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Converting FP2003 Website to work with Dreamweaver CS4

I have a very large database driven site at www.MountainNature.com. It was designed in FrontPage 2003 and much of the database connectivity was done using the Database Connection Wizard in FrontPage. I'm being told by my host Web.com that very soon all sites that have FP Server Extensions will be migrated to new servers as the extensions will no longer be supported. The only real FP specific things in the site are the database wizards. What I'm looking for is advice on the best way to transition away from the need for the extensions. Here are a few questions:

1. Will my asp pages still work without fpse? There is an option in FP to clean the code and remove FP specific attributes. Do I need to do that and will the asp then work?
2. Are there other things I should worry about? I know how to import the site to Dreamweaver I just don't want to begin working on it there until I'm sure it's ready.
3. What FP specific folders on my site can I delete when I transition?

I appreciate all of the help this site provides.

wcameron
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wcameron
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wcameron
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coreybryantCommented:
Looking at FrontPage Server Extensions,  I did not see anything about the database information there.  There are a few more links that you can verify.  If you have any FrontPage WebBot Components that are listed in the post, those are the ones you need to worry about.
FrontPage created the ASP code (albeit its own version) but I am pretty sure it will work since it is still ASP.
Delete all the _vti_cnf files / folders.  You can also upgrade to Expression Web.  Opening the site in DW should not mess anything up unless you have any FrontPage WebBot Components that are listed in the post.
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wcameronAuthor Commented:
Thanks. I will use FP's option to clean the asp code to remove the database wizard specific comments. Am I correct in assuming then that FPSE are not used when parsing the FP ASP code?

Then I need to change the bots to make them compatible. Luckily I didn't use many but I did use hundreds of include page bots with code like the following:

<!--webbot bot="include" U-Include="http://mountainnature.com/banner.htm" TAG=BODY" -->

I'm guessing I need to replace those with server side includes but I'm not sure how to go about it. Thats new to me. I have tried the following code but it doesn't work:

<!--#include file="http://mountainnature.com/banner.htm"-->

My host is web.com and a windows server.

Thanks again for your help.

wcameron
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coreybryantCommented:
The FrontPage Page Include is one of the very few FrontPage WebBot Components that do not require FPSE to work.  However, you have to upload every page.  
For the new question re: the includes, check out Server Side Includes.  Your code is almost correct but use a relative path as the example below.  You will also need to name your pages with .asp so the pages are parsed before rendering.
Before making any of these major changes, make a backup copy of your FrontPage Website.  You can look at downloading Expression Web for free to see if you like that.  

<!--#INCLUDE FILE="nav.html" -->

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wcameronAuthor Commented:
Thanks Corey. Are you saying that my current FP Includes will continue to work once my site is migrated away from a site with fpse? Do you know if there's any way to duplicate this with Dreamweaver CS4. I have no problem publishing all the pages using the includes. My site has hundreds of pages indexed by Google and changing the extensions to asp from htm will cause many problems with indexing.

I'm also guessing then that my current FP Database Connection Wizard pages will also continue to work?

Is there anything else I should be thinking of?

wcameron
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coreybryantCommented:
The FrontPage Page Include WebBot Component is a FrontPage feature, not Dreamweaver.  Expression Web supports the FrontPage Page Include WebBot Component however.  I don't think Dreamweaver will support the FrontPage Page Include WebBot Component.  
You might contact your hosting company to see if they have a component that would process the HTML pages as ASP - then you could use the ASP File Includes.  I would imagine though that some of your pages are ASP since you are communicating with a database, so you could use ASP File Includes on these pages.  
Chances are most of the ASP pages will continue to work without FPSE.  Check FrontPage Server Extensions, one feature that is used by FPSE is stylesheet links to ASP files, so if you are using a style sheet you might have some problems.
You can create a new folder on your website, and FTP the pages created by the Database Connection Wizard.  Upload these files and make sure you don't upload the files in the _vti_cnf.  This will give you a pretty good idea.  If you have a separate domain name for testing, you might consider using this method as well.
Also check out Database Results Wizard if you have not already.  There is some general information and tips.  
You should consider starting to use server side includes (ASP includes) - renaming your pages now.  Contact your hosting company about possible support setting up 301 redirects.  Dreamweaver supports server side includes (.shtml / .shtm) in that the program will show the includes while you are working in the program.  However, you would need to upload the pages with the proper file extension to work on the server
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wcameronAuthor Commented:
Thanks again Corey. I'll check into Expressions. It's so confusing with the different versions of the program and it seems to have no connection to FrontPage. That is why I moved to Dreamweaver. I am very familiar with the Database Results Wizard. One of my other sites is www.FrontPageMagic.com a site dedicated to helping non-programmers create database driven websites. Needless to say the dropping of FrontPage threw me for a loop. Heck. Even though I've not been here for a while, I'm still sitting at #12 on the All Time List for FrontPage. It's just been confusing getting a handle on what was controlled by the server extensions.

I appreciate all of your help.

wcameron
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