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Part 4: Publishing Data on Intranets and... > Creating Dynamic Web Pages

Chapter 18. Creating Dynamic Web Pages

Microsoft's rallying cry, "Activate the Internet," and the firm's use of the "Active" prefix for the majority of its new Internet-related technologies are intended to do away with the static Web pages described in the preceding chapter. Static pages constitute by far the majority of the content available on today's Internet. Microsoft wants you to use Internet Information Server (IIS) 3.0, ActiveX controls, and Visual Basic Script (VBScript) to create interactive Web pages. Flashy graphics, hot audio riffs, and even some digital video content now greet members of the newly revamped and highly activated Microsoft Network. Of course, users need Internet Explorer (IE) 3+ to take full advantage of what Microsoft calls "exciting, compelling, and rich" content. By advancing the technology to create interactive Web pages, Microsoft also gains market share in the browser war.

Giving intranet and Internet users the ability to define their own Web-based view of data isn't as exciting as delivering "rich multimedia content" (one of Microsoft's favorite clichés) from your Web site. Corporate intranets and the Internet offer the opportunity for users to interact with databases, displaying custom views of information and updating entries from Web browsers. Electronic commerce on the Internet depends almost entirely on consumer-and business-related interaction with databases.

This chapter introduces you to the use of two Microsoft technologies, the Internet Database Connector (IDC) and the Active Server Pages (ASP), that let you create dynamic Web pages for displaying and updating data. The IDC examples of this chapter require you to have IIS 2+ or the Microsoft Personal Web Server installed and operating. The ASP examples require IIS 3.0 (or IIS 2.0 and the ASP extensions), which you can download from the Microsoft Web site. You also can use the ASP extensions with the Personal Web Server running under Windows 95. IIS 4.0 includes all ASP features.

Note

The term users to define consumers of information implies to many that information providers should be referred to as pushers.


Note

You can download the Active Server Pages extensions (Asp.exe) for Windows NT Server 4.0, which include the necessary OLE DB and ActiveX Data Object (ADO), from http: //www.microsoft.com/iis/.



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