone must be logged onto the server in order for ASP-db to run.)

  6. Open up your "ASP_Stuff" application.

  7. Left-click on Components, then right-click it and choose New Component.
    At "Welcome to the COM Application Install Wizard" screen, click Next >.

  8. Click on Install new component.

  9. Click "Add" then choose the ASPdb.dll file that you wish to register.

  10. Click the Finish button.

WS2003 install:


 Registering from a DOS prompt 

This method of registering the dll should NOT BE USED. The instructions are included here only for the purpose of how to unregister your dll in case you had registered using REGSVR32 in the past. It should only be used in an offline W98 mode.

First open a DOS prompt.  Then, change to the directory where the dll was installed.

IMPORTANT!  If you register ASP-db™ in this way, you must Un-register it before installing a newer version.  Un-registering ASP-db™ is done in a very similar manner, except at the DOS prompt, you must type:

   REGSVR32  /U ASPdbEnterprise-Server.dll

After Un-registering, you MUST then shut down and RESTART your web server.  To do this, go to the DOS prompt and type:


Note:  If you get a message like “Bad command or file name” it is probably because the REGSVR32 program is not in your path.  Try to locate the program REGSVR32.EXE on your C drive and add that folder to your path.  Or if REGSVR32 is not in your path, you might try typing:

   \Windows\System\REGSVR32 ASPdb-Free.dll

Notes on Evaluation Copy

The evalaution copy of ASP-db has no expiration date and  is a fully functional version. It  has an advertising banner and a limitation of displaying a maximum of 50 records at one time.  Only limited charting applets are provided

Installing an Updated Version  

If you have already installed ASP-db and you want to install a new updated version, you must unregister you old dll first. The method of un-registering your dll depends on how it was registered in the first place.

If you originally registered it with MTS …

  1. Start MTS

  2. Drill down to "My Computer".

  3. Right click on My Computer and pick Shut Down Server.

  4. Drill down into the Components folder under Packages Installed.

  5. Highlight the ASP-db dll and hit Delete.

  6. Using Windows Explorer, drag and drop the dll into the Components folder on the right side of the screen.

  7. Right click on My Computer and pick Refresh All Components.

If you originally registered it with REGSVR32 …

Go to a DOS prompt and change into the directory where the dll resides. At the DOS prompt, type:
REGSVR32  /U ASPdbEnterprise.dll    (substitute your .dll name if different, i.e. ASPdbPro.dll)
After Un-registering, you MUST then shut down and RESTART your web server.  To do this, go to the DOS prompt and type:


Next, install the new dll using the instructions above in D: Installation Details.  

Note: You must reboot your W98 computer upon installing a new DLL in MTS mode.

  E. Licensing

If you have purchased a copy of ASP-db , you should have received an “ID” file called ASPdb.ID.  This file will take ASP-db out of “Evaluation Mode” and allow you to utilize whatever functionality you purchased (View, Pro, Enterprise, 2000, etc). Just put this ID file into your system32 folder.

F. Getting Started

To see how ASP-db™ works, and to test  for a successful installation, we suggest you use a simple ASP program to exercise ASP-db™.  Try running one of the sample ASP files provided or use the following sample file (use your own Database and Table name).  Use any text editor, NotePad  for example, to edit this file.  Be sure the file name ends with a .asp extension.


Welcome to an ASP-db™ Test Page.<P>
' Create the ASP-db™ object:
Set MyDb = Server.CreateObject(“ASP.db”)
' Use YourFile.mdb in the current directory:
MyDb.dbMDB = Server.MapPath("YourFile.mdb")

MyDb.dbColor = "7"      ' Pick color scheme 7
MyDb.dbMode = "dual"    ' Want both Grid and Form
MyDb.dbGridTableTag="BORDER=3" ' Set table border=3
' Select which Table and Fields to show:
MyDb.dbSQL = "Select * FROM YourTable"
MyDb.ASPdb  ' Show the Database now!



The general form for usage is to:

G. Sales and Technical Assistance:

For sales or technical assistance, please contact your sales representative.

H. Lockout Functions

The following is a matrix of the functions that are NOT available when working with different versions of ASP-db -

Version Lockout Functions
Gold None
OEM Dynalist; Validator; Calendar
(Local Version)
Template; Chart; MagicLayout; Dynalist; Validator; Calendar
Enterprise Template; Chart; MagicLayout; Dynalist; Validator; Calendar
Pro SelectedItem; LookUp; Template; Chart; MagicLayout; Dynalist; Validator; Calendar
View StoredProc; Edit; SelectedItem; LookUp; Template; Chart; MagicLayout; Dynalist; Validator; Calendar