Beginner Question - Do I use ASP.net to add dynamic data content to my existing web site?

W

WB

Hi,

This is totally a beginner question, but I have a website that is all static
content built using Microsoft Front page. I don't like the existing site
for many reasons, but right now I am focused on limiting the number of times
the content has to be updated and ensuring accurate (up to date) information
is available when the site is visited.

The site highlights the business as well as each location (currently four).
Each location has a varying number of staff that have profiles available.
The visitor needs to select a location page which takes them to a list of
each location. Then once they select a location it takes them to a page for
that specific location. All the staff are listed top to bottom, with
bookmarks to their profile at the bottom of the page.

As staff are being hired or leaving, these pages and profiles are constantly
needing to be updated.

My vision

A page that allows the user to select a location and then a page that
dynamically fills with data about the location. From there, a selection is
available indicating the active employees for the selected location.
Basically two pages (a location page and an Employee page) that can be
filled dynamically depending on the selection.

Does ASP.net help me accomplish this, because I don't see anywhere in the
front page site/tools where I can do this.

Thanks for your input.

WB
 
P

PvdG42

WB said:
Hi,

This is totally a beginner question, but I have a website that is all
static
content built using Microsoft Front page. I don't like the existing site
for many reasons, but right now I am focused on limiting the number of
times
the content has to be updated and ensuring accurate (up to date)
information
is available when the site is visited.

The site highlights the business as well as each location (currently
four).
Each location has a varying number of staff that have profiles available.
The visitor needs to select a location page which takes them to a list of
each location. Then once they select a location it takes them to a page
for
that specific location. All the staff are listed top to bottom, with
bookmarks to their profile at the bottom of the page.

As staff are being hired or leaving, these pages and profiles are
constantly
needing to be updated.

My vision

A page that allows the user to select a location and then a page that
dynamically fills with data about the location. From there, a selection
is
available indicating the active employees for the selected location.
Basically two pages (a location page and an Employee page) that can be
filled dynamically depending on the selection.

Does ASP.net help me accomplish this, because I don't see anywhere in the
front page site/tools where I can do this.

Thanks for your input.

WB

Yes, ASP.NET is a technology that will allow you to serve dynamic web pages
containing up-to-date date that you specify. The data to be displayed must
be stored somewhere (a database, for example), where the code behind can
access it.

Keep in mind, however, that regardless where the current employee data is
stored (statically in an HTML page or in a database), SOMEBODY (read a
human), must keep that data current. So you need to assess the size of the
job and decide if it's worth moving from your current static environment to
a dynamic one. Developing dynamic web sites using server side automation is
not a trivial process, especially for a beginner, and no amount of
automation will *automagically* keep your employee data up to date for you
with no effort.

If the company is sizeable, and your goal is to make it possible for a human
resources employee to keep the data up to date without you having to worry
about destroyed HTML pages, then a web app that provides simple data entry
forms can potentially remove that job from you, the web master.
 
W

w

Well I guess I am the web master, but that is only by default since no one
else is around. My background is in client server applications and have
been developing a system for a company that enables them to run point of
sale, inventory management, employee data, customer data, etc. We have an
sql database that stores all the data. I am not however, proficient in web
development mainly because I have not had to be. Until now. The web design
I inherited and I see many "efficiency" problems that I want to address.
Starting with how the static pages are updated. I say all that to point out
that having someone other than me update the employee data is already in
place with the existing application I developed.

I just want to make sure I am chasing the right technology with my vision so
as not to waste time and energy with something that will not give me my
expected outcome.
 
H

Hillbilly

Let's get something straight for you WB. By the time you can even begin to
learn the fundamentals of how to develop using .NET your "vision" will
change and so will the ways things are done using .NET.
 
H

Hillbilly

Both. And there's nothing "regularly" about it like an update to a db
product and the dot releases we are familiar with on a "regular" basis. When
I started and crossed over to 1.0 from ASP all of the seasoned developers
were explaining it takes about a year just to get a meaningful grip on what
OOP is and how it functions. I found that about right but I think it too is
even optimistic these days. Your db scripting skills are not going to help
you with OOP so just be prepared as you are really late, the framework has
become very abstract since 1.0 and OOP has become IMO exponentially complex.
There are well over something like 65,000 classes to give you a scary clue
about how it has grown.

Furthermore, there are a handful of languages involved in client-side web
development HTML, CSS, JavaScript and their frameworks all of which are
different and each of which has also become increasingly abstract and
convoluted which is another way of explaining things are really FUBAR and
just getting more and more complex when browsers function as the parser.

While it is on order of magnitude more difficult to learn I would recommend
you consider Silverlight/WPF as you can avoid all the ugly client-side
problems that are imposed by browsers and I would not recommend any language
other than C# for server-side code and if you are really good in math (not
"I think so" but seriously know for sure) you should also start learning F#
as early as possible.
 
A

Andy O'Neill

I you're used to windows development then the stateless nature of web
applications is a bit weird and takes a bit of getting used to.
Having said that. you can drag and drop and make some sort of list page
without a huge amount of knowledge really.
It's the next step is the big one.
When you or your manager decide your vision needs a bit of jazzing up.

Silverlight is a lot more like a windows application.
That's because it actually runs on the client rather than the server.
BUT, and it's a big BUT you can't just connect your database and read some
data.
You need to create a service for each database call and return your data
asynchronously.
Plus you need to learn xaml and all the intricacies of dependency
properties, styling and whatnot.
You should really also learn a development pattern called MVVM.
Does that sound like a lot?
Because I probably understated it.

I do silverlight and wpf as well as asp.net. Used to be a cobol developer,
moved to vb and access, then vb and sql server before .net.
I reckon the learning curve on silverlight/wpf is possibly the steepest.
There's a lot to learn.

If your only purpose is to generate a list of job opportunities then it's
quite an investment.

I would think that some of the simpler cms solutions out there might bear
some looking at.
At some point, someone's got to type the adverts.
That could be straight into your cms and you hand maintenance of the data to
HR.
 

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