Visual Web Developer, and a few of the tools are named differently to reflect
this. For example, the Database Explorer window of Visual Web Developer
is named Server Explorer in Visual Studio. For the purposes of this book,
these tools are equivalent, and you should feel free to use Visual Studio if
you have access to it.
In this chapter, youll learn about much of the functionality Visual Web Developer
offers as we start to create an intranet for a company called Dorknozzle. Along
the way, well also explore many interesting ASP.NET features:
Well use Visual Web Developer to create web applications and edit files.
Well work with Web.config, Global.asax, and the special ASP.NET folders.
Well use the application state, user sessions, the application cache, and
cookies.
Well debug your project and handle potential coding errors.
Introducing the Dorknozzle Project
While most books give you a series of simple, isolated examples to illustrate
particular techniques, this book is a little different. Most of the examples provided
in these pages will see us working on a single project: an intranet application for
a fictional company called Dorknozzle. Well build on this application as we
move through the remaining chapters of this bookthe Dorknozzle intranet will
give us a chance to investigate and grasp the many different concepts that are
important to developers of any type of web application.
Now, real-world web development projects are built according to a detailed spe-
cification document, which includes, among other information, specific details
of the sites layout. Well assume that the pages in the Dorknozzle intranet will
be laid out as shown in Figure 5.1.
The menu on the left suggests that the site will have more pages than this
homepage, and that theyll have the same structure: on every page of the site,
the menu will sit on the left, and the header will be identical to the one shown
here. Only the contents of each individual page will be different from the others.
(If you paid attention in Chapter 4, youll already have realized that this is a
scenario where it makes sense to use master pages.)
The intranet application well develop will offer the following functionality:
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Chapter 5: Building Web Applications
Figure 5.1. The Dorknozzle company intranet site
homepage
You can customize this page by including news about
the Dorknozzle company.
help desk
This page allows Dorknozzle employees to submit
problems they experience with software, hardware, or
their computers, as help desk tickets that are sent to
an IT administrator.
employee directory
Employees will likely want to call each other to discuss
important, company-related affairs such as last
nights television viewing! The employee directory
should let employees find other staff members details
quickly and easily.
address book
While the employee directory houses handy informa-
tion for staff use, the purpose of the address book is
to provide more detailed information about every em-
ployee within the company.
departments
The Departments page displays information about
Dorknozzles various departments.
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Introducing the Dorknozzle Project
admin tools
Administrators will need the ability to perform various
administrative tasks, such as updating users informa-
tion. The Admin Tools section will provide the inter-
face for these kinds of interactions.
admin newsletter
This page will allow administrators to send email
newsletters to the company employees.
Youll learn new techniques when building each of these pages. However, before
you can begin to create all these smaller applications, well need to build the
framework that will act as a template for the site as a whole. Visual Web De-
veloper will prove very helpful in such a project, so lets start our discussion by
getting a feel for its key features.
Figure 5.2. Using Visual Web Developer
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Chapter 5: Building Web Applications

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