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Understanding Web Pages

A Web site can consist of as little as one page. Most Web sites contain many pages, however, and can become quite elaborate. You are limited only by your imagination. The Web is the logical connections between pages by references to hyperlinks. A hyperlink is a special HTML tag that contains a uniform resource locator (URL)—that is, the location of the linked Web page.

A good way to create a Web site is with Microsoft FrontPage 2000. The basic Web page contains the same HTML. Listing 1 demonstrates the essential HTML code that must go into every text file with .HTM or .HTML extensions.

Listing 1  An HTML File Stripped to Bare Bones

1:  <html>
2:  <head>
3:  </head>
4:  <body>
5:  </body>
6:  </html>

Lines 1–6 represent a complete (albeit blank) Web page. By adding additional HTML between the <body> and </body> tags, you can create the pages that will be visible on the Web. Tools such as FrontPage make creating Web pages easy. A Web site is established by creating one or more pages containing hyperlinks to each other. (Think of the hyperlinks as the threads of the Web.) A basic hyperlink has the following syntax:

<a href="http://Web/linked_page.htm>Link</a>

The a href tag contains the URL to the page you want to link to. Web is replaced with the URL (or Web address). This is the dot-com address that is advertised for Internet sites and virtual directory names for intranet sites. For example, to add a link to Software Conceptions' Web site, replace Web with www.softconcepts.com. Use www.microsoft.com to link to Microsoft's Web site. The linked_page part of the syntax is the name of the actual page you want to link to at the site. A complete reference to a page looks like this:

<a href=http://www.softconcepts.com/index.htm>Software Conception's Homepage</a>

The Link part of the syntax is the actual text that you want to appear when someone views the Web page.

What Is a Data Access Page?

Data access page is the phrase used to describe a page that contains HTML. It enables you to access data from a database on a Web page. The HTML to add controls and bind the pages to a database is much more advanced than basic text. Although you can write the code from scratch, this procedure requires so much intricate code that you will progress much more quickly if you let the Access 2000 wizards create the data access pages.


A good way to learn to write advanced HTML is to get a book on HTML and read HTML code that others have written, including the HTML generated by the data access page wizards.

Advanced Web Page Topics

As I mentioned earlier, Web programming is one of the fastest moving development topics today. There is more involved in advanced Web sites than simple HTML. An e-commerce site, such as Microsoft's Web site, enables purchasing products online, conducting advanced searches, and using Internet mail. It requires many additional features.

Microsoft has created a standard referred to as Active Server Pages. Active Server Pages can contain both VBScript and JavaScript. Regular HTML pages can contain JavaScript. Advanced Web sites also have programs that run on the Web server. These are referred to as ISAPI, NSAPI, and CGI servers, and these programs provide advanced capabilities to a Web site.

If you are interested in developing an e-commerce site, consider hiring a professional developer. At a minimum, consider purchasing a couple of books on Web server technologies, security administration, and ASP and HTML development. These topics are beyond the scope of this book.

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