This tutorial is designed for students in Web Development classes at Pentecost University College. It assumes that the student already has familiarity with the eXtensible Hypertext Markup Language (XHTML), basic programming skills, and with the rudiments of database design and Structured Query Language (SQL). Example scripts run under PHP 5, Apache 2 or IIS 6.0, and Microsoft Windows 2003 Server. XHTML output displays properly under current versions of Microsoft Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox. Foundations of Web Design
Web Development Context
Many people are Web page "authors"; few people are Web site "developers." You are soon to join the ranks of the latter. Web Page Authoring
Authoring Web pages is not a particularly difficult task now-a-days. Many standard deskop software packages come equipped with built-in features to convert word processing documents, spreadsheets, databases, and the like to coded documents that are ready for access across the Web. Special Web page authoring packages such as Microsoft FrontPage and Macromedia Dreamweaver permit creation of Web pages with drag-and-drop ease. In most of these cases it is not even necessary to know or to be aware of the special HTML (HyperText Markup Language) coding that takes place behind the scenes. If you know the XHTML language, then you can author your Web pages with a simple text editor, usually gaining a great deal more control over their structure and formatting than is possible with drag-and-drop methods. In addition, you have the ability to easily integrate existing XHTML code, Java applets, multimedia plug-ins, and browser scripting languages to bring a modicum of user interactively to your pages. Irrespective of the substance or sizzle of your pages, their purpose tends to be limited to presenting interesting or informative text and graphics for personal consumption. It is unlikely you can tackle the task of writing a major business system armed with HTML and a few plug-ins. Web Development
Web "development," as contrasted with Web page "authoring," goes well beyond the use of markup codes and a few plug-ins or scripting techniques to make attractive and informative Web pages. The term pertains to the use of special strategies, tools, and methods for producing Web pages and Web sites characterized as three-tier, client/server, and information processing systems. Let's consider these terms in more detail to understand the broader-ranging purposes for which Web pages and Web sites are developed. Information Processing Systems
Web technologies are used to produce not just simple personal or promotional Web sites containing informative, interesting, or entertaining material for public consumption. Rather, they are becoming important means for supporting the foundational "business processes" of modern organizations -- the underlying operational and management-support functions. The technical infrastructures for supporting these purposes are roughly classified into three types of Web-based systems, termed intranets, internets, and extranets. Intranets. Intranets are private, internal systems to help carry out the day-to-day information processing, management information, and work-flow activities of organizations. Web-based intranets service the standard internal business functions and in doing so impact basic organizational systems such as accounting and financial reporting systems, marketing and sales systems, purchasing and distribution systems, production systems, and human resource systems, among others. In time, Web-based intranets will become the primary technical means through which organizations function internally to carry out their business processes. Internets. Internets are public information systems. They include public sites that provide news, information, and entertainment; electronic commerce sites to market and sell products and services; governmental sites to inform or service the general public; and educational...