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I need some advice on building a new website

Posted on 2006-04-18
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I have some tools to work with. They are DW8 and CF MX7-Standard. We have a dedicated webserver that is currently in prod. and serving our primary website. On our website we mention a product line of ours, but that's about it. I would like to create a new website that will be dedicated o that product with the ability to order from a online catalog. We are currently using the CF server to serve our primary website. The site was created by a CF person and we wanted to move it in here so we bought the CF standard. Pages were created with the DW app, so we bought a copy of that too. My question is: I've noticed that when DW is started up there are a number of choices regarding the type of site that you wish to create, HTML, ColdFusion, Javascript, etc. etc. Given the type of site that I want to build with online ordering and part numbers and catalog, what type of site would be best? CF, I believe, is out of the question because I think the standard version will only run the one site and that is taken by our primary website. Any help here is greatly appreciated and thanks in advance.
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Question by:dwielgosz
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Jason C. Levine earned 2000 total points
ID: 16480148
Hi dwielgosz,

Before you rule out CF entirely, I would talk to somebody at Macromedia/Adobe to get their opinion.  I believe it may be possible that you can serve both sites from your current version depending on the site and server configuration.

Obviously, if you already have CF deployed and working, continuing in CF is the logical choice.  You would be able to lift code and share data between the sites and save yourself a ton of time.

If CF is truly out of the question, you are choosing between ASP and PHP for a development environment.  Which one you choose may depend on if you are going to develop your own ordering system or download/buy one.  Also, PHP is crossplatform, ASP works on IIS only.  

I'm partial to PHP because it's free and I know it well.  YMMV
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by:dwielgosz
ID: 16480632
I dread the thought of calling Adobe about anything. from what I've read about trying to get FREE advice of any sort from the CF people, and my own experience with calling for Acrobat support, I think I'd rather contemplate signing up for duty in the dessert. But seriously, we have one licensed copy of CF Standard that is running one prod. server and one test server (for the same site)which is allowed for sure, what are you thinking that I should inquire about?

Actually you're right about lifting code because most of our Prim. site is in .cfm files and I want to use the page layout for the new site. You know, the header(?) across the top and the sidebars, etc. I was thinking about converting the existing site's index page and saving as HTML or whatever. Is that possible to do?

What exactly do you mean by, "if you are going to develop your own ordering system or download/buy one"? Our whole network here is pretty much Windows, except for one Linux db server and I really don't want to get into the web and Linux.

You say PHP or ASP.  Are both capable of working with ordering systems and part numbers (probably bout 7,000) and prices and all that stuff--db type stuff that is? I was thinking about just building the whole thing from scratch. I already have all the data in spreadsheets
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by:Jason C. Levine
ID: 16480709
>> what are you thinking that I should inquire about?

So long as all of the web sites are on one server (box), I believe CF will serve any virtual domains you create there.  A quick email or even a google search will confirm that.

>> I was thinking about converting the existing site's index page and saving as HTML or whatever. Is that possible to do?

Sure.  Just browse to the existing site page and save it from the broswer.  Instant HTML conversion.

>> What exactly do you mean by, "if you are going to develop your own ordering system or download/buy one"? Our whole network here is pretty much Windows, except for one Linux db server and I really don't want to get into the web and Linux.

If you are thinking of running an online order/payment processing system on the new site, you can either write one or buy/download one.  If you are going to buy one, you need to figure out which one does what you want it to do and then which server environments it works under.  Since you seem to be against *nix, look for commercial ASP solutions.

>>You say PHP or ASP.  Are both capable of working with ordering systems and part numbers (probably bout 7,000) and prices and all that stuff--db type stuff that is? I was thinking about just building the whole thing from scratch. I already have all the data in spreadsheets

Yes.  Both are alternatives to CF and DW supports all three with built-in behaviors to automate database lookups and other dynamic operations.  
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by:dwielgosz
ID: 16606698
I determined that I can run this new website on the same server (PC) that has our primary site. Given that, I will obviously need to use CFs database abilities for the ordering system. Looking at our main website it is connected to a databse (access97) that resides in the web root. When I open the db, all I see are some tables, not really what I would think of as a database. So for a starting point on the new site, I figure that I'll need to create tables for the product that we're selling first and then proceed with the actual site creation. Do I have this in the right progression? Do you jknow of any resources for what I want to do? Such as DW how tos, or CF how tos?
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by:Jason C. Levine
ID: 16607051
>> When I open the db, all I see are some tables, not really what I would think of as a database

Eh?  That's what a database is.  A collection of tables.

>> I figure that I'll need to create tables for the product that we're selling first and then proceed with the actual site creation.

This is not a bad way to go.  Determine what the site will do, the design the data structures that will control the site.  Final step is to create the pages themsevles.

The Macromedia DevNet has a ton of articles and videos on how to do various things.  I would start there and if you get an idea that isn't covered right there, google it.

http://www.macromedia.com/devnet
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by:dwielgosz
ID: 16607079
I guess that was a dumb statement about the db. Thanks for the link.
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Author Comment

by:dwielgosz
ID: 16607094
The answer helped me realize that I could use CF after all. That's great.
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by:Jason C. Levine
ID: 16608197
>>  I guess that was a dumb statement about the db. Thanks for the link.

No, it wasn't a dumb statement.  I just wanted to be sure we were on the same page about terms before you proceeded.  If you have any further questions about this, post them here or start a new Q.  

Glad I could be of assistance with the CF.  I would have hated to see you pay for an unnecessary license.
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