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Week: 1 At a Glance

Week 1: At a Glance

Part of the appeal of the Dreamweaver MX environment is that it isn't just a powerful application builder; it is also a first class Web page authoring environment as well. Macromedia has included all the features of the popular Dreamweaver application in Dreamweaver MX. This enables the users to design visually appealing dynamic applications within a reliable and consistent interface.

The first week of work focuses primarily on using these tools to create and manage Web pages. In order to create engaging dynamic applications, you must first have the knowledge and background to create the HTML that the pages use.

Even if you're an experienced HTML author, it is a good idea to read through the first week. Although easy to use, Dreamweaver MX has many hidden features that, if used correctly, can help reduce your Web page development time exponentially. Here are just some of the features you'll learn about:

Flash Buttons and Text— Quickly add Flash-based text and buttons to your documents, without a need for the Flash authoring tools.

Use DHTML to Animate— Without the need for plug-ins, you can add animation and even simple games to your pages.

Pixel Point Positioning— Position elements in your document with pixel-point accuracy using layers and the unique Layout Mode offered in Dreamweaver MX.

Advanced Site Management Tools— Design your site in a multi-user environment using Dreamweaver MX's other built-in file and version management systems.

The first several days contain a lot of information, but should provide a valuable reference during the remaining few weeks. Because I'm sure that most everyone is interested in the dynamic server-based components of Dreamweaver MX, the first week will end with several important lessons to prepare you for Weeks 2 and 3.

If this is your first foray into dynamic Web programming, it's unlikely that you have a database design background. Don't worry; you're going to have one in a few days. Although it might sound silly now, you're going to learn that the most powerful part of your Web application environment is your database server. The more work your database server can do, the faster your site will operate and the faster your application server will respond.

What if you don't even have an application server yet? Don't worry. Week 1 ends with a look at all the servers that Dreamweaver MX's dynamic tools support and what each has to offer, and then takes you through the steps of setting up servers for Windows XP and Mac OS X.

Good luck, and feel free to email me (jray@poisontooth.com) if you have any questions.



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