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If you want to use Dreamweaver to build data-driven websites using PHP, ColdFusion, or one of the other server technologies, you can set up your development environment in one of two ways.
In a "live" or "online" setup, all the specialized softwareweb server, application server, DBMS, driveris housed on a remote computer that you have FTP access to. This remote computer might even be the web server hosting your site. Developing live is easier to set up because it means you don't have to install any new software on your computer. But you can work only when you're connected to the remote server, and you're limited by the speed of your connection.
In an "offline" setup, you put all software elements on your computerincluding HTTP server software, DBMS, everythingand temporarily act as hosting server and developer. When your site is fully developed, you move the relevant database files, drivers, and pages to the actual web server. This is how most developers work when they can. An extra benefit of developing offline is that you get a free education about how server software works.
It's entirely acceptable to install web server software on a computer that won't be used solely as a web server. You probably don't want to do development work on a computer while that computer is open to the public for web browsing. But simply putting server software on the computer doesn't make that computer a dedicated server.
To set up for remote development, you need the following information and configuration.
Even if you're connected to the remote computer over a local network, you must know its URL to send HTTP requests to it so that you can preview your data. If your remote computer is your web host, use your site's domain name . If the remote computer is simply another computer you're networked to, you have to get its IP address from the server administrator.
To learn the IP address of a Windows server, launch the command prompt or DOS prompt. At the prompt, type ipconfig and press Enter. A set of numbers appears, including the IP address.
To learn the IP address of a Mac server, launch the System Preferences and view the Sharing preferences. The IP address is at the bottom of the window.
If the remote computer you're using for development is your web host, you already have FTP access to your published files. If you have local network access to the remote computer, you don't need FTP access. But regardless of your connection method, you need to make sure you have read/write access to the folder where your files will be stored.
The remote computer might be your web hosting company's web server, or it might be a computer under the administration of someone else in your office, or it might be all yours. Someonemaybe youneeds to create the setup spelled out in the previous sections: the HTTP server, the application server, the DBMS, and the driver must all be present on that computer. You also have to know any special instructions required to access these items. You can get this information from your server administrator or tech support staff.
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