Unfortunatly I missed the presentation of week 4’s Internet Application Development lecture, I will however make a summary from the note provided. The topics covered were:

  • Static vs Dynamic pages
  • Development environment for ASP.NET
  • IIS virtual directories 

From previous weeks, I seem to keep forgetting the difference between simple and complex types. An easy definition to remember:

In XML Schema, there is a basic difference between complex types which allow elements in their content and may carry attributes, and simple types which cannot have element content and cannot carry attributes.

source: http://www.w3.org/TR/xmlschema-0/

Static vs Dynamic Pages

Basically put, a static page needs to be re-coded to be changes whereas a dynamic page’s content can change with no change to the page code.

Dynamic pages can be categorized into two major types, Client-Side and Server-side. Examples of client-side dynamic pages can be seen in JavaScript, VBScript, ActiveX Controls and Java Applets, as the name suggests the dynamic content is generated via processing completed on the clients computer. This has a few drawbacks:

  • Larger transfer requirements which can mean slower page load
  • Loss of content control, a developer cannot control the client computer and thus cannot be sure of the dynamic page resulting
  • Code visibility
  • Client must trust the site enough to run scripts from it

Server-side dynamic pages differing in that instead of the dynamic content generating code being passed to and executed on the clients computer, it is executed on the server and the dynamically generated XHTML content then passed to the client. The disadvantages of client-side processing are annulled:

  • Less bandwidth usage
  • Control of processing environment and thus output
  • Processing code is hidden from the client
  • Greater security for client

The only major drawback is the extra processing requirements placed on the server. Some examples of server side technologies are: CGI, ASP, PHP, JSP and ColdFusion.

ASP.NET Environment

The lecture outlined the required software for development in ASP.NET for this subject:

  • · A text editor to write the code in C#
  • · Microsoft’s IIS 5.x or later web server
  • · The Microsoft.NET Framework 3.5

As a windows 7 professional owner I get the latest version of IIS and .NET framework included, additionally I have Visual Studio 2010 which will most likely be my preferred IDE (or possibly MonoDevelop). I have already set up and tested these features which were a major part of the lecture.

IIS Virtual Directories

Important for reducing URL complexity and keeping private the files structure of the server. Virtual Directories enable URLs to point to folders on the web server which are not the same as their written path. The rest of the lecture included very specific details on how to create virtual directories, an important not being the requirement for virtual directories containing ASP files:

When ASP.NET pages are requested from the web server, they are actually executed by the ASP.NET user. Therefore this user needs access to the physical directory that the Virtual Directory refers to. This user has a username of either “ASP.NET” for Windows X or “Network Service” for Windows Vista, Windows Server 2003 or Windows Server 2008. Following the steps described above, give this user Full Control of this directory. If you are unsure of which version of ASP.NET the web server is running it will not cause a problem to set permissions for both users.