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Working with a Professional Designer

To make our discussions concrete, we present a case study in this chapter that builds an ASP.NET Web application from a design created in Microsoft FrontPage. The VB Snippets Web site resembles the Web application we used to illustrate the material in the last two chapters, but it has a more professional appearance and includes more usability features. As a matter of fact, the earlier versions of this Web application served as a prototype for the case study.

The VB Snippets case study contains many Web pages and a lot of code. In this chapter, we present some of the code, but only to illustrate points not made in earlier chapters. We encourage you to download the code and experiment with it yourself to see how all of the pages in the Web site work together. The code includes scripts to set up the databases used by VB Snippets, plus another Web application that we used to add and edit the code snippets displayed by the case study. Figure 15-1 shows a collage of the Web pages that we used to maintain the VbCode database. As this application closely resembles code presented in Chapter 13, we don’t discuss it further in this chapter.

Figure 15-1. The C15_Code_Update project supports adding code snippets to the database, editing them, and adding localized descriptions.
Chapter 15, Figure 01.

The VbCode database stores the code snippets and localized descriptions for each. The case study supports five languages: English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, and German. Visitors to the VB Snippets Web site locate the snippets they wish to see (and copy) using keywords associated with each snippet. Figure 15-2 shows a diagram of the VbCode database in the SQL Server Enterprise Manager. All of the accesses to this database in the VB Snippets case study occur through a single class file that’s discussed later in this chapter.

Figure 15-2. The VbCode database stores the code snippets for display by the case study.
Chapter 15, Figure 02.

One of the advantages of collaborating with a professional designer is that you can work concurrently. Using simple prototype Web pages, you can create and test classes that you will use when you implement the Web application when the design is completed. You can also create and populate test databases to use to test both the prototypes and the finished Web application. This overlap allows you to improve the delivery time of a Web application significantly.

Like programming, Web site design is an intense, exacting occupation. And, again like programming, the design of a good Web site takes time and effort. Fortunately, Visual Studio .NET makes it possible to prototype a Web application while its design is in progress. The prototyping period is an excellent time to establish a good working relationship with the professional Web site designer on your team.

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