Configuring Your Environment
This lesson and all future lessons in this book focus on teaching you by example. To learn from the examples, you must be able to execute them on your own computer. To execute the sample programs, you need three things installed on your development computer:
One of the following operating systems: Windows NT 4.0 Workstation or Server, Windows 2000 Professional or Server, or Windows XP or higher, such as Advanced Server or Datacenter Server. Windows NT isn't recommended, however as many people have reported problems getting .NET to work properly on that operating system.
A Web server that supports ASP.NET. Essentially, this means Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) 4.0 or higher, or Microsoft Personal Web Server (PWS) on NT 4.0 Workstation. We assume IIS for the remainder of this book, but you can adapt the instructions to PWS easily.
The .NET Framework, which includes the CLR, the Visual Basic compiler, and ASP.NET.
As of this book's writing, there's no way to perform .NET Internet development on the Windows 95/98/ME platforms.
Although it's optional, we strongly recommend that you install Visual Studio .NET as well (which includes the .NET Framework). You can create .NET applications without Visual Studio by using any text editor and the command-line compilers, but Visual Studio makes the whole processdebugging in particulara lot easier.
This section will give instructions for installing IIS on Windows 2000 Professional. IIS comes with Windows 2000 Professional but isn't installed by default. To install IIS, you must take the following steps, and you must have your Windows 2000 CD handy.
If you are currently running Windows NT 4.0, you should install Personal Web Server. The installation process for PWS on Windows NT 4.0 Workstation is similar, but you must download the latest Option Pack from http://www.microsoft.com/downloads. Select the keyword search option on this Web page, Windows NT 4.0 from the Operating System drop-down list and then click the Find It button.
Follow these steps:
In the Windows Control Panel, select Add/Remove Programs.
Select Add/Remove Windows Component on the bottom left of the Add/Remove Programs window.
Look at the check box next to the Internet Information Services item.
Insert your Windows 2000 CD into your computer.
Click Next and wait for the installation to complete.
Installing Visual Studio .NET
Before you install Visual Studio .NET, take a quick glance at the Microsoft Developer Network home page at msdn.microsoft.com. This site contains any late-breaking news about the product.
Follow the specific instructions that the setup program offers. Depending on the options you select for installation, the process can take some time. Don't expect to get much programming done immediately.