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If you've picked up this book, you're interested in the world of Web design and development and, more specifically, in how Dreamweaver MX can help you succeed in these endeavors.

For those of you who have used Dreamweaver in the past, you'll be glad to know that Dreamweaver MX comes with a lot of support for all the things you could do in the past—HTML code lookup, a useful design view, all the functions for building tables, forms, and other elements that take so much time if you do them by hand. You'll also be glad to know that Dreamweaver MX supports those of you who code in various middleware languages, such as ColdFusion, PHP, JSP, and ASP. You can even preview pages that get their content from ODBC and JDBC sources, streamlining development even more.

What's Inside, Part by Part

If you're new to Dreamweaver MX, read Part I, “Getting Up to Speed with Dreamweaver MX.” In this part of the book, Chapters 1, 2, 3 and 4 provide a solid foundation for understanding other concepts in the book.

Part II, “Static Web Page Creation,” covers some advanced topics, such as tables, forms, and framesets. If you're a programmer, understanding the basics of forms (see Chapter 6, “HTML Forms”) in particular will be very handy to know. Whether you're a designer or a developer, understanding Dreamweaver MX's productivity tools—and especially templates and layers—is also covered in Chapter 8, “Dreamweaver Templates,” and Chapter 11, “Layers in Dreamweaver.”

Developers and designers who are building media-rich sites should concentrate on Part III, “Adding Interactivity.” The chapters in this part of the book cover DHTML, Flash, Shockwave, and integrating images and other media into the Web sites you're building.

New and experienced developers alike will benefit from Part IV, “Introduction to Web Applications.” Although there is some introductory material (such as Chapter 16, “Introduction to Web Applications”), Chapter 17, “Web Application Preparation,” provides detailed installation and configuration instructions for popular Web servers and middleware/database packages.

After you've read the material in Part IV, deepen your understanding of development in Dreamweaver MX by reading Part V, “Behaviors and Middleware.” Chapters cover ASP (Chapter 22, “ASP and ASP.NET”), JSP (Chapter 23, “JSP”), and PHP (Chapter 24, “PHP and MySQL”).

After you understand how Dreamweaver MX works with a development environment, read Part VI, “Database-Driven Pages,” for further understanding of database technologies and how they operate in a Web application environment.

Part VII, “Appendixes,” consists of various detailed appendixes on accessibility and other topics that are at the forefront of today's Web development world.

What's Inside, Chapter by Chapter

Chapter 1, “What's New in Dreamweaver MX,” introduces you to what's new in Dreamweaver MX, some of which I've already listed, and some I haven't: JavaBean introspection, Code Snippets, enhanced templates, and better toolbars.

Chapter 2, “The Dreamweaver MX Interface,” covers the Dreamweaver interface: document views, toolbars, inspectors, panels, and status bars. By the end of the chapter, you should feel fairly comfortable with the Dreamweaver MX environment.

Chapter 3, “Dreamweaver MX Site Management,” covers site management, including defining a site, file check in and check out, and defining a local root folder.

Chapter 4, “Dreamweaver MX Essentials,” covers the essentials of HTML: page properties, HTML elements, JavaScript, typography, and graphics.

Chapter 5, “Creating Tables,” and Chapter 6, “HTML Forms,” cover HTML tables and forms—two parts of HTML that will make your design and development life much easier.

Chapter 7, “Framesets,” covers framesets, including when to use frames and how to use them properly.

Chapter 8, “Dreamweaver Templates,” covers Dreamweaver templates in depth. A good understanding of templates and the workflow surrounding them can make you more efficient.

Chapter 9, “Assets and the Library,” covers the library, another time-saving tool. You'll learn how to create and store assets for a site, how to use those assets, and how to update all library assets from a centralized location.

Chapter 10, “Cascading Style Sheets,” covers the different types of style sheets, how to apply them, and the different properties for text, backgrounds, borders, lists, positioning, and more.

Chapter 11, “Layers in Dreamweaver,” covers layers. Layers are a key component of DHTML—and for those of you who have concerns about cross-platform compatibility, the chapter also covers conversion of layers to tables.

Chapter 12, “DHTML,” covers DHTML, including timelines, layers, and creating slideshows.

Chapter 13, “Adding Video and Audio,” provides an overview of media and includes how to link or embed media, as well as a discussion of ActiveX controls.

Chapter 14, “Inserting Flash and Shockwave,” covers Flash and Shockwave—the differences between the two, what parameters they accept, and how to trigger different aspects with JavaScript.

Chapter 15, “Integration with Complementary Programs,” shows you how to do roundtrip editing of graphics with Fireworks MX, as well as roundtrip editing of Flash MX. The chapter also covers importing Photoshop/ImageReady-generated HTML.

Chapter 16, “Introduction to Web Applications,” begins a series of chapters on Web application development. The chapter covers basic concepts such as server-side scripting, databases, and SQL.

Chapter 17, “Web Application Preparation,” covers how to set up and configure IIS and Apache; PHP/MySQL, Tomcat, SQL Server, and ColdFusion; and Data Source Names (DSNs).

Chapter 18, “Dreamweaver MX for Application Development,” covers application development in a Dreamweaver MX environment: defining a site and connecting to a data source.

Chapter 19, “Behaviors,” includes material that will make it easier to understand actions and events.

Chapter 20, “Extending Dreamweaver MX,” covers extending Dreamweaver MX with objects, behaviors, and the menus.xml file. It also covers sharing those extensions with others.

Chapter 21, “Working with CGI and Java Applets,” covers CGI and Java applets, with sample guest book applications and a Java-based chat room.

Chapter 22, “ASP and ASP.NET,” provides a complete overview of the ASP object model and the .NET Framework.

Chapter 23, “JSP,” covers the Tag Chooser, JSP directives, actions, scriptlets, expressions, declarations, cookies, and JavaBeans.

Chapter 24, “PHP and MySQL,” provides a look at how PHP compares to CGI, how to use the Tag Chooser, and hand coding PHP.

Chapter 25, “Looking Ahead,” covers emerging technologies, including XHTML, XML, XLST, WNL, and .NET mobile Web controls.

Chapter 26, “Database Primer,” covers the basics (tables, rows, columns) and more advanced topics such as stored procedures, triggers, views, keys, and normalization. The chapter concludes with a Web store database example.

Chapter 27, “SQL Primer,” covers selecting, inserting, updating, and deleting data. It also breaks down SQL into the different clauses and covers joins and subqueries.

Chapters 28 through 32 conclude the book with an in-depth tutorial on building a Web store application with ASP.NET. The chapters include real-life detailed code for catalogs, shopping carts, user registration, personalization, search functionality, and security.

The appendixes cover other important information, such as

  • Accessibility The standards, applying those standards, and the impact of accessibility on design and development efforts.

  • Third-party shopping cart products How to choose a shopping cart technology, some technology options, and integrating the shopping cart with Dreamweaver MX.

  • Server behavior builder Using server behaviors to write cookies, build custom code, and more.

  • Integration with Flash MX Create dynamic, media-rich sites by integrating Flash with middleware and database packages.

  • Dreamweaver MX and language resources Learn more about multimedia development, application integration, PHP, JSP, ASP, ColdFusion, and XML.

  • ColdFusion MX tags Learn how to use the Tag Chooser to implement ColdFusion tags, hand code ColdFusion, and debug your ColdFusion code.

It is our hope that Dreamweaver MX Unleashed can be your one-stop resource for all things related to Dreamweaver MX.

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