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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.
Welcome to Chapter 8, Dynamic Development in Dreamweaver. In this chapter we're going to give you a general overview of the process of connecting your website to a database and working with that data. Since the concepts involving Dynamic Development are so broad in in-depth we will just crash the surface of Dreamweaver's capabilities. For a more in-depth review of Dynamic Development there is an entire title dedicated to the subject at lynda.com. We will start by focusing on the need for a server environment. If you want to develop database-driven applications you will need access to an application server. This could be ColdFusion, .NET or the server model will work with PHP/MySQL.
If you have an application framework already installed or if you'll be using a server model other than PHP/MySQL, don't worry. The process that we go through in this chapter will be the same, even if there are some slight differences. Dreamweaver was designed to be server application neutral and while some application servers will have options not found in others, the general workflow is the same for all. For most tasks Dreamweaver will create server application code for you based on the server model specified when you setup your site. So our first step will be to establish setting up application server. For that we'll use an Open Source combination Apache, MySQL and PHP. If you are not currently running a server environment follow along with this to establish your local development environment. If you have an existing development server you should be able to use it to complete these exercises.
We do recommend, however, installing and setting up the environment as shown to ensure that your example stats will go smoothly. If you are working on a Mac, you want to watch the Mac installation movie and for installing on a PC, please watch the PC installation movie.
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