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Chapter 26. Introduction to Dynamic Drea... > Dynamic Development Tools in Dreamwe...

Dynamic Development Tools in Dreamweaver MX

Dreamweaver provides a full range of features to help you set up, program, and preview your dynamic web sites. The general procedure for working with live data pages in Dreamweaver is as follows:

As part of defining a site, set up application server information (see Figure 26.16). The most important item of information here is the URL to be used when Dreamweaver sends HTTP requests for live data previewing. If you’re developing locally, the URL should refer to http://localhost or If you’re developing on a remote computer (whether or not you have local network access to it), the URL must be an absolute reference beginning with http://, such as that computer’s IP address or your site’s domain name.

Figure 26.16. The Define Site dialog box showing the Testing Server category.

As part of creating a new document, choose whether it will be a static or live data page, and what server technology and language the page will use (see Figure 26.17). Your choice here will determine what kind of server-side code Dreamweaver inserts into your document, and what objects and other choices you have available to you in the MX interface as you work on the document.

Figure 26.17. The list of file types in the New Document dialog box, showing the different server models and languages.


If you’re upgrading from UltraDev 4, you might have noted that you no longer have to specify a server technology while defining a site. The server language can now be set separately for each document in a site, allowing you to mix server technologies and languages within a site.

Use the Databases panel to set up a connection to an online database, and to explore that database (see Figure 26.18). Clicking the plus (+) button in this panel lets you choose a predefined DSN or (if you’re developing locally on Windows) open the ODBC Data Sources window and define one on-the-fly.

Figure 26.18. The Databases panel showing an exploratory view of a connected database.

Use the Bindings panel to create SQL statements that will collect recordsets from the database to use in the page (see Figure 26.19). The SQL query can pull selected columns and selected records from a connected database, as well as sorting and grouping the information as needed. Only data from collected recordsets can be displayed in a live data page.

Figure 26.19. The Bindings panel showing a selection of records collected from a connected database.

Use Server Behaviors, Application objects, and dynamic input fields located throughout the Dreamweaver toolset to insert dynamic content from the record-set into the page, and control its appearance there (see Figure 26.20). As you can see, after the database connection is established and the recordset is collected, Dreamweaver gives you plenty of different ways to put the dynamic information on a page.

Figure 26.20. Various options for inserting dynamic content placeholders.

Use the Live Data View and Preview in Browser function to view the page with data from the database in place (see Figure 26.21). In Design view, each dynamic element displays as a placeholder—good for working, but not for checking what your page will really look like when it’s live. The Live Data button in the Document window lets you see real data elements in place while still working, though not all dynamic effects properly display here. To see a complete preview of the constructed page, use the standard Preview in Browser command (F12).

Figure 26.21. Viewing Live Data in Dreamweaver and in the browser.



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