Welcome!

ColdFusion Authors: Yakov Fain, Maureen O'Gara, Nancy Y. Nee, Tad Anderson, Daniel Kaar

Related Topics: CMS, ColdFusion, .NET, Adobe Flex, AJAX & REA, Silverlight, Web 2.0

CMS: Article

Microsoft Expression Web Has Got Game

Expression Web is worth a look

In this article you will find out why Expression Web is setting a new standard for Web design and next generation Web Application development.

What is the “gap” Expression Web is filling?
In 2006 Microsoft began releasing a series of designer focused tools. The big question was: Why? Adobe has the best tools, doesn’t it? There is no doubt that Adobe’s tools are very good, what is clear, however, is that Microsoft is taking design seriously for this to be accomplished Microsoft does need tools that work well with their own tools. An immediate designer’s pain point for Microsoft is the millions of ASP.NET developers who have only Visual Studio 2005/2008 to design their Web applications with. If you have used Visual Studio as a design tool, then you know what I mean.

The focus, for the Expression tools, and specifically Expression Web, is to deliver the best tool for designers that you can integrate into a development environment.
What does Expression Web bring to designers?

Expression Web is a “from the ground up” new tool from Microsoft. The code is not based on FrontPage or any other design tool. With this said, you might expect that the features set to be limited in Expression Web. What you will find is a mature version 1.0 product. Some of the features that stand out are:

  • Easy site management
  • Strong CSS Support and Implementation
  • Strong ASP.NET 2.0 support

The focus on CSS is a tip of the hat from Microsoft in the renewed endeavors to support Web standards. Cascading Style Sheets, or CSS, is a rich, expansive formatting language used for Web design. CSS gives you tools to format text, the absolute position of objects on the layered order of objects.

Many Web sites use CSS to layout the content on the screen. You can take Ulitzer.com as an example. With CSS document controlling the layout of the screen the Web site looks like this:

As you can see, CSS controls the columns, the formatting of text and the placement of objects on the screen.

Using Expression Web to create CSS
Expression Web will let you design with page based and site based style sheets. You can see this in action when you create a new document. Select a new Web page from Expression Web. Add the following pig latin text onto your blank page:

Mei decore detraxit conclusionemque id.

Id pri unum tota lucilius, dictas fabulas sadipscing eam te. Te duo putent postulant. Quo ei duis falli. Eam id diam vero dolore, mel et errem ridens albucius. Exerci facilisis similique mel ea. Inermis salutatus rationibus mei in, duo malis virtute explicari ad.

Labore principes nec ex, vis liber scaevola ea. Vitae labore posidonium eu per, mea semper albucius ea. At posse porro aeterno quo, mutat vitae virtute eu qui. Te mundi scripserit sadipscing sit, sea ei adhuc error paulo. No ius blandit apeirian splendide, mel malorum neglegentur id.

There is no formatting. Select the first line of text and, from the text tools along the top of Expression Web, change the font to Arial, the size to 24pt, add bold and change the color to olive.

Other Web tools will use the FONT tag to closely emulate your layout. Expression Web does not do this. Expression Web uses CSS to create a Style document. The document looks like this:

<style type="text/css">
.style1 {
font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;
font-size: 24pt;
color: #808000;
}
</style>

The .Style1 is a class document that links to the paragraph of text. The same can be done with the additional paragraphs, creating a single style to format two or more paragraphs. The final style sheet has only to formats, but controls the layout of the entire page:

.style1 {
font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;
font-size: 24pt;
color: #808000;
}
.style2 {
font-family: Verdana;
font-size: 10pt;
}

You do not want to working continuously in code, so Expression Web gives you a number of CSS tools.  The three tools you will use are the CSS Properties, Apply Styles, and Manage Styles.

The first action is to create a style. You have already seen how to do that. Now you need modify the style. You do this by selecting the text on the screen you want to modify. In this instance, select the headline. Now choose the CSS Properties window.

The properties are, by default, ordered in groups. Choose the Font group and select “color.” Choose “white” from the colors presented.

The Manage Styles panel lists all of your styles in your current Web page.  The preview pane shows you the style. You can also modify the style or create new styles from the preview pane.

Selecting the “New Style” link opens the New Style window.

The New Style window has the controls and properties to create add new styles. The preview window accurately displays the font as you add new formatting as shown here

Styles can be applied to text on the screen using the Apply Styles panel. All you need to do is select the text you want formatted and choose the style from the Apply Styles panel. The formatting will automatically apply to your text.

At any time press F12 to preview your Web page in a Web browser.

Next Steps with Expression Web
Expression Web is a powerful Web site solution. Some features are missing: there connection with the other Expression tools is weak; only ASP.NET is supported; connection with Visual Studio Web Projects is hard; there is now immediate support for Team System, Microsoft’s management system.

It is good to know that Microsoft is looking to build upon this architecture. It is an exciting time to be a designer.

More Stories By Matthew David

Matthew has written books for Friends of Ed, Pearson Press, New Riders, Wiley, Focal Press and Peach Pit. He is also experience at leading teams top deliver bestselling titles books that come with accompanying video training and media. An example is Flash MX Magic, a book written by 7 authors, with an accompanying web site and CD. The book sold over 45,000 copies in 12 languages. Matthew is also the author of 400+ articles.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
Samsung VP Jacopo Lenzi, who headed the company's recent SmartThings acquisition under the auspices of Samsung's Open Innovaction Center (OIC), answered a few questions we had about the deal. This interview was in conjunction with our interview with SmartThings CEO Alex Hawkinson. IoT Journal: SmartThings was developed in an open, standards-agnostic platform, and will now be part of Samsung's Open Innovation Center. Can you elaborate on your commitment to keep the platform open? Jacopo Lenzi: Samsung recognizes that true, accelerated innovation cannot be driven from one source, but requires a...
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Chief Architect for the Internet of Things and Intelligent Systems at Red Hat, will describe how to revoluti...
The Internet of Things will greatly expand the opportunities for data collection and new business models driven off of that data. In her session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, will discuss how for this to be effective you not only need to have infrastructure and operational models capable of utilizing this new phenomenon, but increasingly service providers will need to convince a skeptical public to participate. Get ready to show them the money! Speaker Bio: Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, has spent 16 years as a marketing, product management, and busin...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Red Hat, the world's leading provider of open source solutions, will exhibit at Internet of @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Red Hat is the world's leading provider of open source software solutions, using a community-powered approach to reliable and high-performing cloud, Linux, middleware, storage and virtualization technologies. Red Hat also offers award-winning support, training, and consulting services. As the connective hub in a global network of enterprises, partners, a...
P2P RTC will impact the landscape of communications, shifting from traditional telephony style communications models to OTT (Over-The-Top) cloud assisted & PaaS (Platform as a Service) communication services. The P2P shift will impact many areas of our lives, from mobile communication, human interactive web services, RTC and telephony infrastructure, user federation, security and privacy implications, business costs, and scalability. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Robin Raymond, Chief Architect at Hookflash Inc., will walk through the shifting landscape of traditional telephone a...
BSQUARE is a global leader of embedded software solutions. We enable smart connected systems at the device level and beyond that millions use every day and provide actionable data solutions for the growing Internet of Things (IoT) market. We empower our world-class customers with our products, services and solutions to achieve innovation and success. For more information, visit www.bsquare.com.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Matrix.org has been named “Silver Sponsor” of Internet of @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Matrix is an ambitious new open standard for open, distributed, real-time communication over IP. It defines a new approach for interoperable Instant Messaging and VoIP based on pragmatic HTTP APIs and WebRTC, and provides open source reference implementations to showcase and bootstrap the new standard. Our focus is on simplicity, security, and supporting the fullest feature set.
How do APIs and IoT relate? The answer is not as simple as merely adding an API on top of a dumb device, but rather about understanding the architectural patterns for implementing an IoT fabric. There are typically two or three trends: Exposing the device to a management framework Exposing that management framework to a business centric logic • Exposing that business layer and data to end users. This last trend is the IoT stack, which involves a new shift in the separation of what stuff happens, where data lives and where the interface lies. For instance, it’s a mix of architectural style...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SOA Software, an API management leader, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. SOA Software is a leading provider of API Management and SOA Governance products that equip business to deliver APIs and SOA together to drive their company to meet its business strategy quickly and effectively. SOA Software’s technology helps businesses to accelerate their digital channels with APIs, drive partner adoption, monetize their assets, and achieve a...
From a software development perspective IoT is about programming "things," about connecting them with each other or integrating them with existing applications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Yakov Fain, co-founder of Farata Systems and SuranceBay, will show you how small IoT-enabled devices from multiple manufacturers can be integrated into the workflow of an enterprise application. This is a practical demo of building a framework and components in HTML/Java/Mobile technologies to serve as a platform that can integrate new devices as they become available on the market.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Utimaco will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Utimaco is a leading manufacturer of hardware based security solutions that provide the root of trust to keep cryptographic keys safe, secure critical digital infrastructures and protect high value data assets. Only Utimaco delivers a general-purpose hardware security module (HSM) as a customizable platform to easily integrate into existing software solutions, embed business logic and build s...
Connected devices are changing the way we go about our everyday life, from wearables to driverless cars, to smart grids and entire industries revolutionizing business opportunities through smart objects, capable of two-way communication. But what happens when objects are given an IP-address, and we rely on that connection, sometimes with our lives? How do we secure those vast data infrastructures and safe-keep the privacy of sensitive information? This session will outline how each and every connected device can uphold a core root of trust via a unique cryptographic signature – a “bir...
Internet of @ThingsExpo Silicon Valley announced on Thursday its first 12 all-star speakers and sessions for its upcoming event, which will take place November 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in California. @ThingsExpo, the first and largest IoT event in the world, debuted at the Javits Center in New York City in June 10-12, 2014 with over 6,000 delegates attending the conference. Among the first 12 announced world class speakers, IBM will present two highly popular IoT sessions, which will take place November 4-6, 2014 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, Calif...
Almost everyone sees the potential of Internet of Things but how can businesses truly unlock that potential. The key will be in the ability to discover business insight in the midst of an ocean of Big Data generated from billions of embedded devices via Systems of Discover. Businesses will also need to ensure that they can sustain that insight by leveraging the cloud for global reach, scale and elasticity.
WebRTC defines no default signaling protocol, causing fragmentation between WebRTC silos. SIP and XMPP provide possibilities, but come with considerable complexity and are not designed for use in a web environment. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Matthew Hodgson, technical co-founder of the Matrix.org, will discuss how Matrix is a new non-profit Open Source Project that defines both a new HTTP-based standard for VoIP & IM signaling and provides reference implementations.

SUNNYVALE, Calif., Oct. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Spansion Inc. (NYSE: CODE), a global leader in embedded systems, today added 96 new products to the Spansion® FM4 Family of flexible microcontrollers (MCUs). Based on the ARM® Cortex®-M4F core, the new MCUs boast a 200 MHz operating frequency and support a diverse set of on-chip peripherals for enhanced human machine interfaces (HMIs) and machine-to-machine (M2M) communications. The rich set of periphera...

SYS-CON Events announced today that Aria Systems, the recurring revenue expert, has been named "Bronze Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Aria Systems helps leading businesses connect their customers with the products and services they love. Industry leaders like Pitney Bowes, Experian, AAA NCNU, VMware, HootSuite and many others choose Aria to power their recurring revenue business and deliver exceptional experiences to their customers.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is going to require a new way of thinking and of developing software for speed, security and innovation. This requires IT leaders to balance business as usual while anticipating for the next market and technology trends. Cloud provides the right IT asset portfolio to help today’s IT leaders manage the old and prepare for the new. Today the cloud conversation is evolving from private and public to hybrid. This session will provide use cases and insights to reinforce the value of the network in helping organizations to maximize their company’s cloud experience.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is making everything it touches smarter – smart devices, smart cars and smart cities. And lucky us, we’re just beginning to reap the benefits as we work toward a networked society. However, this technology-driven innovation is impacting more than just individuals. The IoT has an environmental impact as well, which brings us to the theme of this month’s #IoTuesday Twitter chat. The ability to remove inefficiencies through connected objects is driving change throughout every sector, including waste management. BigBelly Solar, located just outside of Boston, is trans...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Matrix.org has been named “Silver Sponsor” of Internet of @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Matrix is an ambitious new open standard for open, distributed, real-time communication over IP. It defines a new approach for interoperable Instant Messaging and VoIP based on pragmatic HTTP APIs and WebRTC, and provides open source reference implementations to showcase and bootstrap the new standard. Our focus is on simplicity, security, and supporting the fullest feature set.