Dynamic Dreamweaver Websites: Creating and Validating Forms
Illustration by John Hersey

Dynamic Dreamweaver Websites: Creating and Validating Forms

with Candyce Mairs

Video: Server-side validation

So far in this course, we've talked about different types of validation including server side validation, but you haven't really seen an example of it in action. So what I want to do, is take you out to an example of working with server side validation. In your course files, you have a file called contactus-servervalidate. This is not a completely working form at this point, but it does give you an idea of server side validation, and that's what I want to show you.

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Watch the Online Video Course Dynamic Dreamweaver Websites: Creating and Validating Forms
3h 34m Intermediate May 19, 2011

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Forms perform an essential function in modern websites, making it possible to gather information from users and validate that information. In this course, Adobe Certified Expert Candyce Mairs shows how to create forms to email user information and validate user data using various methods of form validation. These validation methods include client-side, server-side, and custom validation; CAPTCHA images; and Spry validation fields. You'll also see how to set up a PHP testing environment and preview PHP pages in Dreamweaver. Along the way you'll build your skills in areas like using admin consoles, commenting code, working with variables and includes, and much more.

Topics include:
  • Installing XAMPP on a Windows system
  • Installing MAMP on a Mac system
  • Using admin consoles
  • Creating PHP pages
  • Commenting code
  • Working with web forms
  • Adding custom validation
  • Using redirects
  • Dealing with email issues
Subjects:
Developer Web video2brain
Software:
Dreamweaver
Author:
Candyce Mairs

Server-side validation

So far in this course, we've talked about different types of validation including server side validation, but you haven't really seen an example of it in action. So what I want to do, is take you out to an example of working with server side validation. In your course files, you have a file called contactus-servervalidate. This is not a completely working form at this point, but it does give you an idea of server side validation, and that's what I want to show you.

What's going to happen is, if we do not fill out this form correctly there's going to be quite a bit of code within this form, that's going to pop up in red in a variety of areas. Now in terms of working with code, specifically PHP code, I just want to let you know that it is available, the code on this page anyway is available for you to be able to use on your own. In other words it's placed in the public domain, so just be aware of that.

I have authorized you to use this code in your own pages. So let's take a look at what that code is. So for this form, if I click the Submit button, and do not enter any information, notice our name, email, topic, customer, and scheduled tour date, are required, and we get a little notice up here. These fields turn red on the form, and if I fill one out, I'll put a name in. Click Submit, it doesn't say name anymore, name turns black, and we can go through the form in this manner, correcting things one at a time. And when you go to test your forms, make sure you walk through this step by step. Don't assume every one is working.

Just because one is. There are so many times when every form field is working except one. And you want to make sure if I hadn't tested for that one, then, it wouldn't be working. More information, click Submit. That's now working. Now each time you submit you will have to choose a topic again. I did not modify that in any way. I want to focus on our topics for the course. So I'll click customer. Now when I preview this again I need to pick a topic. I'll choose one of these two.

Now our form has actually been submitted, the way I know that is it looks kind of goofy, but all I did for this particular form was drop the information into a header 1 at the top of the page. It's not neatly organized in any way, I just wanted to make it obvious to you that, the form data was submitted once all of the required fields have been filled out. And I didn't want it emailing anything. I just wanted you to have a way to test, make sure the information from the server side validation standpoint was working.

Ultimately, we're going to put this into an email and have it sent, so I didn't want you to have to modify the code too much when we get to that point. So we know the server side validation is working on this form. So that gives you an example of what server side validation is, when you see it in your form. Now what happens every time every field I fill out, this form will be submitted. So if I delete the name and click Submit, this form is actually going to the web server, PHP code is looking it over testing it. If there's an error, it's sending a new page back to the user with the red text inside of it.

So there's quite a bit of code inside this file. This is a brand new page I'm looking at as a user. It happens so fast users don't realize this, but technically that's what's occurring. So that is what server side validation looks like in your form, it's a lot more complicated to setup then you might think, and its much more complicated than client side form validation. So that gives you an example of server side validation in action.

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