Windows web developers are tasked with the job of creating websites that are specifically for use in a Windows web hosting environment, a task that is fairly specialist because as well as using proprietary technologies they also need to be well versed in the features of the Windows operating system. Developing websites for Windows web hosting requires skill and knowledge of specific applications and scripting languages, as the use of Microsoft applications and ASP.NET is common with Windows web developers and helps to guarantee good results.
ASP.NET Development Tools
There are various tools that you can use to develop the ASP.NET scripts needed to form the basis of your website. Some web development applications are simply text editors that are designed for coding only, although a majority are also accompanied by a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editor that will allow you to develop your web application visually rather than having to rely on code.
One of the most popular applications to use for the development of ASP.NET web applications is Microsoft Visual Studio; the main features of Visual Studio and its free sibling, Microsoft Visual Web Developer, include:
- A WYSIWYG editor is provided for website developers who may be more comfortable with developing a website visually – all of the necessary code will be created for you in the background
- A full library of ASP.NET components will be provided so that you can simply drag and drop these into your web scripts as necessary instead of having to code them in yourself, this can save you a fair amount of time.
Another popular cross-platform application recommended for ASP.NET development is Adobe Dreamweaver, as this is also able to provide beginners with assistance with regards to implementing complex code and functions correctly.
Database Management Applications
As a Windows web developer, you have the options of Microsoft Access and Microsoft SQL Server if you are developing a dynamic website that will be running off a backend database. Whereas Microsoft Access is a desktop database application, Microsoft SQL Server is a far more powerful database server that is targeted at websites that require a scalable database solution.
The desktop nature of Microsoft Access means that in order to mange a database, you must first download the file from your web space and then open it in Microsoft Access on the desktop. However, Microsoft Access can provide web developers with benefits including:
- Microsoft Access is fairly cheap to implement because you only need to purchase the application for yourself
- It is the ideal database solution for small websites and beginners who haven’t developed for Windows web hosting before because the interface is fairly easy to follow and the risk of any issues occurring is minimal.
Microsoft SQL Server is a professional database server meaning that it has advance support for different data types and can be integrated into Windows desktop applications alongside ASP.NET Windows web applications. Microsoft SQL Server databases are manageable through Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio which is a free application available from the Microsoft website, although it is only available for Windows desktop computers. Additional benefits of using Microsoft SQL Server include:
- A free version of Microsoft SQL Server is available, allowing you to use the application for free when developing small websites
- The scalability of Microsoft SQL Server provided you with the opportunity to develop web applications that will be able to cope with high visitor numbers as well as spikes in the number of visitors that they receive.
In conclusion, developing websites for a Windows web hosting environment is something that will require the knowledge of at least one Windows compatible scripting language along with at least one database server that will run on Windows and is also compatible with your chosen web scripting language. However, by using ASP.NET and Microsoft SQL Server to develop a website for a Windows web hosting environment, you are guaranteed full compatibility with the operating system and ASP.NET will allow you to tap into additional features of the operating system – this will be something other scripting languages won’t be able to offer.