Free: Using Advanced HTML Editor to Create a Content Management System Support

In this free, 20 page tutorial, Matt Machell shows you how to use Dreamweaver server behaviours and the DMXzone Advanced HTML Editor extension to build a password-protected Content Management Solution for a web site, that allows normal users to read news or text or whatever you choose to put on your site, while users with the correct password can add or amend the text using an intuitive word processor-like administration system - so your clients can maintain their own web sites without having to know HTML and without risking breaking the look and feel of the site!

Because Matt's using the extension and built-in server behaviours, there's no handcoding involved, so matt shows you how to use it using both ASP and PHP.

Using Advanced HTML Editor to Create a Content Management System

In this tutorial I'm going to show you a practical example of how to make use of the Advanced HTML Editor extension. We're going to use it to create a simple news updating application, the type you might use if you were creating a community site. In our example, it's a Jazz Club (nice!), but it can be any site you care to create.

The advantage of the Advanced HTML Editor is that it allows users to input information in a way more familiar them. It's just like a word processor! This means you don't have to spend time teaching them HTML, or doing casual updates yourself. Our example will show how a few simple server behaviors can combine with the Editor to create an application that means less work for you.

What You'll need

We'll be using ASP in this example, and making use of a SQL sever database. So you'll need a webserver or test machine that can run ASP and has access to SQL server. This means that you'll need IIS (Internet Information Services). This is available on Windows 2000 and XP Pro, and you may have to install it from your OS disk if it wasn't installed originally.  Windows 98 users can get a stripped down version called Personal Web Server, again on their Operating System CD. If you're using Windows ME, you can install PWS but it's not supported – here's some instructions; proceed at your own risk!

SQL Server is available from Microsoft. A slimmed-down version that includes Enterprise Manager for development only (useful for developing on a local machine) is available from Microsoft for $49.95, or there's a free version of SQL Server that doesn't include Enterprise Manager.  (More about Enterprise Manager below).

You'll also need the Advanced HTML editor extension, which you'll need to install. Remember to restart Dreamweaver after loading the new extension. Everything else in this tutorial assumes Dreamweaver MX 2004, though it should also work in plain old DMX too. We're only using server behaviors, so you won't have to worry about any hand coding of ASP.

Since we're using server behaviors, it's not a huge jump to create this example in PHP. I'll give you some tips for this at the end of the article.

Starting Off

First thing to do is set up our site in Dreamweaver. We'll be using the ASP/VB Script server model. You'll need to set up the site details to match your own server setup, be it a locally running IIS, a server on your network or a web server. You'll need to have a site set up so you can use the server behaviors, and so the Advanced HTML Editor knows where to store its files. (If you need help setting up your site, Molly Holzschlag has written a premium tutorial "Setting Up your Site")

In the root of your site create the following files (empty for now, but we'll need them to link to as we go through). Since we've set up using the ASP/VBScript server model, just right clicking in the site window and selecting New File should create a .asp file:

·       news.asp

·       login.asp

·       news_admin.asp

·       news_add.asp

·       news_edit.asp

·       main.css

·       news.css

news.asp will be our main page, and will show the news to users of the site. login.asp, news_admin.asp, news_add.asp and news_edit.asp will form part of our new administration area. This will be password protected so that only the right people can update the news. The two CSS files will be used to style the pages we produce.

Matt Machell

Matt MachellA man of many talents, Matt has been a web designer, technical editor, and jewellery picker. He is currently on contract for the Birmingham City University, producing pages for research centres.

He has tech-edited a dozen books on web design and development for glasshaus, Apress and Sitepoint.

He likes music with loud guitars and games with obscure rules.

His website can be found at:

He lives in Birmingham with his girlfriend, Frances, and a horde of spider plants.

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