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Chapter 4. Building an UltraDev Site fro... > Setting Up Your Web Server Connectio...

Setting Up Your Web Server Connection

If you are developing a Web site for an organization that maintains its own Web server, you may have a network connection to your Web server through a mapped network drive. If this is the case, maintaining your pages is as simple as developing them on your test machine and then dragging and dropping them to your Web server using UltraDev’s Site window.

If, however, your organization doesn’t have its own server, it’s likely that you’ll be maintaining your site using File Transfer Protocol (FTP). In the past, FTP has been an awkward method of transferring files because you had to develop your pages in one application and then transfer them using an FTP Client. With FTP, certain files such as HTML documents and scripts had been transferred using ASCII mode, while graphics needed to be transferred in Binary mode to avoid corruption.

Luckily, those days of third-party FTP clients have come to an end. By using UltraDev’s Site window, you can synchronize the files you have edited on your local machine with those stored on your Web server with the click of a button.

Network Connections

Configuring your site to access your files through a network share is very easy. Before you do, however, you need to decide whether you will be accessing your Web server and editing your files directly from the Web server, or if you will be maintaining a copy of your Web site on your local machine and synchronizing the files when changes are made.

The benefit of editing the pages stored directly on the Web server is that you don’t have to worry about maintaining two separate copies of your Web site—one on the server and one on your workstation. The downside, however, comes from the fact that once you save the file you are editing, it is live on your Web site. Doing this is very perilous as you risk publishing files that may not be ready for production. Because of this, I highly recommend that you opt to edit the files on your local machine and then synchronize when you are sure they are ready.

Exercise 4.2 Configuring Your Site to Use a Network Connection

1.
In the Site window, choose Site/Define Sites from the drop-down menu. InsideUD4 should already be displayed. Click Edit.

Tip

Accessing Site Properties If you already have the Site window open to the InsideUD4 site, you can easily access the properties for the site by choosing Define Sites from the Site drop-down menu on the toolbar.

2.
As shown in Figure 4.7, select Remote Info from the Category list and choose Local/Network from the Access drop-down menu.

Figure 4.7. Selecting Local/Network establishes a connection to your network Web server.


Note

Editing Live Pages If you decide you really want to edit your pages directly on your Web server, set the Access dropdown to None.

3.
To browse to the Remote Folder on your Web server where your Web site files are stored, click the folder icon. The Select box should contain the InsideUD4 folder. Click Select.

4.
Leave the box checked next to Refresh Remote File List Automatically.

5.
Click the OK button to return to the Define Sites dialog box.

6.
Click Done.

FTP Connections

Configuring UltraDev to access your Web server through FTP is just as easy as configuring any third-party FTP client. Once configured, however, you can synchronize your files with a single click.

Exercise 4.3 Configuring Your Site to Use an FTP Connection

1.
Open UltraDev 4 and choose Site/Define Sites from the drop-down menu. Select the InsideUD4 site you created earlier and click Edit.

2.
As shown in Figure 4.8, select Remote Info from the Category list and choose FTP from the Access dropdown.

Figure 4.8. Selecting FTP Access configures UltraDev to transfer files to your Web server using the built-in FTP Client.


3.
Fill in the FTP Host and Host Directory information provided to you by your Web host or Webmaster.

4.
Enter your Login and Password. If you check the Save box, UltraDev will remember your password and you will not be required to enter it each time you want to work on your UltraDev site or synchronize your files.

5.
Depending on whether your network is behind a firewall, you may have to provide additional information or use Passive FTP (a more secure method than traditional FTP) to access external FTP sites.

If you aren’t sure whether you are behind a firewall or need to use Passive FTP, leave these boxes unchecked and then try to connect to your FTP server by choosing Site/Connect from the drop-down menu in the Site window. If you are unable to connect, try checking the Use Passive FTP box and try connecting again. If you are still unable to connect, contact your Network Administrator to determine the firewall information that UltraDev requires.

If you do have to configure UltraDev to navigate your company’s firewall, you need to adjust the UltraDev preferences by choosing Edit/Preferences and selecting the Site Category.

6.
Click the OK button to return to the Define Sites dialog box.

7.
Click Done.

WebDAV Connections

If you have been following the buzz that surrounds the World Wide Web Consortium, you are probably familiar with the term WebDAV as an up and coming extension to the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP). If you’re not familiar with WebDAV, it stands for World Wide Web Distributed Authoring and Versioning and it offers an attractive alternative to traditional FTP.

In its current implementation, the HTTP protocol allows you to read Web pages from servers that are capable of accepting HTTP requests. The WebDAV protocol, however, extends HTTP and gives your browser the ability to read and write files, which means that you can author your Web pages using UltraDev and transfer them to your Web server using the HTTP protocol rather than the FTP protocol. Because you use the HTTP protocol, you can take advantage of features such as strong authentication and encryption that FTP does not currently support.

To take advantage of WebDAV, however, your Web server must be capable of interpreting the WebDAV protocol and be configured as a WebDAV server. Currently, both Apache Web Server and Microsoft’s Internet Information Services 5.0 support WebDAV connections.

Exercise 4.4 Configuring Your Site to Connect to a WebDAV Server

1.
Open UltraDev 4 and choose Site/Define Sites from the drop-down menu. Select the InsideUD4 you created earlier and click Edit.

2.
As shown in Figure 4.9, select Remote Info from the Category list and choose WebDAV from the Access dropdown.

Figure 4.9. UltraDev includes support for WebDAV servers.


3.
Click the Settings button and in the WebDAV Connection dialog box, shown in Figure 4.10, fill in the HTTP address of your server.

Figure 4.10. Filling in the appropriate information allows UltraDev to transfer files via WebDAV.


4.
Enter your Username, Password, and email address in the appropriate boxes. If you check the Save Password box, UltraDev will remember your password and you will not be required to enter it each time you synchronize your files. Click OK.

5.
Click the OK button to return to the Define Sites box.

6.
Click Done.

Connecting to Visual SourceSafe Databases

If you have ever accidentally overwritten a file or deleted something you shouldn’t have, you can appreciate the features offered by Microsoft’s Visual SourceSafe (VSS). What VSS does is keep track of every version of your files, whether they are documents, Web pages, or applications, throughout the development process. If you make a mistake or simply want to revert your file back to a previous version, you simply tell VSS which version you want to revert to and VSS rebuilds the file.

Caution

Visual SourceSafe Requirements While Visual SourceSafe is a great tool for protecting changes to your database, UltraDev 4 requires that Windows users have the Visual SourceSafe client 6.0 installed and Mac users need the MetroWerks SourceSafe version 1.1.0.

If you are not sure what version of the VSS client your are running, download and install the SourceSafe Updater from the Macromedia download site at http://www.macromedia.com/support/dreamweaver/downloads.html


Exercise 4.5 Configuring Your Site to Connect to a Visual SourceSafe Database

1.
Open UltraDev 4 and choose Site/Define Sites from the drop-down menu. Select the InsideUD4 you created earlier and click Edit.

2.
As shown in Figure 4.11, select Remote Info from the Category list and choose SourceSafe Database from the Access dropdown.

Figure 4.11. You can access your Visual SourceSafe database using UltraDev 4.


3.
Click the Settings button to open the Open SourceSafe dialog box shown in Figure 4.12.

Figure 4.12. The Open SourceSafe Database dialog box lets you specify the settings for your VSS database.


4.
In the Database Path field, enter the location of your VSS database or browse to it using the Browse button.

5.
Select the project name that you wish to access and enter your Username and Password. If you would like to avoid entering your password every time you access the VSS database, make sure there is a check in the Save checkbox.

6.
Click OK to close the Open SourceSafe Database dialog box.

7.
Click OK to close the Site Definitions dialog box.

8.
Click the Done button in the Define Sites dialog box.

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