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
The only place to be June 9-11 is Cloud Expo & @ThingsExpo 2015 East at the Javits Center in New York City. Join us there as delegates from all over the world come to listen to and engage with speakers & sponsors from the leading Cloud Computing, IoT & Big Data companies. Cloud Expo & @ThingsExpo are the leading events covering the booming market of Cloud Computing, IoT & Big Data for the enterprise. Speakers from all over the world will be hand-picked for their ability to explore the economic strategies that utility/cloud computing provides. Whether public, private, or in a hybrid form, clo...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Gridstore™, the leader in software-defined storage (SDS) purpose-built for Windows Servers and Hyper-V, 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. Gridstore™ is the leader in software-defined storage purpose built for virtualization that is designed to accelerate applications in virtualized environments. Using its patented Server-Side Virtual Controller™ Technology (SVCT) to eliminate the I/O blender effect and accelerate applications Gridsto...
SYS-CON Events announces a new pavilion on the Cloud Expo floor where WebRTC converges with the Internet of Things. Pavilion will showcase WebRTC and the Internet of Things. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices--computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors – connected to the Internet by 2020. This number will continue to grow at a rapid pace for the next several decades.
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...
As the Internet of Things unfolds, mobile and wearable devices are blurring the line between physical and digital, integrating ever more closely with our interests, our routines, our daily lives. Contextual computing and smart, sensor-equipped spaces bring the potential to walk through a world that recognizes us and responds accordingly. We become continuous transmitters and receivers of data. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Andrew Bolwell, Director of Innovation for HP’s Printing and Personal Systems Group, will discuss how key attributes of mobile technology – touch input, senso...
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...
Connected devices and the Internet of Things are getting significant momentum in 2014. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Hunter, Chief Scientist & Technology Evangelist at Greenwave Systems, will examine three key elements that together will drive mass adoption of the IoT before the end of 2015. The first element is the recent advent of robust open source protocols (like AllJoyn and WebRTC) that facilitate M2M communication. The second is broad availability of flexible, cost-effective storage designed to handle the massive surge in back-end data in a world where timely analytics...
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...
The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to evolve the way the world does business; however, understanding how to apply it to your company can be a mystery. Most people struggle with understanding the potential business uses or tend to get caught up in the technology, resulting in solutions that fail to meet even minimum business goals. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jesse Shiah, CEO / President / Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., will show what is needed to leverage the IoT to transform your business. He will discuss opportunities and challenges ahead for the IoT from a market and tec...
SYS-CON Events announced today that TeleStax, the main sponsor of Mobicents, 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. TeleStax provides Open Source Communications software and services that facilitate the shift from legacy SS7 based IN networks to IP based LTE and IMS networks hosted on private (on-premise), hybrid or public clouds. TeleStax products include Restcomm, JSLEE, SMSC Gateway, USSD Gateway, SS7 Resource Adaptors, SIP Servlets, Rich Multimedia Services, Presence Services/RCS, Diame...
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 O'Reilly Media has been named “Media 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. O'Reilly Media spreads the knowledge of innovators through its books, online services, magazines, and conferences. Since 1978, O'Reilly Media has been a chronicler and catalyst of cutting-edge development, homing in on the technology trends that really matter and spurring their adoption by amplifying "faint signals" from the alpha geeks who are creating the future. An...
The Transparent Cloud-computing Consortium (abbreviation: T-Cloud Consortium) will conduct research activities into changes in the computing model as a result of collaboration between "device" and "cloud" and the creation of new value and markets through organic data processing High speed and high quality networks, and dramatic improvements in computer processing capabilities, have greatly changed the nature of applications and made the storing and processing of data on the network commonplace.
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.
As a disruptive technology, Web Real-Time Communication (WebRTC), which is an emerging standard of web communications, is redefining how brands and consumers communicate in real time. The on-going narrative around WebRTC has largely been around incorporating video, audio and chat functions to apps. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Alex Gouaillard, Founder and CTO of Temasys Communications, will look at a fourth element – data channels – and talk about its potential to move WebRTC beyond browsers and into the Internet of Things.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Gigaom Research has been named "Media 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. Ashar Baig, Research Director, Cloud, at Gigaom Research, will also lead a Power Panel on the topic "Choosing the Right Cloud Option." Gigaom Research provides timely, in-depth analysis of emerging technologies for individual and corporate subscribers. Gigaom Research's network of 200+ independent analysts provides new content daily that bridges the gap between break...
We certainly live in interesting technological times. And no more interesting than the current competing IoT standards for connectivity. Various standards bodies, approaches, and ecosystems are vying for mindshare and positioning for a competitive edge. It is clear that when the dust settles, we will have new protocols, evolved protocols, that will change the way we interact with devices and infrastructure. We will also have evolved web protocols, like HTTP/2, that will be changing the very core of our infrastructures. At the same time, we have old approaches made new again like micro-services...
The Industrial Internet revolution is now underway, enabled by connected machines and billions of devices that communicate and collaborate. The massive amounts of Big Data requiring real-time analysis is flooding legacy IT systems and giving way to cloud environments that can handle the unpredictable workloads. Yet many barriers remain until we can fully realize the opportunities and benefits from the convergence of machines and devices with Big Data and the cloud, including interoperability, data security and privacy.
Software AG helps organizations transform into Digital Enterprises, so they can differentiate from competitors and better engage customers, partners and employees. Using the Software AG Suite, companies can close the gap between business and IT to create digital systems of differentiation that drive front-line agility. We offer four on-ramps to the Digital Enterprise: alignment through collaborative process analysis; transformation through portfolio management; agility through process automation and integration; and visibility through intelligent business operations and big data.