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Websites and Intranet Essay

A form is an area in a web page that can contain form elements which allow users to enter information. This adds interactivity to the page. In the older days, there’s no place for users to send data to remote servers. These elements are text fields, text area fields, drop-down menus, radio buttons, checkboxes, buttons, etc. Text fields allows users to type data in a form and is also used for collecting data which can be used for queries on database server records, and display returned results. Radio buttons are used to allow users to select one among several options.

Checkboxes are used to allow users to select 1 or more options from specified choices. Forms are commonly used in social networking sites, or at online shops allowing users to send necessary information. Tables A table specified by the <table> tag is used to display elements in web pages in rows and columns. A table is divided in rows called table rows specified by the <tr> tag, and each row is divided by table columns called table data specified by the <td> tag. A table data can contain text, paragraphs, images, lists, forms, tables, and other web page elements.

By using a table, it is easier to organize the placement of elements within a page adding it a professional look. For instance, tables are used to display list of products in an online product shop. Without tables, it would have been too difficult to align this data in rows and columns. Embedded Audio or Video The <embed> tag inserts a browser plugin into a web page. This is a special program on client computer that handles special type of data. Commonly used plugins are for sound and video.

The popular Youtube website uses the <embed> tag to display flashplayer to allow users to listen and watch audios or videos located on web servers. However, most problems with compatibility issues come out with excessive use of embedded objects. Some browsers display messages requesting user to install or upgrade necessary plugins to display these items, which is awfully technical for some users, and at some time harmful to client computers especially when computer viruses attacks while downloading installer files. If possible, minimize its use. Have them only use embedded objects when necessary.

Rollover Items (Buttons and Images) Rollover items adds interactivity feature to a website. Most commonly used rollover items are images, and hyperlinks causing links and images to change pictures or font attributes when users rolls the mouse pointer over a defined rollover item. In the old days, these are often implemented by using a javascript or vbscript code. But some problem might occur with using scripts especially when scripting language used is not supported by the client’s web browser. Nowadays, rollovers are commonly implemented using Cascading Style Sheets (CSS).

Active X controls These are sets of tools commonly used when a web page is connected to a database server. Examples of active X controls are: datagrids, and recordset navigation buttons. These are commonly found on websites for large enterprises. Six of rules of thumb for weaving a winning website Browser Compatibility Web browsers support different capabilities and therefore should be taken into account in designing a web page. Millions of internet users around the world do not use only one web browser- some might be using Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Netscape Navigator.

Aside from that, old versions of web browsers are also a big problem. As a web page developer, be watchful of deprecated tags. These tags are supported by older versions of web browsers, and not by the latest versions. There is a big possibility that by using deprecated tags, the web page may not be displayed properly if the user is using later versions of web browsers. Another very important point to consider is about using “scripts. ” Scripts usually used for adding interactive look to the page, data entry validation, computation, displaying client/server-side processing results, and etc.

Different versions of web browsers also have differing support on scripting. One way to avoid these types of problem from occurring, developers must have to preview their web pages on different web browsers. Make Pages Navigable and User Friendly Always make your pages user friendly. Avoid designing web pages which will appear too technical for users which might end up in confusion. Navigable website allows user to jump from page to page with ease. Hyperlinks or menu items should have consistent appearance, can be easily identified, position at consistent and accessible location.

In most websites, menu items are positioned below the page header, on the left-most side, and at the bottom of the page. Main menu should be accessible in all web pages within a web site. Hyperlinks should stand out from the rest of page text. One way to do this is by defining consistent attributes such as size, color, and text family. Design should be Consistent with its Content Web pages are the mirrors of what the whole website is all about. Professional designers ensure the consistency of the appearance of background images, font-styles, menu items, and all elements within web pages with its purpose.

For instance, if the site is intended for computer hardware and accessories, placing an image of a garden as page background is too awkward. The web site title is of course very important. It should clearly tell the user what the site is all about. Optimize web page items for easy download Avoid placing elements with large file sizes. For instance, avoid placing pictures with large file size when not necessary. If possible, minimize the use of unnecessary images. Some web developer divides a whole image file into smaller images by using a photo editing software.

It is much better done this way, downloading parts of a whole image one at a time is much faster than downloading the whole image itself. Web Page Dimension Avoid designing webpage which requires too much horizontal scrolling. A typical dimension is 780 pixels in width and 1000 pixels in height. This is one of the problems not perceived by first time web developers. Older video adapters only allows computer monitors to display 640/480 screen resolution. Most VGA nowadays are capable of displaying 800×600, and 1024×768. Why 780pixels for the width? We have reserved the 20pixels for the size of the scroll bar.

At 780pixels width, it eliminates the hassle of scrolling horizontally to see the rest of the page, scrolling vertically is no problem at all. However, whenever possible, avoid too much scrolling as it is often tiresome. Provide Alternative or User Supports When placing images, always use alternate texts which will be displayed in placed of the image if downloading problem occurs. This eliminates confusion with the users when seeing a small “x” icon on the page. Providing user supports or instructions to data entry fields is necessary. A good start is by providing readable and comprehensive labels.

Don’t forget to provide correction statements or instructions telling user what to do in case of errors. The Communication software for an intranet (middleware and TCP/IP) Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP), is the communication protocol for the internet and other networks such as intranets and extranets. Within the TCP/IP architectures are sets of layers each handling different purposes for handling data transformation procedures as data are transferred from one location to another.

Because an intranet works the same way as an internet, except that it serves within a specified region within a locality such as an office. This allows computers connected to a network to communicate data with each other. Using TCP/IP, you can connect computers or other devices such as printers, to a network domain, or to workgroup computers. In an office setting, TCP/IP allows Server-Client communication. Each computer is assigned with an IP address and the IP address of the server which you want to connect. When both are properly set, the communication between the server and the client computers can now be initiated.

Aside from that, client to client communication is also possible as long as they are connected to a computer domain or workgroup computers. Middleware for Intranets Middleware is software designed to allow connections and interoperability between various software components and applications. In an intranet, it enables interaction of multiple processes running on one or more machines across the network. Middleware is an evolution aiming to support and simplify the complexities arising in distributed applications.

It provides a more functional application programming interface used to ensure transparent connection across the network, provide capability to be independence, reliability, and dependability of services across the network. There are many types of middleware: Remote Procedure Call Middleware, stores asynchronous or synchronous procedures which can be called by client applications. Message Oriented Middleware, collects and stores messages sent within a network. Object Request Broker middleware, enables an object-oriented services across object oriented systems running across a network.

SQL-Oriented data Access middleware, allows interaction between applications and database servers. Embedded Middleware, provides communication and integration services across platforms running embedded applications and real time operating system. Examples of middleware are: Open Database connectors (ODBC), Java’s Database Connectivity (JDBC), Distributed Component Object Model (DCOM), and many other similar products. References: Cherim, M. (2008). Webpage Design for Designers Website. Twelve Things most sites Needs-Part I. Retrieved Feb.

11, 2009 from http://www. wpdfd. com/issues/85/twelve_things_most_sites_need_1/ Cherim, M. (2008). Webpage Design for Designers Website. Twelve Things most sites Needs-Part II. Retrieved Feb. 11, 2009 from http://www. wpdfd. com/issues/86/twelve_things_most_sites_need_2/ Middleware Resource center website. What is Middleware? Retrieved Feb. 11, 2009 from http://www. middleware. org/whatis. html The TCP/IP Guide Website. Protocols, What are They Anaway? Retrieved Feb. 12, 2009 from http://www. tcpipguide. com/free/t_ProtocolsWhatAreTheyAnyway. htm

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