Getting Started with ASP+
Having seen what ASP+ is all about, and
some details of the technologies that support it behind the scenes, it's time
to get your hands dirty and build some applications. You can download the
sample files for this book to run on your own server, and modify and extend
them yourself. But first, if you haven't already done so, you must install ASP+.
The latest version of ASP+ can be
downloaded from the Microsoft Web site. At the time of writing, the exact location
of the download was unknown, but you can reach it via our support website at http://www.wrox.com/beta. It is also available as a CD for a minimal cost, and is part of
Visual Studio 7.
As for tools,
at the time of writing we are using the usual ASP developer's friend, Windows NotePad. Of course, you can continue to use
Visual InterDev or any other development tool you wish that supports ASP – it
just won't be much help with the new object syntax and server-side controls in
ASP+. But as long as it doesn't mangle any code that it does not recognize, it
will be fine until better tools become available.
And, if like us you're a confirmed 'simple
text editor' ASP developer, you might like to try one of the alternatives to
Windows NotePad that offers extra features. Our current favorite is TextPad (http://www.textpad.com/).
Installing ASP+ is just a matter of running the executable setup file. However, you should ensure that
installed Internet Explorer version 5.5 first. If not, download it or install
it directly from http://msdn.microsoft.com/downloads/webtechnology/ie/iepreview.asp.
Make sure that you close all other applications before installing IE 5.5, as it updates many of
the Windows 2000 operating system files. Once installation is complete, you are
ready to run ASP+. No other configuration is required at the moment, as the
default configuration will do nicely for our first experimental efforts.
Creating an ASP+ Application
In ASP 2.0 and
3.0, it's necessary to take some definite actions to create an ASP application,
especially if you want to run any components that the application uses in a
separate process. The good news is that, with ASP+, none of this is actually required. And you don't have to register
any ASP+ components either.
As we saw earlier, a file named config.web controls the configuration of an ASP+ application. It is stored in
the root folder of that application.
However, there is a default config.web file (automatically installed in your Program Files\COM20SDK\
folder when you install the runtime) that is used for all ASP+ applications.
So, all you have to do to get started is create a subdirectory under your InetPub\WWWRoot folder and place your ASP+ pages there.
Of course, you can still create a folder
outside the WWWRoot directory,
and set up a virtual directory to point to it in the Internet Services Manager if required (as in previous versions of ASP). There is no need to
set any of the configuration options in the Application Settings section
of the Properties dialog for this application, or in the Configuration
dialog – the default settings will work fine:
Later, you can add a config.web file and a global.asax file to the application's root folder if required to specify the
configuration settings and application-level event handlers.
Testing Your Installation
Once you've installed the ASP+ runtime
framework (and Internet Explorer 5.5 for the preview version of ASP+), you can
try it out. An easy way to confirm that it's working is to run one of the
sample files we provide. The simple example page named pageone.aspx that we
looked at earlier is included in the Chapter01
folder of the samples for this book (available from http://www.wrox.com/).
Simply copy it to the InetPub\WWWRoot directory on your server and open it from a browser using the URL http://localhost/pageone.aspx or http://your_server_name/pageone.aspx. You should get this:
We've used Netscape Navigator 6
and Opera 4 here to prove that the page doesn't depend on the unique
capabilities of Internet Explorer.
If the page doesn't work, check out the
'read me' text file that comes with ASP+ for late-breaking information.
Alternatively, have a look at the SDK documentation provided with ASP+, or
available at the Microsoft Web site, to see a full description and the remedy
for any error message that you get.
Once you are up and running, the next step
is to take a look at the Quick Start tutorials. There are examples of all kinds
of ASP+ pages, Web services, and applications that you can try out and view the
source code. Open the samples from http://localhost/quickstart/ or http://machinename/quickstart/: