In This Chapter:
Imagine creating a portal for your company's Web site that users can clearly understand. Each section, such as insurance benefits or the company calendar, can be accessed with a single click. And the selections are laid out with a Tab metaphor, similar to what is so popular in most Windows software today.
Now imagine that Microsoft created a sample application from which you can simply do some editing, make a few changes, and you're in business with a Web portal. As hard as it is to believe, that's just what Microsoft did. The application is named IBuySpy Portal, and it's ready for you to take and use as you see fit.
The IBuySpy Portal is exemplary in its use of recommended practices. It uses stored procedures, user controls, XML, and many other things that make software development easier, faster, and more robust. Stored procedures execute faster because an execution plan was already created by SQL Server when the stored procedures were created (instead of being created in real-time when executed). Stored procedures can also help reduce the number of attacks that your application is vulnerable to. For a more complete explanation regarding the difference between stored procedures and inline SQL, see Chapter 3.
This chapter explains the workings of the application. We'll talk about the application architecture; its support for multiple browsers, including those on mobile devices; and how to extend the application to add your own functionality. I've created several demonstration programs that isolate some of the things I talk about so that you can more easily understand them.