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site-building help

By Schmo56 ·
i guess this is sorta a dumb question, but being a beginner to the whole computer programming world, it's a question that i need answered.
i got this job building a site for a local business, and my boss wants to be able to take orders from his website. i told him i didn't know how to do that but that i could learn... can anybody help? i'm familiar with html, if that means anything, and i'm a quick learner. still, if you answer, please use the vernacular so i know what you're talking about.
basically, i need to know how to set up a page that will take orders for a place of business. any information would be greatly appreciated.
thank you!
-kimberly, 16

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Microsoft can provide Examples

by SharpDog In reply to site-building help

Hi Kimberly,

You can get many examples of this from the Microsoft Site (MSDN.Microsoft.com). Some of these are:

The Internet Storefront:

Microsoft Reference Architecture for Commerce: Version 2:

Duwamish Books Sales and Inventory:

The Fitch & Mather n-tiered Sample:

AND technical papers:
<A Blueprint for Building Web Sites Using the Microsoft Windows Platform>

Some examples may apply to your task more than others. You can also mix and match ideas from different samples. Use the Table Of Content feature in the left frame to peruse the material.

Hope this helps:

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by SharpDog In reply to Microsoft can provide Exa ...

The technical papers are here:


If these links dont work, Just enter the titles in the search box (E.G> Duwamish, Fitch & Mather, etc).

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in over your head, but...

by Jay Eckles In reply to site-building help

You're definitely in over your head. Interactive features like the ability to accept orders over the internet require programming on the server side. If you were new to the web but not to programming, that would be one thing. If you're new to programming, then you've got a LOT of work to do.

The first thing you need to do is take a course on structured programming. It doesn't matter what the language is, though I would suggest C (as opposed to C++ or Java, which will confuse matters withobject-oriented features). After that, read a book on object-oriented design and development and learn C++, Java, C#, Smalltalk, or whatever OO language interests you. After that, pick up Perl because it's a handy language for writing CGIs (one type of server-side web program), and pick up Visual Basic. VBScript is often used in ASPs (another type of server-side web program) and is a subset of Visual Basic.

Once you've done all that, you'll have some sound programming knowledge and a tinybit of experience under your belt. You'll also need to learn how to use your newfound languages on the web. Read a CGI tutorial like mine at
You might also want to pick up a book on ASP (Active Server Pages). Then at least you'll have a couple of alternatives to choose from when you have to decide how to implement the order-taking system.

The order-taking system will most likely need to store orders in a database, so you're probably going to have to learn SQL as well as the database connectivity features of whatever language/paradigm you use. For CGI/Perl that's the DBI module and for ASP that's ADO.

At this point it would be nice if you'd had a few classes on data structures, software engineering (especially design), etc., but you will probably have picked up enough along the way to get by. It's time to design your order-taking system and implement it.


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by Jay Eckles In reply to in over your head, but...

Lots of work? Yes. But you're talking about implementing a mission-sensitive business application here. If you try to take shortcuts and hack around in a piece of existing software that you don't really understand, you're going to produce a system that won't be reliable. If your system can't reliably take orders, then it's going to hurt the business you're working for. Also think about the fact that the client will probably want to accept credit card orders, and now you're getting into afinancial application. That is a new can of worms altogether. You need to be concerned about your liability.

I'm not trying to discourage you, but rather start you off on the right track. Good luck.


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