Choosing an Application Server

After setting up a local Web server, your next step is to choose and set up an application server. Dreamweaver 8 supports five server technologies: Active Server Pages (ASP), ColdFusion, PHP, JavaServer Pages (JSP), and ASP.NET. Each of these server technologies uses at least one associated languageJavaScript, VBScript, ASP, CFML (ColdFusion Markup Language), PHP, Java, C#, or Microsoft Visual Basic (Table 1.2)and works with one or more application servers (Table 1.3).

Table 1.2.

Server Technologies and Languages

















Table 1.3.

Server Technologies and Application Servers




Microsoft IIS


Sun Java System Active Server Pages


Macromedia ColdFusion MX 7


PHP Application Server


Macromedia JRun


Apache Tomcat


Microsoft IIS with .NET Framework

ASP is a free Microsoft technology that's built into IIS Web servers for Windows 2000 and Windows XP Pro. ASP uses VBScript or JavaScript for client-side scripting and ASP for server-side code. ASP can be used with Sun Java System Active Server Pages, a non-Microsoft ASP technology available for trial download at

ColdFusion is Macromedia's server technology. It uses CFML, a tag-based language that is relatively easy to learn, install, and configure. Macromedia offers extensive support for ColdFusion with articles and tutorials on the ColdFusion Developer Center Web site ( A developer version of the ColdFusion MX 7 server is available for free download at

PHP is an open-source server technology that includes the PHP scripting language and application server. Although PHP can work with IIS, it's more commonly used with Apache. If you plan to use PHP for your application server and want your Web application to retrieve real-time data from a database for dynamic content, your only database option is MySQL, because it is the only database that Dreamweaver and many Web hosts support when using PHP. A free download of the latest stable release of PHP for Windows is available at A Mac version of a PHP module for Apache can be downloaded at

JSP is a Java-based application server that requires a Web server that supports Java. JSP is fast and powerful, but learning JSP can be intimidating for those new to Web-application development. JSP can be used with Macromedia's JRun 4 Web server, available for trial download at It can also be used with several other Web servers, including Apache Tomcat, available for free download at the Apache Jakarta Project Web site (

ASP.NET is a Microsoft technology that works with IIS and the Microsoft .NET framework. A newer, more powerful version of ASP, ASP.NET is commonly used with either the C# or Visual Basic programming language, both of which Dreamweaver supports. For more information on ASP.NET and the .NET framework, visit Microsoft's ASP.NET Web site (

Which application server you choose may depend on several factors:

  • Your Web server. If you use a ColdFusion application server, you can use a local Web server for testing: either IIS, Apache, or the free developer edition of the ColdFusion Web server (included with ColdFusion). However, when you're ready to "go live" with your ColdFusion pages on the Web, you'll need to purchase a ColdFusion server or use a remote host that supports ColdFusion.

  • What's available to you. Your operating system may affect your choice of application server. For example, if you're using a Mac, you won't be able to develop ASP or ASP.NET applications locally.

  • Your client's Web server. If you're developing Web applications for a client, you need to choose an application server that works with your client's Web server.

The remainder of this chapter provides installation and configuration tasks for three of the server technologies: ASP, ColdFusion, and PHP. This is becauseunlike JSP and ASP.NETASP, ColdFusion, and PHP share similar code, they're widely used, and none of them require you to use object-oriented programming languages. Many Web-application techniques are similar for all five server technologies, so if you're experienced with ASP.NET or JSP, you can definitely use Dreamweaver's advanced features with those server technologies.

Macromedia Dreamweaver 8 Advanced for Windows and Macintosh. Visual Quickpro Guide
Macromedia Dreamweaver 8 Advanced for Windows and Macintosh: Visual QuickPro Guide
ISBN: 0321384024
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2004
Pages: 129
Authors: Lucinda Dykes © 2008-2017.
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