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Microsoft FrontPage 2000 Server Extensions Resource Kit

 3 of 6   Feature Overview


The FrontPage Server Extensions are a set of server-side applications that let multiple authors collaborate on the same Web site and Web server. Here is an overview of server extensions features:

 

Support for authors

The FrontPage Server Extensions provide the following functionality to authors of FrontPage-extended webs:

  • View all the FrontPage-extended webs on a server.
  • Open a FrontPage-extended web for authoring.
  • View, create, and delete directories.
  • View, create, delete, edit, save, and rename files.
  • Create and configure FrontPage-based components.
  • FrontPage includes a set of active components that update pages when a change occurs in the FrontPage-extended web. For example, the Table of Contents component keeps an updated table of contents of the entire web; when an author moves a page, the table of contents is updated. The Include Page component inserts the contents of one page into another; if the inserted page changes, all pages that include it are automatically updated.

  • View, create, apply, and download themes.
  • A theme consists of unified design elements and color schemes for bullets, fonts, images, navigation bars, and other page elements. When applied, a theme gives the pages and navigation bars in a web an attractive and consistent appearance. Authors select web themes in the FrontPage client's Themes view. When the theme for a FrontPage-extended web changes, FrontPage automatically updates every page in the web to use the new theme.

  • Apply shared borders.
  • These are page regions reserved for content that should appear consistently throughout the FrontPage-extended web's pages, such as a corporation's phone number and address. Shared borders usually contain navigation bars — hyperlinks to the other pages in the FrontPage-extended web.

  • Set web and document meta-information.
  • This meta-information can be inserted on pages using the Substitution component.

  • Add a document to a Microsoft Visual SourceSafe project, check it out, and check it in.
  • Recalculate the hyperlink map of the FrontPage-extended web.
  • The hyperlink map of the web is used to display hyperlinks in FrontPage.

  • Create a full-text index of the web.
  • This text index is used by the Search component to search the Web site for pages containing specified text.

  • Add, modify, or delete an item from Tasks view.
  • Tasks view is a list of tasks required to complete a FrontPage-extended web. Each web can have its own list of tasks. When multiple authors are creating or editing a web, Tasks view can help them keep track of who is working on the web and what each author's assignments are.

  • View and modify the navigation structure of a FrontPage-extended web, and create labels for navigation bars.
  • The navigation structure is the set of relationships among the pages in a FrontPage-extended web as defined in Navigation view. A well-defined structure gives a site visitor a sense of position in a web. When a navigation bar is inserted on a page that is part of a web's structure, FrontPage automatically creates hyperlinks to the pages that are below that page in the structure (child pages), above that page in the structure (parent pages), and equal to that page in the structure (pages on the same level).

  • Insert the results of predefined database queries into pages.
  • Change an author's password.

 

Support for administrators

Web administrators can use the FrontPage client to administer a FrontPage-extended web. An administrator using FrontPage does not need to be an administrator of the server computer.

The FrontPage Server Extensions provide the following functionality to Web administrators:

  • Set authoring, administering, and site-browsing permissions.
  • Create, delete, and rename FrontPage-extended webs.
  • View the list of users or groups of a Web server or of a Windows NT domain.
  • View the list of Windows NT domains.
  • Add new authors, administrators, and site visitors (UNIX only).
  • Set the Microsoft Visual SourceSafe project for a web.
  • Specify whether or not a FrontPage-extended web has unique permissions.

 

The FrontPage Server Extensions have a set of administrative tools that install and maintain the FrontPage Server Extensions on the Web server.

The FrontPage Server Extensions Microsoft Management Console (MMC) Snap-in extends virtual servers on Windows and Windows NT by adding the FrontPage Server Extensions to them. The snap-in also creates new webs, uninstalls the FrontPage Server Extensions, checks FrontPage-extended webs for errors, and does other administrative tasks using the MMC graphical interface.

The Fpsrvadm utility extends webs with the FrontPage Server Extensions and updates, removes, and checks the server extensions. This utility is a command-line application that works on Windows NT and UNIX.

The HTML Administration Forms have the same functionality as the Fpsrvadm utility, but are implemented as a set of HTML forms.

The Fpremadm utility is based on the Fpsrvadm utility. It supports remote administration of the FrontPage Server Extensions using a client computer via WinInet.

Browse-time support

A visitor to a FrontPage-extended web who encounters a search form, hit counter, discussion group, or many other active features in a FrontPage-extended web, is using FrontPage Server Extensions browse-time support. Browse-time support is implemented in the FrontPage Server Extensions as components.

A component in FrontPage is an object that is inserted on an HTML page by using the FrontPage client program. It has a persistent state that is encoded in HTML comments. Components typically produce as their output HTML that is inserted in the surrounding HTML page. Components can be run at authoring time (while the FrontPage client is in use), or at browse time. For example, the Include Page component is an authoring-time component that inserts the contents of one page in another.

The following is a list of some browse-time components.

The Search Form component uses the full-text index created by the server extensions. It appears as a form on a page. When a site visitor submits a search form containing words to locate, the search form returns hyperlinks to all pages in the FrontPage-extended web that contain those words.

The e-mail form handler gathers information from a form, formats the information, and sends it to an e-mail address.

The discussion form handler lets site visitors participate in an online discussion. It collects information from a form, formats it into an HTML page, and adds the page to a table of contents and to a text index.

When a site visitor browses to an HTML page containing a browse-time FrontPage-based component, the server extensions do whatever processing is required and then generate a new HTML page to display the results of the operation. For example, the search form generates a list of hyperlinks in HTML, and the e-mail form handler generates a page confirming that a form's contents have been processed and sent to an e-mail address.

An HTML page with no browse-time FrontPage-based components does not use the server extensions when a site visitor browses to the page. Instead, the normal Web server page-retrieval process occurs.

Collaboration support

Web site authoring is typically a collaborative activity, especially on an intranet. The FrontPage Server Extensions support this collaborative process in many ways.

Because any Web site contains many documents in one or more folders, it is natural for multiple authors to be working on the Web site at the same time: creating, opening, editing, and saving pages and other files simultaneously. Using the Refresh command in the FrontPage client, authors can update their local view of the FrontPage-extended web to see any changes made by other authors.

In the FrontPage client Reports view, the contents of a FrontPage-extended web can be tracked by approval level, assigned author, or publishing status. The FrontPage client also generates lists of pages based on built-in or user-defined categories such as Expense Report, Schedule, or Ideas.

Along with general collaboration features, the FrontPage Server Extensions support three levels of FrontPage-extended web content protection. Each level provides an increasing level of security:

By default, when an author attempts to open a page that has already been opened by another author, the FrontPage Server Extensions warn the author who is trying to open the page. The author can either open the page as read-only and save it as a new page, or cancel the Open command.

The FrontPage Server Extensions can be configured to support checking files in and out from a FrontPage-extended web. When the web is configured in this way, a file cannot be opened without its first being checked out. When a file is checked out, it cannot be opened by another author.

The FrontPage Server Extensions can be configured to support checking files in and out from a FrontPage-extended web by using a Microsoft Visual SourceSafe project. When the web is configured in this way and a file is checked out from the FrontPage-extended web, it is also checked out of the Microsoft Visual SourceSafe project. Using this method of source control gives a workgroup the full power of using a Visual SourceSafe project, thus tracking all changes that any author makes to a file.

FrontPage Server Extensions and Microsoft Office 2000

The FrontPage Server Extensions are integrated into Microsoft Office 2000 and, as part of the Office Web Server, allow Office 2000 applications to access FrontPage-extended webs. When an Office Web Server is present on an organization's intranet, Office 2000 authors can save their Word, Excel, and other Office 2000 documents directly to FrontPage-extended webs, and they can open their documents from FrontPage-extended webs.

After a Word, Excel, or other Office document is added to a FrontPage-extended web, either as an HTML document or in another format, the FrontPage Server Extensions adds the document to the hyperlink map of the FrontPage-extended web. This makes all of the automatic hyperlink-fixing functionality in FrontPage available to the Office 2000 document.

For example, when a Word or Excel document that contains relative hyperlinks is moved to another folder in a FrontPage-extended web, the FrontPage Server Extensions update all relative hyperlinks in that document so that they point to their destination files properly. Broken hyperlinks are flagged in the FrontPage client Hyperlinks view. When a FrontPage-extended web is published, all hyperlinks in documents, including Office 2000 documents, are updated.

FrontPage Server Extensions security is extended to Office 2000 authors. To add a Word, Excel, or other Office document to a FrontPage-extended web, or open one from a FrontPage-extended web, an author must have authoring permissions on that web. After an Office document has been saved to a FrontPage-extended web, it can only be viewed by site visitors who have browsing permissions on that web.

Overview

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  Last Updated June 1999
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