Installing the ASP.NET Engine, Editor, and Database System
For a web server to be able to serve ASP.NET pages, it must have the ASP.NET engine installed. Recall that the ASP.NET engine is responsible for executing the ASP.NET web page and generating its resulting HTML. To install the ASP.NET engine, your computer must be running Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista, or Windows Server 2008. Even if your system does have the required operating system installed, you may need to take additional steps before you can start working with ASP.NET. For example, those using Windows XP need to have Service Pack 2 (SP2) installed. If you're uncertain whether your system meets the requirements, attempt the installation process. The installation program will inform you if there is some prerequisite for installation, such as Service Pack 2.
Three components need to be installed for us to work with the ASP.NET examples throughout this book. First, we must install the .NET Framework, which contains the core libraries required to execute an ASP.NET page. The ASP.NET engine is part of this .NET Framework. Following that, we need to install Visual Web Developer, which is the editor of choice for working with ASP.NET pages. Finally, we need to install SQL Server 2005, a database engine that is used extensively from Hour 14, "Accessing Data with the Data Source Web Controls," onward.
All three components can be installed through the single installation program included on this book's accompanying CD. To begin the installation process, insert the CD into your computer. This brings up the installation program starting with the screen shown in Figure 1.4. Click the Next button to progress through the subsequent two screens.
Figure 1.4 Start the installation process by inserting the CD into your computer's CD-ROM drive.
The book's CD is the installation CD for Microsoft's Visual Web Developer editor. Because Visual Web Developer is designed for developing ASP.NET websites, the installation process automatically installs the .NET Framework and other required ASP.NET tools. You can also install three optional packages, as shown in Figure 1.5.
Figure 1.5 Make sure that you install SQL Server 2005 Express Edition.
The first optional package is MSDN Express Library for Visual Studio 2008. MSDN is Microsoft's collection of product documentation, whitepapers, code samples, and help files. Although all this information is accessible online at http://msdn2.microsoft.com, I encourage you to install MSDN locally on your computer. The local documentation can be searched and accessed quicker than its online counterpart and is still available even if your Internet connection is down.
The second optional package is Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Express Edition. This package is optional in the sense that Visual Web Developer will install successfully with or without SQL Server 2005; however, the latter half of this book's examples rely on SQL Server 2005 being installed. Therefore, make sure that this check box is selected.
The third package is for Microsoft's Silverlight runtime. Silverlight is a browser plug-in from Microsoft that is capable of displaying rich, interactive multimedia content. The Microsoft Silverlight runtime is required to view Silverlight applications in your browser. None of the examples in this book use Silverlight, so you may choose to not install it.
The next screen (see Figure 1.6) enables you to specify in what folder to install Visual Web Developer as well as what products will be installed and the disk space required. After double-checking that the correct packages are being installed, click the Install button to begin the installation process. The overall installation process will take several minutes. During the installation, you are kept abreast with what package is currently being installed as well as the overall installation progress (see Figure 1.7).
Figure 1.6 Specify the folder in which to install Visual Web Developer.
Figure 1.7 Monitor the installation's progress.