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Form validation options

From: Dynamic Dreamweaver Websites: Creating and Validating Forms

Video: Form validation options

Now that we have our Contact Us form set up, and I'm assuming you've done everything in lessons one through five for your form. We want to start looking at the validation piece. And validation simply means we're going to have some code run, to try and make sure the user has filled out the information exactly how we want it. So I am going to open up the contact us page. This is the form we are working in and what are our validation choices.

Form validation options

Now that we have our Contact Us form set up, and I'm assuming you've done everything in lessons one through five for your form. We want to start looking at the validation piece. And validation simply means we're going to have some code run, to try and make sure the user has filled out the information exactly how we want it. So I am going to open up the contact us page. This is the form we are working in and what are our validation choices.

Well there's actually two choices. We can use two different pieces for Dreamweaver validation, or we can use custom validation that we create and write either in Javascript on the client's side or PHP on the server's side. Let's take a look at the Dreamweaver behaviors first, and you'll be able to see what I'm talking about. In order to access those within Dreamweaver, we want to go to the Window menu and go down to behaviors.

Once we have our Behaviors panel open, we can use this. And behaviors is a word that's specifically for within the Dreamweaver environment. Any time you add Behaviors, what you're actually adding is JavaScript. But these are pre-built scripts that Dreamweaver can create for you, to assist you in a variety of ways. So in order to create a behavior within Dreamweaver, we normally attach it to something.

So let me just click Submit button here, so that we can actually get some information in the Behaviors panel so I can show it to you. So I've selected the button within the form. When I do that, you can see now the plus is active. If I don't have anything selected in the form, the plus may or may not be active. So, select that button again. Now whatever you select here, is what ends up being activated within this Behaviors panel.

I just want to show you, this is one option. So any of these features within this area, are all JavaScript features. In other words they are happening within the user's browser, nothing get's sent back to the server we don't need the web server in any way for these to run. So that is one option for validating a form down in behaviors under validate form. There is another option that came out, and this came out either in CS3 or 4.

What Adobe did, was package up some JavaScript libraries for you, and they packaged it up under the name of Spry. So we're going to take a look at using Spry validation fields. And those are located inside this area. Notice each one of them says the word Spry. And validation within this middle section. Anywhere you see orange in the insert bar, that little orange circle. It will be spry. I have the same options, because they're forms related. They're also listed in the forms area.

These are the exact same things. Both Dreamweaver behaviors and Spry validation fields are adding JavaScript so its all client side form validation. Now we can always do some custom JavaScript, if you want to write out custom JavaScript. And the last piece we can add, is server side validation, and that is all custom written. And we're going to take a look at some code, in order to work with server side validation.

So there's four different ways we can validate this form, three of which are in the browser itself. The last option, server side validation, the user fills out the form, clicks the button, it sends the request back to the web server and PHP validates and sends back information to the browser to display on the page. So those are the four types of Form Validation, we're going to take a look at. And I've done a movie for each individual piece, so you can get a good overview of working in Form Validation, for any form.

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