Windows Web Solutions UPDATE--brought to you by Windows Web Solutions, the Windows & .NET Magazine print newsletter with tools and solutions for managing your Web site.
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June 4, 2002—In this issue:
- Web Services Promises Seamless Distributed Computing
2. KEEPING UP WITH IIS
- Develop Polished Web Form Controls the Easy Way with the .NET Framework
- Results from Last Issue's Instant Poll: .NET and Web Development
- This Issue's Instant Poll: Implementing .NET Web Services
- Raising Windows 2000 Availability—Free Webinar
- Register for Our Latest Web Seminar and Get a Free Subscription to SQL Server Magazine!
- Event Highlight: COMDEX Canada 2002
- Featured Thread: Setting Up Password-Protected Areas
5. NEW AND IMPROVED
- Build, Manage, Integrate, and Change Enterprise Applications
- Submit Top Product Ideas
6. CONTACT US
- See this section for a list of ways to contact us.
In the May 21, 2002, issue of Windows Web Solutions UPDATE, I explained why Web developers can build more powerful Web applications faster in ASP.NET than they can in traditional Active Server Pages (ASP). The availability of more than 6500 Microsoft .NET framework classes gives Web developers Win32-caliber power but with simplicity that beginning or average-level Visual Basic .NET developers can handle easily. Also, Visual Studio .NET's automatic code-generation feature lets the programming tool do much of the work for Web developers.
I received an overwhelming reader response to the May 21 article, which seems to have persuaded many traditional administrators (such as Microsoft IIS administrators) who aren't software developers to dive into ASP.NET with Visual Studio .NET and start building applications, prototypes, and pilots. I think this reaction is very exciting. I've answered numerous email messages asking such questions as, "How do I get started?" "What is the best book to get me started?" and "Where do I get an evaluation copy of Visual Studio .NET?"
Few things satisfy seasoned developers as much as beginning a project with a well-thought-out design and prototype. Other than a learning curve that many administrators are finding pretty fun, nothing is holding administrators back from using Visual Studio .NET to build prototypes and eventually production-class applications. However, here is a common misconception about .NET: As easy as Visual Studio .NET makes application development, it doesn't replace a seasoned software architect. You still need experienced software developers to design enterprise-class applications from the bottom up.
Another misconception about the conceptual difficulties of .NET involves Web services, which hold the promise of seamless distributed computing over the Internet. Web services enable interoperability and truly distributed computing among numerous platforms. But unlike distributed technologies of the past, which were dependent on proprietary object models and proprietary programming languages, Web services work in a loosely coupled and vendor-neutral environment.
One reason seamless distributed applications haven't existed on the Internet is because firewalls preclude the use of efficient binary protocols (e.g., Distributed COM—DCOM) that are traditionally used for distributed computing. .NET Web services use Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP), which delivers XML through port 80 (or an alternate port) to other systems and even other platforms. Web services aren't just a "Microsoft thing"; they're an industry standard. Microsoft just makes building Web services easy with Visual Studio .NET, which lets you click your way to building a simple Web service without writing any code.
If you understand some of the basic concepts of COM, you can easily understand the functionality of a Web service: A Web service has public methods exposed to the Internet, much like the methods of a COM object. A Web service is like a COM object turned inside out (i.e., inside the firewall to outside the firewall); that is, the methods are exposed on the Internet and can be called from anywhere (if the proper security privileges exist) on the Internet. As a Microsoft platform developer, I find the idea of calling a method on a Sun Microsystems' Java system across the Internet and retrieving the results to use in an application running on the Microsoft platform very exciting and powerful.
I think you'll agree that the .NET platform and its accompanying toolset give developers power we never dreamed of having when we were building traditional ASP applications. Can you imagine what improvements Microsoft has in store for the next versions of these technologies? I'll be writing about those improvements in the months to come.
Tim Huckaby, News Editor, [email protected]
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2. KEEPING UP WITH IIS
Prebuilt custom controls make application design easier and faster and let you maintain UI consistency. However, prepackaged controls can be big and slow and are OS-specific. For developers who don't want to use prepackaged controls, Visual Studio .NET provides controls for Web Forms that are similar to the controls for Windows Forms, including label and text box, and includes new additions such as the DataGrid, all of which you can customize.
The voting has closed in the Windows & .NET Magazine Windows Web Solutions channel's nonscientific Instant Poll for the question, "Have you found that .NET lets you create 'faster, more powerful, and more scalable Web applications in half the time'?" Here are the results (+/-1 percent) from the 55 responses.
- 35% Yes
- 16% No
- 49% I haven't used .NET for Web development.
The next Instant Poll question is, "When does your enterprise plan to implement .NET Web services?" Go to the Windows & .NET Magazine Windows Web Solutions home page and submit your vote for 1) We already use .NET Web services, 2) Within 6 months, 3) Within 1 year, 4) We plan to, but we're not sure when, or 5) We don't plan to use .NET Web services.
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July 10 through 12, 2002
COMDEX Canada 2002 will cover the entire IT spectrum, focusing particularly on innovation, product and initiative launches, business transformation, and thought leadership. COMDEX Canada 2002 will feature Technology Zones to help buyers easily find the products they need. Technology Zones include Information Security, Wireless and Mobility, Networking and Communications, Software Platforms and Solutions, Digital Imaging and Document Management, and Services.
For other upcoming events, check out the Windows & .NET Magazine Events Calendar.
Joe is trying to create user accounts to let only users who have accounts access certain areas of his Web site, and he's having trouble setting up password-protected areas in Microsoft IIS 5.1. He's new to IIS and wonders what default domains and realms are. To see responses about this scenario or to lend a helping hand, visit the following URL:
5. NEW AND IMPROVED
(contributed by Carolyn Mascarenas, [email protected])
WebPutty released WebPutty Flexibility Platform 5.0, software that helps you build, manage, integrate, and change enterprise applications. The platform has three main modules: server, development, and interoperability. The WebPutty Flexibility Server runs applications and Web services. The server provides support for rich XML Web services. The WebPutty Development Suite contains Development Studio and Business Studio, which let you make quick changes to running applications and orchestrate the interaction between WebPutty and external applications. The WebPutty Interoperability Suite contains the Discovery feature, which lets WebPutty understand the structure and definition of external applications, objects, data sources, and services. For pricing, contact WebPutty at 408-282-4000 or 888-841-4932.
Have you used a product that changed your IT experience by saving you time or easing your daily burden? Do you know of a terrific product that others should know about? Tell us! We want to write about the product in a future What's Hot column. Send your product suggestions to [email protected].
6. CONTACT US
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