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|2/15/2006 9:23 PM|
As a web developer and consultant, I am often involved in the upgrade or redesign process of existing web sites. Clients have had a site for a couple of years, and are now ready for something bigger, better or more feature rich. They approach the company I work for (Design IT) for a new web site. Upgrading (or even maintaining) these sites is often not an easy task, especially when they have been built with Dreamweaver and its Templates and Library features.
While in itself these features can be very useful, and allow you to create a consistent looking web site with little work, these features often make it hard to upgrade the web site. In this short article, I show you the common pitfalls with templates and library items, and show you a better alternative. While this article uses ASP for any sample code, the concepts also apply to other programming languages and web servers that support server side includes.
More and more Web sites these days are database-driven. That means that most of the content, customer data, site statistics and maybe even information used for the navigation menu or other layout purposes is stored in a database.
With all that data stored in a database, you also need to provide a means to let your users search for it in the database. Since this information is not file based, you can no longer use tools like Index Server that index the contents of physical files. Instead, you'll need to code the query logic yourself. For each database-driven application, the search facility will be different, because usually your back-end database and the front-end requirements are different. However, part of code can easily be reused in other projects. In this article, I will focus on building a search facility for TheSoccerSite, a database-driven soccer fan site that was created in section 2 of the books Beginning Dreamweaver MX and Beginning Dreamweaver MX 2004. Although the implementation will be specific for the Soccer Site project, you'll get enough background to successfully implement a search facility on your own Web site.