We spent this hour investigating Visual Web Developer in greater detail. It is important that you have a familiarity with this editor since it is what you’ll be using throughout this book and beyond. While we will have ample opportunity to sharpen our Visual Web Developer skills throughout the future hours, I thought it worthwhile to take some time to more formally explore the tool.
Specifically, we looked at how to create and open websites in Visual Web Developer. Websites can be located either locally, on your personal computer, or remotely, with a web-hosting company. Visual Web Developer makes it easy to work with both sites locally and remotely, and even includes a lightweight, built-in web server that allows for developers using Windows XP Home to run ASP.NET websites locally. After you have created a website, you’ll want to add various files and folders. This is easily accomplished through the Solution Explorer.
This hour we also looked at customizing the environment through the Options dialog box and by repositioning and resizing the many windows. We concluded with a quick synopsis of Visual Web Developer’s extensive built-in help system. The Dynamic Help capabilities are especially useful for developers new to ASP.NET.
In this hour and the past two we’ve covered a lot of ground. We’ve looked at the fundamentals of ASP.NET and the .NET Framework; installed the .NET Framework, Visual Web Developer, and SQL Server 2005 Express Edition; dissected the ASP.NET programming model; created our first ASP.NET web page, complete with HTML markup, Web controls, and server-side source code; and explored Visual Web Developer. We’re now ready to build a nontrivial ASP.NET web page, which we’ll tackle in the upcoming hour. This exercise will help hammer home many of the key points mentioned through these first three hours.