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Covering diverse topics such as improving workflow and managing CSS styles, Dreamweaver CS3 Beyond the Basics is a hands-on course that teaches users how to move beyond standard, static websites. Instructor James Williamson explores how to increase productivity, interactivity, and accessibility with Dreamweaver. He also discusses how to extend the application's capabilities with XML and XSL. Exercise files accompany the tutorials.
To begin creating dynamic pages in Dreamweaver, we will need to modify our site with a proper remote folder information and specify the location of our testing server. So we are back in Dreamweaver, and we are going to go ahead and take care of all that by editing our newly defined Chapter 8 site. So I am going to go up to the menu, to Site, and choose Manage Sites. I will choose our Chapter 8 site, and I am going to click on the Edit button. So the first thing I want to do is go to my Remote Info, and on my Remote Info instead of Access being None, I am going to change that to Local/Network, because we are going to be developing locally. Depending upon whether you are developing on a Mac or a PC, we are going to have a slight difference here. We are on a Mac, so when I click on the Browse for Remote Folder, I am going to go to my Applications, and I am going to scroll down and find the MAMP folder, and remember we are going to be uploading our files directly into the htdocs folder. In some cases you might want to put in a subdirectory that's project based, but at this point we are just going to go ahead and upload files directly to the root server. So we are going to click Choose.
If you are on the PC, you are going to browse to the C drive and you are going to need to find the WAMP directory; and it should be right on this root of C. Inside of that you will find a folder called www. That folder serves the same purpose as the htdocs folder, and that's what you are going to want to specify as your remote folder. So we will go ahead and click Choose. I am not going to select the Automatically upload files to server on save. That's actually a fairly bad idea, because you could overwrite some files that you don't really want to overwrite. For testing purposes, it's not that big of a deal, but I usually just leave that off as a general rule.
I am also not going to turn on check in and check out, and that way we can upload files and download files as we are testing without really having to worry about following the check in and check out procedures. Now, that's half the battle. I also need to go and specify a Testing Server. So when I click on the Testing Server category, its going to ask me for a Server Model, and you can see that Dreamweaver supports a lot of different server models. I am going to go down and choose PHP MySQL, because that is the one that we are developing with. Again, for Access, I am going to choose Local/Network. A lot of this will go ahead and populate, because we have already specified the Remote Info. So you can see for the Testing Server, it goes in and fills that information in from wherever the location of your remote folder is.
Now, the URL prefix is something that we are going to have to change here on the Mac. If you remember earlier in the Mac Setup movie, our localhost port is: 8888. On a PC, you should just see localhost. I am going to go ahead and click OK, and it's going to recreate my cache, and I will click Done. Now, one of the first things I want to do is go ahead and upload my entire site to the remote server. One of the reason I want to do that is because when I am developing in Dreamweaver with an application server, every time I preview the page in the browser, it's going to upload that file through remote using the testing server to preview it. Dreamweaver is going to prompt you and say do you want me to upload independent files, and that generally works, but sometimes you will have links to external scripts or other files that are necessarily for previewing, and it won't upload those.
So I am going to go ahead and upload the entire site and I will click on the Site Files Expand button, and I will just make sure that my root folder is selected and I am going to choose the Put Files icon; it's going to ask me, are you sure? I am, so I am going to click OK, and it will go ahead and upload that. So our site has finished uploading, and the next thing we want to do is go ahead and establish a data source. So I am going to minimize my Site Files panel, and a panel that we are going to be working with a lot in this chapter is the Application panel group. So you want to open that up.
The Application panel group contains four panels: you have got your Databases. Your Bindings, where we will create recordsets. Server Behaviors, where we will generate a lot of our server site code. The Components panel, where if we have some server-based components, that's especially prevalent with ColdFusion, we will be able to access those. So I am going to click on the Database panel. In order for us to define a data source, we first need to have a page open. So I am just going to go ahead and open up my index.php page. You might notice that we are using a different extension for this chapter.
Instead of using an .htm extension, we are using a .php extension, and of course that correlates to this being a PHP page. So our Database panel now is highlighted and we are able to select items on the page. What's really nice about this is Dreamweaver gives us a step-by-step instruction, and if one of these does not have a checkmark beside them yet, we need to go back and complete that step. So you notice that we have created a site, we have chosen a document type, and we have set up a site testing server. So I am going to go up and click on the + button, and I can see my SQL connection is set up. Now, if I have defined other DSNs or Data Source Names through ASP or .NET or ColdFusion, I would actually see those connections available to me here as well. So I am going to go ahead and click the MySQL Connection and its going to bring up a fairly intimidating looking dialog box, but don't let it intimidate you.
The first thing we need to define is a Connection name, and this Connection name can be anything that you want it to be, it just needs to be very descriptive as to what database you are connecting to. I am just going to go ahead and type in dsArtists. So I usually prefix that with a ds and that means data source. So next we would need to specify the SQL Server, and at this point its just localhost for all of us, and a User name and a Password. So on the Mac, the user name is going to be root and the password is going be root. On the PC, the default user name is root, but the default password is blank. So unless you have changed any of those on the PC, your user name will be root, your password will be empty. On the Mac, your user name will be root and your password will also be root.
So we need to go ahead and choose which Database we want to use from this connection. So I will go ahead and hit Select, and it populates with the list of available databases. We want to use the artist database that we defined earlier. So I will click OK and then click OK again, and now our Database panel shows our dsArtists. If I open that up, I would be able to browse through any Stored procedures, I can browse through any tables; in this case of course we just have the artist table, and that populates out. So that information being displayed means that we have access to this database and we can begin writing recordset queries, which we will do in our next exercise.
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