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There are lots of ASPs out there. Here's how to select the right one for you.

This story appears in the December 2000 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Believe it or not, the term "ASP" (application service provider) wasn't even coined until last year. Six months ago, typing it into an Internet search engine returned references to "active server pages." These days, you can't turn around without another ASP sprouting up or another business beginning to offer ASP services.

It's little wonder businesses have been perking up their collective ears at the mention of anything ASP. True to its definition, an ASP is a service that hosts applications on the Web. Businesses can access the applications by "renting" them for a monthly subscription-based fee.

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