Table of Contents
An Introduction to Databases and FrontPage 2002
The Global.asa File
Complete Database Solutions with the FrontPage 2002 Database Interface Wizard
Using the Database Interface Wizard to Build a Entire Web Site
Maintaining Your Newly Created Web Site
Individual Database Elements in FrontPage 2002
Steps to Creating a Simple Form in FrontPage 2002
Managing Forms and Databases
Creating a Database Within Your Web
Sending Form Results to an Existing Database
Connecting Your Form to an External Database
Sending Form Results Via Email or to a Text File
Once You Are Connected
Inserting Database Results with the Database Results Wizard
You can use Microsoft® FrontPage® 2002 to easily integrate
database power into your Web site like a true database expert. With FrontPage 2002 you have multiple
ways to perform key database tasks such as taking form information from your Web
site and entering it directly into a database, displaying database content on a
Web page, or adding, editing and deleting database records directly from a Web
interface. You can also use
FrontPage 2002 to create reports from that data with custom ASP pages designed
specifically for you.
For those who need FrontPage to handle all aspects of their
Web database, the new Database Interface Wizard provides a powerful
solution. For those familiar with
database functionality and need FrontPage to perform specific tasks, the
database tools included with FrontPage 2002 will help you get the results you
are looking for.
You don’t need database experience when integrating with
FrontPage 2002 -- it does most of the work for you. With FrontPage 2002, a Web server and
just a few clicks you can:
Configure a Web page to send content from user forms directly to a
· Add a table or list to your Web page that will retrieve and display database content.
Create an Access 2002 database inside your FrontPage web
without opening Access 2002.
Connect to external databases.
Import an existing Access database into your FrontPage Web.
Edit database content from a Web interface created by FrontPage
What does this mean? You now have the ability to gather dynamic Web site content and organize this information into a solid, powerful database all by using one application, FrontPage.
You can think of
databases as files of information organized into separate fields, which may be
selectively sorted and filtered as needed.
Examples of a database include a customer list with names and contact
numbers, or a parts inventory with product descriptions and codes. The strength of a database over a
traditional list of information is the ability to quickly and concisely perform
computations with large quantities of information. Alphabetizing by last name,
sorting by part number, or grouping information are possible functions of a
stored on a computer system as files.
A database program or a database management system manipulates the
information as needed and reports on it accordingly. Microsoft® Access is the database
program that comes with Office XP and is one of the most popular in the world
today. Although FrontPage 2002
works with many types of databases, its tight integration with Access is one of
the many benefits of the Office XP package.
can be used to provide both a Web interface for users to enter data into your
database as well as provide a Web interface for presenting database
information. An example of
providing an interface for users to enter data would be a Web site that enables
your users to directly enter their contact information into your contacts
database for later follow up or mailing.
An example of providing an interface for presenting database information
would be a Web site that enables your users to examine your inventory database
to see if the product they need is in stock.
You can start database integration into your FrontPage 2002
site today. You don’t even have to
buy an additional database program.
All you need to create a Web site with database connectivity is FrontPage
2002 and a Web server that is running the FrontPage Server Extensions and ASP
(Active Server Pages - see more on this below). Once your FrontPage-based Web site has
been published to a server, the pages with database content can be viewed as any
other Web page using any Web browser like Internet Explorer or Netscape. No plug-ins or extra software is
required. Without FrontPage
Extensions and ASP capabilities, it is impossible to utilize any of the database
features discussed in this paper.
The database capabilities built into FrontPage 2002 use a technology called Active Server Pages, or ASP. The great thing about FrontPage 2002 is that you don’t need to know a lot of (or, in most cases, any) ASP to create Web sites with database features. You will, however, need to make sure that your Web server can support ASP pages. If you don’t know, a simple call to them or a quick check of their Web site will provide you with an answer. To find an ISP that supports ASP, check out our list of Web Presence Providers (WPPs) online at http://www.microsoftwpp.com/wppsearch2000/default.htm. From this site, you can do a specific search of WPPs that provide hosting options for Active Server Pages, or you can browse directly to http://www.microsoftwpp.com/dbproviders/ to see a list of Web site hosting companies that are members of the Web Presence Provider program for FrontPage and have passed testing for their support of FrontPage 2002 database features.
Next, let’s get
familiar with some terms and technology to help you understand how FrontPage
database features work.
If your Web site supports ASP you may have noticed a file called global.asa in your root directory. This file is vital to database integration in your site – it tells both the Web server and browser how to handle the database information. You won’t want to touch it. Don’t worry about what to do with the file -- FrontPage 2002 manages it for you.
FrontPage 2002 works with ASP, or Active Server
Pages, which are scripts to provide the necessary interaction with the
server and to allow visitors to the Web page to see updated data every time they
visit. All pages at the site that
interact with the database will have to be saved as ASP pages with the
“.asp” file extension.
FrontPage 2002 uses this format automatically. Attempting to change the filename
extensions will result in your pages not working correctly, so be sure to leave
files created as ASP pages (filename.asp) with the .asp extension.
Some users might want to edit ASP script using FrontPage 2002. While it is possible to do so in FrontPage 2002, it is not necessary to get any of the database functionality described in this paper.
By being able to edit your ASP from within FrontPage 2002,
you are able to extend your ASP pages in such a way as to provide additional
functionality that might not be part of your existing site. For example, an e-commerce site that
sells plants might have geographic restrictions of where it is able to
physically mail plants. An addition
to the site ASP script to check zip codes of customers to make sure they are in
compliance would be a vital addition to an e-commerce solution.
Some more-experienced Web developers may want to edit the ASP code for purposes such as these. Because FrontPage 2002 supports advanced preservation of whatever code you might write without changing or rearranging it, it is possible to use FrontPage 2002 to edit the ASP code in your Web site.
FrontPage 2002 contains a wealth of powerful features that
are designed precisely to support the needs of the most advanced Web
developers. There are additional
features available with FrontPage 2002 that can help develop and refine the most
complex of Web pages. If desired,
advanced developers can write and debug scripts from within FrontPage,
manipulate HTML code at a very granular level, and test the pages right in the
same interface. To find out more, go to:
Some users will need FrontPage 2002 to handle all aspects
of their database. This is best
handled through the Database Interface Wizard discussed in this section. For those wishing to use FrontPage 2002
to interface with specific aspects of a Web site, the database components
discussed in the next section will be ideal.
New to FrontPage 2002 is the Database Interface Wizard, a
database solution that produces an entire database-focused Web site complete
with Web-based administration pages.
The Database Interface Wizard is invoked the same way any new Web Site
Wizard is opened: by selecting File, New, Page or Web from within FrontPage
2002. This will open the New Page or Web task pane. Select Web Site Templates in the New from Template option. This will open the Web Site Templates
dialog box seen below. You can
either create a new Web site or append the newly created Web site to your
existing site by selecting appropriately from within the interface.
The first screen of the Database Interface Wizard asks you if you would like to create a new database, connect to an existing database, or use the sample (Northwind) database. Select create a new database if you would like FrontPage 2002 to create the database for you.
The next screen asks you to enter the name for your
database connection. Note that this
is for the name of the connection, not the database itself.
After you have chosen the name for your connection,
FrontPage 2002 asks you to enter the database column and input fields for the
database it is about to create.
When entering the information make sure to think of all of the elements
that might be used by your database as it is harder to update your Web site
After you choose the elements of your Web site, it will
create the database and set up the connection for you. You don’t have to do a thing. Once the database connection has been
established, you will need to select the Next button to continue.
The Database Interface Wizard then asks you what kind of
database interface pages you would like the Wizard to create for you. They are as follows:
Results Page - Produces content from your database
based on the information requested.
The Results page presents the queried data in a number of different
combinations that can all be edited through the FrontPage interface.
Submission Form - Produces a page where users can
submit information directly to your database. This is the main interface between your
users and your site’s database.
Database Editor - This section enables you to edit
your database through a Web interface instead of a traditional database
client. The Database Editor
Interface page provides a complete Web interface to edit your database content
including login and password security.
After you have selected the database interface pages to be created by FrontPage 2002, the program is completed and creates all of the Web content for you.
Once you have created a Web site through the Database
Interface Wizard, it is possible to maintain all of the data in your site
through the Web interface built by FrontPage 2002. You can enter data for the
Web site through the Database Editor Web interface or through the Submission
form that you set up for the site.
You can find results of your database through the Results page.
If you do desire to edit or change any elements of your
site, the next section will provide helpful information on how to do just
You might not want FrontPage 2002 to create an entire
Web-based interface for your database needs. You might instead require database
elements to be integrated into your existing Web site. The rest of this paper will explain how
to do just that.
To create a new
page with a feedback form:
Select File | New | Page or Web. This will open the New Page or Web task pane. Select Page Templates from the task pane. The Page Templates Dialog Box will
· In the “General” tab, select “Feedback Form.”
Click “OK” in the lower right-hand corner of the “New” dialog
Edit the form to represent your specific needs. You can see FrontPage Help (F1)
for more information on how to edit and customize forms.
Select File | Save.
Name the page “feedback.asp” and click “Save”.
Note: You don’t have to use the Form Wizard to create forms in FrontPage 2002; it is one tool that might make form creation easier. You can create any kind of form one piece at a time with individual form elements, by selecting Insert | Form, and then adding form fields to suit your needs.
Once the customer
feedback form is created, you can then use FrontPage 2002 to either save the
results to an existing database or create a new database to save results
to. FrontPage 2002 will connect to
any database that can connect via ODBC, the Open Database Connectivity
standard. It is important to
note that the only type of database FrontPage 2002 can create is an Access
It is easy to create a database from scratch using
FrontPage 2002. Once you have
completed your form, follow these simple steps to automatically create a
database in which to store your form information.
Right click inside the form boundary (the dotted line).
Select “Form Properties”.
This will open up the “Form Properties” dialog box.
Select the “Send to database” radio button.
Click the “Options” button in the lower left-hand corner of the
Form Properties dialog box. This
will open the “Options for Saving Results to Database” dialog box.
· Click on “Database Results” tab.
Click the “Create Database” button. FrontPage will create a new Access
database, as well as the database connection in global.asa that you can use for
later reference to that database.
An alert will pop up to let you know when FrontPage 2002 has finished
Click “OK” to dismiss the alert.
Click the “OK” button in the lower right-hand corner of the
“Options for Saving Results to Database” dialog.
Click the “OK” button in the lower right-hand corner of the “Form
Save the page (make sure that it is saved with an .asp
FrontPage 2002 will name the database based on the title of
the page you created the form on. A
Results table will be created in the database and will contain one column
for each form field as well as some additional columns (Remote Computer Name,
User Name, Browser Type and Timestamp) that you might find useful.
You can test the form by publishing your Web site to your Web server and then viewing the page you’ve just created in the browser. Go ahead and complete the form and then click the Submit button. You can verify that the form results were saved to your database by creating a Database Results Region described below in Displaying Form Results. That’s it! Just a few steps and FrontPage 2002 will create a database for your site and write all of the ASP code required to save form results to the database.
Part of the power of database integration with FrontPage
2002 is that you don’t have to start from scratch. You may already have an existing Access
database that you would like to integrate with your Web site. To do this, you must first import the
database into your Web site and create a connection to it. This too, is easy, and you have two
options to help carry it out.
The first option is to simply import that database by
selecting File | Import from FrontPage 2002. This will open an Import dialog box that
will let you add any file to your Web site. You can add your database to your
existing Web using this method quickly and easily.
The second option entails taking advantage of the drag and
drop features provided by FrontPage 2002.
Again, the power of being integrated with a larger Office Suite becomes
clear if you follow this path:
Open the folder list view in FrontPage (View | Folder List)
With FrontPage still open, launch Windows® Explorer.
· Navigate to the files you wish to copy to your web.
Drag and drop these files into your FrontPage web.
In both of the above methods, FrontPage will recognize the
.mdb file extension of the Access database and prompt you to create a new
connection for that database. Go
ahead and enter the database name and click “OK.”
You can then connect any form to that database using the
methods described here.
You might find yourself in a situation where your database
is hosted outside of your Web site.
Because of the power of the Internet and the ease of use offered by
FrontPage 2002, you can connect to any database on the Internet from your Web as
long as it is available on the Web and is ODBC compliant.
Before you connect to the database, you will need to
determine the server name and passwords required to access your database. The person in charge of the database
will be able to provide you with the information necessary to make a
connection. An example of when this
approach might make sense is when your site becomes very popular and its
requirements outgrow the capabilities that Access offers. So you might ask your Web site hosting
company to set up a SQL Server™ database for you to use to store your important
Web data. When they do this, they
will supply you with the server name, user name, and password necessary to
connect to it from your forms in FrontPage.
Once you have figured out the path, login and password to
the external database, connecting is simple:
· Right click inside the form boundary (the dotted line) on the Web page with the form you wish to connect to the external database.
Select “Form Properties”.
This will open up the “Form Properties” dialog box.
Select the “Send to database” radio button.
Click the “Options” button in the lower left-hand corner of the
Form Properties dialog. This will
open the “Options for Saving Results to Database” dialog.
· Click on “Database Results” tab.
Click the “Add Connection…” button. The Database tab of the Web Settings
Dialog box will open. Click the
“Add” button to open up the “New Database Connection” dialog box seen
Clicking the “Advanced” button on the “New Database Connection”
dialog box will open the “Advanced Connection Properties” dialog box (seen
below). Enter the Username and
Password given to you by the database administrator and enter any additional
parameters required through the dialog box interface.
If you don’t have or need database connectivity, you can
send the information from your form to an email address or to a text file on
your Web site. An article on this
process can be found online on the FrontPage 2002 Article entitled, “Collecting
Sales Leads Online with Microsoft FrontPage 2002.” The URL for this article is: http://office.microsoft.com/assistance/2000/fpSalesLeads.aspx.
Congratulations! You now know how to add a feedback form to your Web, save it as an ASP file, and configure the form to send the data it collects to a database that FrontPage 2002 either created or set up the connection for. You can use these same steps to send the data collected by any form in a FrontPage Web to a database.
At this point, you now have a database at your site able to
receive user input. This might
satisfy your needs. If not, you
probably are looking for a way to present database information in your Web
site. In this section, you will learn how to use
FrontPage to display the results of a database table in your browser.
results is a little more detailed than sending form results to a database, but
is still accomplished quickly and easily using the FrontPage 2002
To insert database
results into your Web site using the Database Results Wizard, select Insert | Database | Results into the
page you wish to add the results to.
Remember that all pages that interact with a database will need to be
saved with the .ASP extension.
The first obvious option you are given is to select the
database you would like to get the results from. The dialog box offers three
The first choice is to connect to Northwind, the sample
database provided by FrontPage. Use
this feature if you wish to experiment with database results without having to
worry about database creation.
The second option is to use an existing database
connection. FrontPage 2002
remembers all of the database connections you’ve ever worked with in the Web
site you are editing. Your choice
is probably in the drop down menu.
If this is the case, pick the database you want to connect to and select
the Next button.
The final choice requires you to set up a connection that
previously didn’t exist. If you
select that option and push the Create button, you will be given access
to the Database tab of the Web settings dialog box. From here, pushing the Add button
will open the New Database Connection dialog box (pictured below) that will let
you set up a connection to either a File or folder in the current Web, a System
data source on web server, a network connection to database server or a custom
definition. Select the options
suited for the task and your connection is established.
Because databases can contain great amounts of information,
it is important to choose which parts of the database information you would like
to display. The second step asks
for the Record Source, which is the table you’ll be pulling your data from.
If you built the database from FrontPage 2002, you will
only have one choice. If you are
connected to a database with multiple tables, you will need to choose the one
you wish to connect to.
Another option here is to create a custom query. If you
know SQL (the Structured Query Language – not to be confused with SQL Server,
the popular Microsoft Database Product) you can enter the appropriate SQL code
and choose exactly what you want to view.
Information about Microsoft SQL Server and the SQL language can be found
online at http://www.microsoft.com/sql/ .
Once you have selected the Record Source (table) you wish
to get your information from, it is time to choose the fields that you wish
displayed in your Web page. If you
want to show all of the fields, select the next button. If you wish to show the information in
only certain fields, simply select the Edit List button and choose
accordingly as seen below.
You will notice that there is a More Options button in the
Step 3 dialog box. This button will
take you to another dialog box enabling you to choose more specific criteria for
ordering for the data. As seen in
the screen below, you can both set up a filter to match specific criteria as
well as set the ordering structure for the results.
Now that you know the database, table and fields you wish
to show, the goal now is to determine how you would like to display the
data. The Database Wizard gives you
the capability to either present your data in a Table or Column option.
The three check boxes in step 4 enable you to decide if you want to use a table border, expand the table to the width of the page and include a header row with the column labels.
Finally it is a simple choice of grouping your
results. Results generated form
databases can be long and overwhelming.
Luckily, FrontPage 2002 has a solution for that issue as well. Step 5 gives you the opportunity to
split the results into a fixed number of records per page. The default is 5 records, but the choice
is yours to make.
Once you’ve gone through these five simple steps, the appropriate ASP code is written and your Web site reports accordingly. You need to save your page as an ASP page (filename.asp). You can view the Web pages from any browser, and every time your page is visited, an updated snapshot of the database contents is presented on the page. You have integrated a database results with your FrontPage 2002 Web site.
The new database integration features found in FrontPage
2002 give you both the power to integrate database content into your Web site as
well as program dynamic content to your site without spending weeks in a
database class or learning complicated programming skills. If you need to implement a complete
database solution into your Web site, the new Database Interface Wizard can help
you do just that. If you need to
implement elements of a previously existing database into your Web site, the
tools provided by FrontPage 2002 can help you to do that as well.
You have taken the first steps towards moving from the position of a developer of static Web sites to that of an interactive programmer, all without having to know programming.
Now that you understand database connectivity options and how they integrate easily and simply with FrontPage 2002, consider the options available to you: You can publish an interactive address book for members of a club you belong to, you can enable your potential customers to populate your contacts database without you having to enter a thing, you can make inventory information made available online or create the first part of an e-commerce engine that takes orders directly from the customer. You can also set up an entire Web-based database management solution without ever having to purchase a single database product.
Databases are exciting. The power provided by FrontPage 2002
makes database integration simple.
The possibilities are endless, and they are yours to explore.
information contained in this document represents the current view of Microsoft
Corporation on the issues discussed as of the date of publication. Due to the
nature of ongoing development work and because Microsoft must respond to
changing market conditions, it should not be interpreted to be a commitment on
the part of Microsoft, and Microsoft cannot guarantee the accuracy of any
information presented after the date of publication.
White Paper is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS
OR IMPLIED, AS TO THE INFORMATION IN THIS DOCUMENT.
2001 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.