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Week: 2 At a Glance

Week 2: At a Glance

With the document design tools out of the way, we can quickly move forward to the dynamic server-based tools in Week 2. Dreamweaver MX takes five very different programming languages and provides a common interface to using them all. With a simple point-and-click interface, you can create custom database driven Web sites that require almost no programming knowledge.

That said, one of the largest mental leaps that new users need to make in order to use Dreamweaver MX needs to be made by people who are programmers. The dynamic tools, although simple to use, are more focused on designers than programmers and require some getting used to. Week 2 will provide straightforward information to nonprogrammers, and also introduce programmers to the application in such a way that they can incorporate it into their existing programming knowledge.

Dreamweaver MX creates dynamic applications using a series of behaviors along with data that is bound to HTML objects. These behaviors accomplish very specific tasks, such as querying a database or inserting into a database table. By itself, a server behavior won't make your site into a dazzling dynamic masterpiece. Combined with other behaviors, however, you can create something that is, indeed, very complex. Some of the available behaviors you'll work with include the following:

  • Showing/hiding information conditionally

  • Displaying/updating/deleting information from a database

  • Authenticating user information based on usernames and passwords

  • Passing information from page to page

By the end of the second week, each of these behaviors (and several others) will be discussed in depth. You'll also learn how to use these features together to build common elements of dynamic Web sites. In fact, almost every aspect of Dreamweaver MX will be explained by the end of the second week.

You should feel completely comfortable with each behavior by the time you're done. What's missing, however, is the applied knowledge that you get only by doing. With this in mind, I've designed most of the lessons in the final week so that by the end of each day, you've created a new and different Web application based on the Dreamweaver tools.



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