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Developing ASP.NET Applications with Macromedia's Dreamweaver MX 2004

Article Description

Macromedia's Dreamweaver has long been known as the premiere web site design tool for web professionals. But did you know that Dreamweaver allows you to build web applications that leverage J2EE, ColdFusion, and Microsoft .NET, among others? Matthew David introduces you to the exciting world of developing applications built on ASP.NET.

Building a database driven page

To demonstrate that you have created a successful connection to your database using ASP.NET, let's make a simple connection.

To do this you will need to open the Bindings window, by going to Windows → Bindings. From this window choose the +symbol and add a new DataSet. A DataSet is a special collection of data in .NET. The DataSet window will open and then all you need to do is choose what you want to do from the drop-down window. Name the DataSet "ds_employee"; select the database connection, NW_CONN, from the connection drop-down; select the Employees table and keep the remainder defaults. Select OK and you have your first DataSet, as shown in Figure 13.

Figure 13

Figure 13

You will now see your "ds_employees" expanded in the Bindings window, as shown in Figure 14.

Figure 14

Figure 14

You can now create dynamic pages. To demonstrate this, drag the field named FirstName from the Bindings window onto the page. Add a space and drag the field LastName onto the page as well. Press F12 to preview your page. You will see that the placeholders have been replaced with real names from the database.

You can continue to add additional features, such as "Repeat Region" to a group of records, navigation tools, insert/update/delete tools, and rich tools, such as DataGrids. The bottom line is that you now have a Dreamweaver Site set up to build the web applications that you need to deliver to your clients. Dreamweaver can give you immediate access to ASP.NET tools and functionality without having to buy Visual Studio from Microsoft. The tips in this article are only the beginning of what you can achieve with Dreamweaver ASP.NET solutions.