Web Sites… In The Beginning

For many business areas, the internet has a new standard and changed the playing field. To profit, you need a website. But where do you start?

Web Sites | In The Beginning

Your first thoughts on a website can be guaranteed misplaced. If you have a current business that you want a site, you are viewing by using techniques you’ve developed in the brick and mortar worlds. If you have decided to create an entirely new business on the internet to boot, you are probably brainstorm possible ideas. If you want to waste money and time and avoid frustration, you must understand that both approaches simply, absolutely, really wrong!Well, most of the time.

If you accept this statement, you will avoid the mistakes millions of small and large companies have made. You don t want to be frustrated if that person you met at a party who was murdered on the Internet. As difficult as it will be, you must accept the fact that you know nothing about e-commerce. If your ego at the door and advice to verify you are half way to make a profit. Assuming you haven t press the back button, let’s talk about the important issue.

There is one word to remember if you want a successful site – Research. Don t worry, it isn t hard to do. Imagine if you knew what all people in your town think when they have a problem your company can solve? Imagine that the new exact phrases they thought of the most often. The information would be worth more than its weight in gold. Much more. On the Web, you can use this information.

The most important step you, I or another person to participate in the launch of a site is first determining if we should! To let the cat out the bag, there are more than a few sectors that don t do well on the Internet. The business just doesn’t translate well or people prefer to use the product or talk to the person touching.Wouldn t you hate a few thousand dollars or one hundred hours working on a site only to find out there is no interest on the Web spend? It would be crazy not to mention put macaroni and cheese front and center in your diet.

The best way to deal with this issue is to use a site called Wordtracker. Wordtracker is a brilliant, inexpensive program. You enter a keyword, click and it tells you all the phrases used in searches containing that keyword. It also tells you how many searches each keyword phrase in a period of 24 hours. Do you realize the value of that?

Suppose you have an existing business that sells purple balloons for weddings. You’re a bunch of budgeting time or money to build a site. After reading this article, go to Wordtracker and do a test for  œpurple balloons.? You are only 50 total searches per day for every possible keyword phrases. Now you know the site isn t worth it. Unlike most companies, you ve saved a lot of money and time.

Large and small companies crashed and burned on the Internet because they never took the time to find out whether there is a market for their product or service. Now we know that your arena is t make the same mistake.

Processes in Website and Application Development

Almost all top most companies engaged in software development follow best practices in software engineering.The Solution provided by McDaav Systems is based on the Rational Unified Process and we follow UML 2.0 specification while doing SystemAnalysis.

Mcdaav Systems follows IEEE standards while designing the system. We supply the project with complete documentation of our client in understanding the details of the software helps.

Project Flow

Systems Analysis

Systems analysis is the science concerned with the analysis of complex, large-scale systems and the interactions within these systems. We have a talented team of System Analysts who will do requirement analysis, business analysis and systems analysis to conform to all requirements of the stakeholders can be properly identified and documented, so the design team can work efficiently on the proposed project.

The first step is the requirement analysis done of the proposed problem.

Requirement Analysis

The purpose of the Requirements discipline:

* To establish and maintain liaison with customers and other stakeholders what the system should do.
* To make the system developers a better understanding of the system requirements.
* If the boundaries of (delimit) the system.
* To provide a basis for planning the technical contents of iterations.
* To provide a basis for calculating costs and time for system development.
* If you have a user interface for the system, focusing on the needs and goals of users.

Designing the system

We have a dedicated group of system developers who works on J2EE platform, Dot NET Platform. Our designers work on MS Access Database, SQL Server, Oracle and DB2.
Systems design is the process or art of defining the hardware and software architecture, components, modules, interfaces and data to a computer system to particular requirement. It could be seen as the application of computing systems theory. Some overlap with the discipline of systems analysis appears inevitable.

Measures taken during the design of the proposed project include:

Use case analysis
Use Case Design
Class Analysis
Class Design
Database Design
User interface design
Design element Identification
Identification Mechanism Design
Integrate existing Design Element
Operation Analysis
Operation Design
Prototype Design
System Design

Unit testing is done by software designers, so that our customers receive flawless software products.

Testing the system

The Test discipline acts as a service to other disciplines in many ways. Testing focuses primarily on evaluating or assessing product quality, which is realized by these basic practices:

* Validate that the software product works as designed.
* Validate that the requirements are properly implemented.
* A good test effort is driven by questions such as:
* How to break this software?
* In what situations can not be predicted this software work?

Test challenges of assumptions, risks and uncertainties inherent in the work of other disciplines, and these problems using concrete demonstration and impartial evaluation. You want to avoid two potential extremes:
an approach which is not adequately or effectively challenge the software, and reveals its inherent problems or weaknesses an approach is unduly negative or destructive – for such a negative approach, you may find it impossible to software product of acceptable consider quality and would alienate the test effort of the other disciplines

Testing software is very difficult. How do you quantify the different ways a given program can behave?

Implementation

After completion of the project and doing User Acceptance Testing of the entire installation of the software is installed on the user? S site as instructed by the client at the beginning of software development.

Implementation follows the following steps:

Analyze Run time behavior
Developer of tests
Implementation of Design Element
Integrate SubSystem
Integrate System

Verification of hardware and software on the site of the Customer.

The purpose of the implementation is:

* The organization defining the code, in terms of
* Implementation subsystems organized in layers
* The implementation of the design elements in terms of implementation elements (source files, binaries, executable programs, and others)
* Testing of the developed components as units
* Integration of the results by individual implementers (or teams), into a viable system

Maintenance

Software maintenance is the process of improving and optimizing deployed software, and troubleshooting. Software maintenance is one of the phases in the software development process and follows the deployment of the software in the field.

The software maintenance phase involves changes to software defects and failures during field usage as well as adding new functionality in the software usability and applicability to improve correct.

Web Accessibility: Web Design for the Mobility-Impaired

Mobility Limitation isn’t always as obvious as you might think it is.You do not need extremes of disabilities such as paralysis or missing limbs proposals. Try coming up with a simple fall or other accident that results in both hands in plaster and unable to use a mouse. Now, with that in mind, your website in your browser, make a sharpened pencil in your mouth, the eraser and try to use the TAB key until you all the way to the main content of your page. With a well-placed “skipnav, a TAB key you will see the link, and click the ENTER button gives you access to the main content. Thats accessibility. It is the web equivalent of a driveway.

A skipnav is a link at the top of the page (before any other content on the page) that allows a user to all top-bar and a left sidebar skip and go directly to the content. Are generally a simple text link placed either in the beginning of the header or in a separate DIV prior to the header. Are one of the few pieces of page content deemed acceptable for cloaking (matching text color, background color or use CSS to size or if the off-screen slide invisible to the user.) Like most accessibility options , it exists mainly for disabled users and doesn’t have to be seen to be helpful.

Web design for a limited mobility also includes checking your scripts to see if your mouse-centric behavior. Without touching your mouse, try to get around your site. There arent perfect keyboard equivalents for all mouse events, but the main are pretty basic. If you have a Click event, add the same KeyPress event. If you mouse over an event, add the same focus event. If you are a mouseOut event, add the same event BLUR. Accessibility is about making the page for everyone no matter how useful to his or her work around.

ACCESSKEY the value of the anchor tag is a good and far too little function to add to your navigation. Although currently not supported in some browsers and browser versions, one of those things that doesn’t hurt your page by being there. Browsers that support dont just ignore it. Users hold down the ALT key (the CONTROL key for Mac users) and press the specified single, alphanumeric character set or focus or activate a link, depending on the browser. It allows you to create shortcuts for the main site navigation.

Other aspects of mobility impairment of the computer use may not initially occur to you. These include slowed reflexes, lack of coordination, tremors, ticks, paralysis, arthritis, and anything else that could make a user’s hand is not cooperating. I, for one, have a hard time double clicking quickly enough (due to nerve damage) to the computer to register as such. Avoid page design, which relies on a site visitors rate and eye / hand coordinationâ € “unless, of course, your page you want to feel like a video game. Avoid single character or a figure hyperlinks on a page or image maps with small hot spots. (I know, scripted image maps are a whole different issue.)

You would not believe how many web pages that Ive been using words such as “I” or the number “1″ as an important content links.Trying to hit that after six cups of coffee. Our goal isn’t to make it more difficult for site visitors to our sites use, its about making it easier and more intuitive. Thats usability. It is the web equivalent of a well-ordered office directory placed clearly on the wall neatly labeled with signs on each door.

I know these things are a little extra time and effort, but theyre worth it. It’s just not that hard to establish yourself in need of them.

What to choose: web site template or custom development?

In our era of rapid development and growth of the Internet and Internet technology, more and more companies understand that the presence of the site has positive impact on business development.There is no doubt about that, but one question: what site has a positive impact on business and do not do heaps of problems?.

Answers to this question can be different depending on the parameters of the question. In this article we want the parameter of the website is made to analyze. There are two main varieties â € “can be custom developed website or you can off-the-shelf solution ready to buy a site. It is these two types of sites appear to be discussed in this article.

Yes, version 1: You decided you do not want to be like all the rest and that your company deserves a lot and constantly, your company’s website, the best in the world, especially considering that it is a very important part of your business . Welcome to the category of people willing to a custom developed website (exclusive and perfect) to get. Advantages of such a site:

* Custom web development is always taking into account current and future (most importantly) needs of the market and customers;
* Each area of activity, and the audience has so much information that you will be able to provide;
* You get exactly what you wanted as a result of a custom Web site development;
* To enjoy and benefit from your websites into work, you must continually develop and improve (both in content and functionality).It is difficult to do with off-the-shelf solutions, but custom-developed sites can easily be improved, developed and changed.

Unfortunately, this version of website development is not ideal.There are two major drawbacks: time and money. Custom website development is a laborious and time-consuming (of course, timing of development depends on the first place, your wishes), and therefore the major expenses. So if you have time and a big budget for the project, take this variation into account.

Second option: you have to get to the site (probably not the most special) as soon as possible and it is highly desirable that site should not be very expensive. You belong to people who need website, so to speak, pro forma. In this case, site will not be used to run the company but will act as a means to inform the company so that the functionality can be very simple. If so, there is no doubt that it will be better for off-the-shelf solution to choose. We have already mentioned the great advantages of such solutions, which are time and money. As for disadvantages, there are a little more of them:

* First, you will not be able to achieve profitable unique goals of your company (if any);
* Off-the-shelf solutions do not take into account your needs and requirements, so you will have to manage your work with what the solution;
* Every time you decide to change or add to your site, you must contact the developers for help.

So, these are the basic advantages and disadvantages of two important ways from the site acquisition. Of course we can provide advice, for example, not to the website for yourself to create the site will be used by your customers and their needs are of the highest priority and others. But in general, you should decide which variant of the above to choose. The key is to clearly define why you and your company need a website and what you will use.

Preparing for successful and professional online presences

As the importance of an Internet presence is becoming more obvious that any kind of practices, services, business, or information – the implied question is how to go about getting a website designed, developed and promoted to best meet your goals?

The first step in preparing for the establishment of a website – no matter who designs it or what it – is to determine the site of basic functions and purposes.

The usual features are available to serve:

* Improving the image of confidence and practice or business – Not having a website these days, or one that portrays an unprofessional or otherwise negative image is not a good sign to potential customers or clients.
* People from the Internet – No matter what you sell or offer, there are many people already looking for it on the Internet. Absence of an Internet presence means internet searchers will not find or hear about you or your company.
* Attract more clients online – Many people will not buy from a person or company that they are unable to learn about or research on their own, or without dealing with representatives.
* Providing a 24 / 7 storefront to inform, build confidence and to sell – while you sleep and your company or shop is closed – your website is always available to persuasde and convince, transactions or observations of forms to allow , or simply information.

Sites different functions depending on their goals and objectives.Specific to your practice, business or services, you want a website that your audience what they want to see offers, which is presented in a way that convinces them to buy your product, please contact us for information, or anything else make other goals you may have on your site.

A good web developer will consult with you about your goals and needs and to inform you about the possibilities, but as the quality and craftsmanship of webmasters varies I recommend a wide range of advice when you do not like the answers you get of one, or simply being told something is impossible.

Planning your website and understand your goals and wishes the best to help you prepare for your project and put it to life with your favorite Web site developer.
Planning your website – Understanding your goals and desires

Certain aspects of your website must be carefully planned to make the best one internet connection that meets and exceeds your goals, and most website designers will therefore work with you to the right solutions for your project to determine.

It will be better for both you and your designer if you have thought about certain aspects of the project in advance, including:

* How do I want my website to look? Flashy How will it be?
* Who will provide the design and any images or other media?
* What will the website tell – and what types and how many pages do you want?
* How will the site be structured?
* Who will provide informative content, including text? Want help writing or developing content?
* Does your site require regular updates? Want to make changes or updates to make yourself later on?
* Do you have something to sell online? If so, what? And how will you want your transactions to be done?
* Do you need a database to store or retrieve information?
* If you want any documents or other functions?
* If you want users to be able or required to login to some or all aspects of your website?
* Will you want to use internet marketing to take increased traffic and business?
* What is your timeframe and budget?
* What are your wishes and expectations for your Internet presence?

Once you have planned the foundation of your website will get the right consultant or web site development company for your Project.

Some consultants and companies specialize in most aspects of online presence, and will help you with one or more of the above is best to establish and grow your website. Others work on one or more regions of the developing websites or online presences.

The right choice for your project will depend on your specific service level, you will face competition, market potential, your budget and timeframe, and various other factors.

Choosing a website developer can be quite an overwhelming process, if the only people who spot a good web developer website developers themselves are usually good – while one site seems to most people as just the presentation and function – the truth is the most damaging elements to the success of an online presence are things that most people and even most website designers are often overlooked or simply not aware of.

40 Simple Ways to Build Trust in Your Website Visitors

Let me begin this article with a simple question to you. If you contract to build your house, to whom will you give? Someone new or someone who is trusted by your close friend or relative? Of course the answer is someone reliable person / company directly by you or by someone in whom you trust (your friends / family). As you know that “Trust is really important in life and that is exactly what I want to mention here to bring success to your website. As an entrepreneur, remember this: When people you trust, the proceeds will automatically follow!

It is imperative that your website must create the environment of trust, because, most of your efforts will be wasted. Have you ever thought how the environment of trust for a website? Do not panic, its very easy to build confidence for your online visitors.

As you already know – you do not have second chance to get a first impression. Building trust for your online visitors can not be achieved by only a single action. Trust is achieved by many small actions that you do at your website and when taken together, the user gets a sense of stability, honesty and legitimacy for your business and your services.

Another good or bad news is that only a few website owners focus on building confidence in the minds of their visitors. So, if you do it right, it can be a real and sustainable competitive advantage for your business and you can keep away from your competitors.

Here are 40 simple actions you can take to get started.

1. Design your website is the first impression. Make sure it is professional and relevant to the topic.

2. Navigation should be intuitive. If visitors can not find what they are looking for easily, they will question your competence in providing what they want.

3. Make the website personal by giving his own tone and voice.People buy people.

4. Follow the HEART rule of creating online content. (Reminder: HEART stands for Honest, Exclusive, accurate, relevant and up.)

5. Use language appropriate for the audience. It will build empathy.

6. Regularly add new content to your site. It shows that it is alive and kicking.

7. View all links. Doubts will quickly form in your visitors’ minds if links do not work or, worse, take them to error pages.

8. Good grammar and spelling matter. Errors give the impression of sloppiness and carelessness.

9. Do not make outrageous and unbelievable claims, like “Read this blog and you’ll be a millionaire by the end of the week.” People are used to scams, get-rich-quick schemes and rip-offs.

10. Publish real testimonials and third-party endorsements. Always try to use real names and link to websites where possible. Some sites show images of letters from satisfied customers.

11. Publish case studies about customers you have helped, who use your product, etc.

12. Not down, curse or insult competitors. It’s unprofessional. It is better to provide an objective comparison of competitive services or products.

13. Focus on building your long term reputation is not on making quick sales.

14. Write articles for humans, not search engines.

15. Make your ‘About Us’ page personal and comprehensive. It plays an important role in making the visitors feel comfortable that real people behind the site.

16. Publish your photos or photos of key people involved with the site. Again, this reinforces the fact that there are real people behind the screenshots.

17. Clear who is behind the site. Nothing creates more suspicion than a site that tries to hide the identity of its publishers.

18. On the ‘Contact Us’ page, provide an e-mail form, phone, fax and address of the company. In Europe it is a legal requirement for sites such funds, but also sites driven by advertising will benefit from openness.

19. A phone number people can call and talk to one person.

20. Provide Web addresses linked to the website domain, not addresses from free webmail services like Hotmail and Gmail.

21. Think carefully about reciprocal links. If your site is about organic food and you have links to Party Poker, people will question your integrity.

22. Think about the ads on your site. Ensure they are relevant to your subject and audience.

23. Writing and publishing your privacy policy. Be clear about what you will and will not do with any personal information you collect.State that you adhere to all laws on data protection. Make it easy to read and not use legal gobbledygook.

24. Write and publish a security policy. What steps you take to ensure that all transactions are safe and how well your customer data to process.

25. Make sure you have a security and privacy policy which is linked from the footer on each page have. Make the link more prominent on the order pages.

26. Clearly publish your guarantee. I would recommend making it a 100% money-back guarantee if possible.

27. Clear your refund and return policy.

28. If you use PayPal, insert the PayPal logo on your site. If you are a merchant services account with a major bank like Citibank or HSBC, put its logo on your site.

29. Use Google search on your site for two reasons. Firstly, it is a big search solution that will help your visitors find what they want.Second, called Google on your site inspires confidence.

If there are 30 known associations for your topic, join up and put their logos on your site.

31. Have a forum on your site and respond quickly to questions.Have the attitude that you are happy to help others without receiving immediate reward. As the old saying goes, ‘Givers always win. ”

32. Can people comment on articles. Interactivity and an exchange of views build community and a sense of ownership.

33. When people give constructive criticism or comments in the forum, not delete, but your position to respond.

34. Use the words ‘secure website’ whenever you try to make all information from visitors, including newsletter sign-ups, forum input and payment to get.

35. On each page, it says, “We take your privacy and security very seriously.” Link the statement to the security and privacy policy.

36. If you are selling a subscription, offer a low-cost, entry-level option. This may one day taste, “one week before billing starts’ or a monthly trial be.

37. Request only information from customers you really need. For example, an email newsletter sign-up, the only information you really need is an email address, so that’s all you need to ask.

38. If you have prices on your website, make it transparent. I recently went to a book that was advertised for $ 10 purchase.When I checked, she added tax, post and packing, and the final bill was $ 19.50. I did not buy because I felt they deliberately tried to mislead me.

39. Start a small newsletter of your company / services & circulate it among your clients / employees. Also regularly publish on your website.

40. Enabling people “unsubscribe” from your mailing list. This may sound obvious, but I’ve noticed that many websites are still not following.

Web 2.0 Concepts to Keep Your Members Coming Back

Web 2.0 concepts to your Members Coming Back Again and Again and Again

Web 2.0 perhaps the most overused and misunderstood, term of the decade. What it means in a nutshell is providing a user-driven website. Basically many membership marketing websites are Web 2.0, especially social networking sites. Users determine the content in the form of forums, blogs, article posting, reviews and so on. To further improve the usability of your website, and therefore the benefit to your members, here are a few ideas to get some interactive extras or providing benefits to members.

Programs are an excellent way to provide benefit to your members. There are several forms for delivery of your courses.You could use e-mail – text or html or both, pdf downloads, website content pages, streaming & downloadable videos and audio.

E-mail programs – Getting your members to sign up for an e-mail training that occurs in perhaps eight weeks is a great way for your members engaged with your site over a period of time. You could make this a free course, a paid course or both. Maybe give them a few lessons for free and ask them to pay for the rest of the course, once they enter.

However, for maximum exposure to give away a full course or several courses of good quality for the free will people really go back to your site. We do this with a number of our own membership sites such MembershipMillionaire.com.

Video Tutorials – This is a very effective form of training as it is much easier to show your members what you do, rather than trying to explain. It prevents your students are frustrated when they cannot understand what you explain, and reduces misunderstandings.

You could do the videos yourself using software or you can hire experts in the video as you are not comfortable using software or doing videos. You could do simple power point presentations and tell them if you could stand / sit for the camera and talk.

With many Internet users now on broadband or ADSL and faster and faster computer processors videos are now going mainstream.

Tele Classes – teleclasses are similar to conference calls and conducted over the telephone. They are an excellent way for your members to participate in living learning and personal interaction with you and other members of your site.

There are many services out there that teleconference lines for you to use offering. Some are free and some have a paid service, you must decide what is best for your business needs. You could even take your conversations to have transcripts and then sell it as a product in itself. To top it off you can offer reprint or resell rights to these interviews and sell licenses.

Product reviews – Reviews posted by other members is a fantastic interactive medium. They may also be heated discussions!Nothing is faster than the traffic controversy whether good or bad.Allow your members to express their opinions about the products and services they have used. This will not only help other members and visitors, but much of the content to add to your website that search engines love. Sites such as Amazon.com, SureFireWealth.com and others do this on a regular basis.

Guest interviews – Guest interviews with a famous personality associated with your niche subject will add enormous credibility to your site. Promote guest interviews on your website and in your newsletter. This is a quick way to get great content.

You could post the interview on your site and content of the website. Or you could have the streaming audio or video and even let your members download the interviews. Let them review and post comments to the interviews and you have even more content.

Forums – Forums are a kind of virtual community and the opportunity for people with similar interests to talk. Your members have a shared interest in your niche topic, thus creating active discussion just too challenging.

Here’s a tip, good forum monitors and admin in place to make things smooth. Having multiple monitors can help you get your new forum discussion started and keep going. You could keep your forums open to everyone. That will be better for search engine traffic, but it can also attract spammers and hackers forum. With a private forum for members only can keep things more secure and full of like-minded individuals.

Contests – Encourage your members to post on the forum or blog, running a race. A prize every month to someone who has the best post on the forum, and each individual posting would be an additional entry in the lottery to be. Or maybe give a prize to the member who writes the most reviews or posts the most comments each month to your site.

Involving your members in polls and surveys

Member polls – Asking your members to a simple question about your niche topic to answer a simple and effective way to get them involved in the site. Have a regular monthly poll and publish the results of the previous month poll above the question for the current month.

Surveys – Some niche subjects lend themselves well to surveys. If yours did not do a survey on your membership site itself. This gives your members the opportunity to express their opinions and let you know what changes they would like.

Getting feedback can also let you know where your membership site. Because your members to tell you what they want, you can just give it to them. We have our surveys over the years and they can be very insiteful. The poll or survey data you generate can be gold to your customer feedback system for the future of your business.

How To Get Quality Web Content

The importance of Quality Web Content – And how to get it.

Search engine optimization is crucial to drive traffic to your membership site. You probably already know this because it is difficult to avoid. Everyone and their brother has an idea on how best to go about getting your membership site listed high on search engines. The truth is much simpler. The truth is that content always has been and still is the key to search engine optimization.

Good content is the best way to get the search engines happy

What kind of content do you need? The best, of course!

Okay, here’s what you really need:

Articles
Product reviews
How-to Guides
Reports
Seminars / Training
Discussion forums
Blogs

Use unique content everywhere, or at least wherever you can.

The duplicate content issues are a bit out of hand and got full you can still reprint articles and PLR content to use as a good way to drive traffic to your site. But try to get your own unique content as well. To be considered unique, your webpage text needs at least 30% different from any other web page on the Internet.

Likewise, if you use PLR (Private Label Rights) material, alter it to create unique content. Although fewer people will have access to this material, many of them use the material as it is without change.You definitely want the title tag and maybe the first few sentences of the article to change.

Ideally, you want content for your membership site from scratch, so that targeted and relevant to your audience. If you do not want to produce the content yourself, hire a ghostwriter.

Add new content constantly!

To a high page rank with search engines, webmasters need to add new content to their websites regularly.

This will not be an issue for membership site owners, who will have to just add new content regularly to ensure their members continue their subscription fee.

A blog is a great way to add content to your site on a regular basis.Post something on your blog at least once a week, but more often if possible. Encouraging your members to comment on your blog, you can follow up ideas for blog posts, and will also increase your search engine ranking as shown below.

To encourage, entice, and even bribe your members to submit the content.

Having other people submit content for your site will help increase your circulation. Get your members to add content to your site in the following ways:

1. Discussion forums

Encourage them to post on discussion forums. You will need software that messages are picked up by search engines to make this effective.

2. Blog comments

Allow them to add a comment to your blog. Preventing blog spam, specific software and give your members a code to allow them to post comments.

3. Product reviews

You could ask members to review your product after purchase. Of course you should make sure you quality products to avoid negative ratings.

4. Articles and Ideas

Ask your members to relevant articles and ideas for your site to submit. Always give them credit for any material you use. Maybe you can run a contest and give members a reasonable price or remuneration in cash every month for the best article or tip submitted.

Rich Internet Applications: Has Microsoft Finally Seen the (Silver) Light?

What are Rich Internet Applications?

Rich Internet applications provide an end-user with an interface that is more responsive than traditional applications. Many of the frameworks used for these applications, including both Microsoft Silverlight and Flex to make more of the processing back to the client instead of leaving it on a central server. Browser the user to exchange large, monolithic blocks of information, but sends small pieces of data at a time, usually asynchronously. And this means that only the relevant parts of the interface must be updated to allow users to do more and do it faster than traditional web applications possible. For this reason, more and more web applications use rich Internet technology of some form to give the user an optimal experience.

There are of course many other frameworks for rich Internet applications in use, but Flex, AJAX and Microsoft Silverlight are three that are more generally known, and each deserves a more in-depth look.

Bend

Currently, Flex has the largest share of all other framework for rich Internet applications, with a penetration of about 90 percent, something that Microsoft Silverlight is a challenge. Flex is built on Flash technology, originally designed to manage multimedia functionality. The Flash plug-in, which is supported by most major browsers and is freely available for download, runs its programs in what is known as a “sandbox” – a separate entity from the browser itself, and a safe environment that the user protects. When used properly, Flex enables a website to behave like a thick client application (one only on a user’s computer instead of on the internet).

As with any client-side technology, there are drawbacks. Not all browsers start the Flash plug-in installed, and Flash is also from time to time. In both cases the end user is required to download a new version if he or she reaches a page that needs it. Other frameworks for rich Internet applications have the same issue, which some viewed as a disadvantage, because not all users will (or should) download the plug-in, and in many cases, completely away from the page to navigate.

Microsoft Silverlight

Microsoft Silverlight was created to compete with Flex and with other frameworks for rich Internet applications that are already in use. It is based on. NET technology and Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF), which is a part of. NET 3.0. Though. NET is a Windows-centric technology, Microsoft Silverlight offers a lightweight version of. NET that is cross-platform (running on Mac OS and Windows) and running in a browser sandbox.

AJAX

AJAX stands for Asynchronous JavaScript and XML. It is a programming interface that is slowly gaining acceptance by some of the larger web presences, including Google (which makes heavy use of AJAX in the Mail and Maps applications). As with the other frameworks for rich Internet applications and technologies in existence, AJAX gives a developer the ability to a Web page that acts like a thick client application to make. However, it requires a good understanding of the JavaScript language. Moreover, not all browsers handle Javascript the same way, and many users disable JavaScript in their browsers, both drawbacks of AJAX when compared to other frameworks.

The advantages and disadvantages of Microsoft Silverlight

The main drawback of Microsoft Silverlight at the current time is not as widely used as Flex, and thus may lead users to a webpage to be used in place of the necessary plug download in. Using Microsoft Silverlight would be a developer to to leave behind the application with the largest number of users and embrace a newer, untested application (with, admittedly, a respected and trusted company – Microsoft – back).

However, Microsoft Silverlight is very appealing to developers who already know. NET. While a developer would have to learn Flash and Flex from Square One, he has a deep understanding of. NET and was therefore good jump in the use of Silverlight. As. NET is already very pervasive in the web development world, Silverlight could easily grab market share in the future.

Conclusion

Even web developers that are comfortable with AJAX or Flex (or other frameworks used for creating rich Internet applications) will soon need to immerse themselves in Microsoft Silverlight, while new developers want to learn about Microsoft Silverlight from the beginning. Because of its foundation. NET, Microsoft Silverlight is a smaller learning curve than many other frameworks used to create rich Internet applications.

While it may be for the average user some time to warm to the technology used with Silverlight, Microsoft is a formidable company and is likely to progress with its product in the near future and to determine if a important application to know over the long term. Anyone who continue to advance the curve when it comes to rich Internet applications will do well to learn about Silverlight now rather than later.

About the Author

Charlie Fink is the vice president of product development and delivery of Westlake Training and Development. He has been designing and developing leading software solutions for over 15 years and has client training focused on the use and support of custom software and systems. Prior to joining Westlake, Charlie was the vice president and chief product architect for the Arlington Group and a principal of AEC software.

XHTML – Kicking And Screaming Into The Future

XHTML, the standard was first released in 2000. About five years later we begin to major websites revised to use this standard to see. Even the favorite scapegoat of the compliance standards of scholarship, Microsoft, presents their primary homepages, msn.com and microsoft.com in XHTML. Standards compliant XHTML sites are still the minority. The reason is simple. When the W3C released the new standard, the rest of the web running on HTML not cease to function. Nor will the rest of the Internet, written in various flavors of HTML, cease to function any time soon.Without urgent need to meet the new standard, designers continue to old, familiar methods. These methods will perform in any modern browser, so why switch?

These feelings are similar to those I experienced. A sort of “if it is not broke do not fix it” mentality sets in. Whether HTML was “broken” or not is another argument. To the casual Internet user, their standards are fairly direct. If a site displays without noticeable error and functions to their satisfaction, these standards are met.What additional steps the browser took to make such display possible is irrelevant to most users. This kind of mentality is difficult to overcome designers accustomed to their old methods.

Technical obstacles to adopting XHTML may be quite steep, especially as regards large, existing websites with complex scripting. But the time may eventually come where yesterday’s “good” HTML is little more than an ancient language, unable to be interpreted by modern electronic devices. Whether one agrees with the direction the W3C takes in the development of HTML is irrelevant, you’re just along for the ride. With some perseverance, getting the hang of XHTML is possible. In form, it’s not that different from HTML as Japanese is from English. Knowing HTML has a basic knowledge of the language, it is simply a matter of learning a particular dialect. Even an original no-sayer such as myself managed to do it.

Benefits of XHTML
There are two major advantages to using XHTML. First is the strict nature of valid XHTML documents. ”Valid” documents contain no errors. Documents with no errors easier to decompose by a browser. Although the time savings is negligible, although from the perspective of the human user believes there is a greater efficiency to the performance of the browser. Most modern browsers will function well in what is commonly referred to as “quirks” mode, where, in the absence of an on-page information on the nature of HTML they are reading, present a “best guess” representation of a page. The quirks mode will also forgive many errors in the HTML. Modern browsers installed on your home computer have the luxury of size and power to deal with these errors. When browser technology makes the jump to other devices may not have the size and strength to be so forgiving. This is where the strict, valid documents demanded by the XHTML standard become important.

The second advantage is in the code itself, which is cleaner and more compact than common, “table” based layout in HTML.Although XHTML retains table functionality, the standard makes clear tables are not to be used for page layout or anything other than displaying data in a tabular format. This is usually the primary obstacle most designers have with moving to XHTML. The way many designers have come to rely on the layout and organize their pages is now taboo. Simple visual inspection of XHTML code reveals how light and efficient as compared to a table based HTML layout. XTHML uses Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), which when called externally, remove virtually all styling information from the XHTML document itself. This creates a document focused solely on the content.

XHTML makes use of “div” tags to define content areas. How these “divisions” are displayed is controlled by CSS. This is known as CSS-P, or CSS positioning. Trading in “table” tags for “divs” can be difficult. Learning a new way of accomplishing an already familiar task is generally difficult. Such as learning a different design program or image editor, frustration can be constant.Looking at “divs” as a kind of table cell might be useful, though not completely right. As required by the XHTML standard, always ensure that there is a DOCTYPE definition at the top of the document. This is not only required by the standard, but it will force Internet Explorer 6, currently the most common browser, to its “standards compliance” mode. IE6 and Firefox, both operating in standards compliance mode will display XHTML in much the same way. Not identical, but much better than IE6 operating in quirks mode. Learning how to iron the final differences between displays is the final obstacle and can be a bit of tweaking in the CSS.

Clean code has multiple benefits. It creates a smaller page size, which over time can save costs associated with use. Although the size difference may appear small, for someone running a highly trafficked site, even saving a few kilobytes of size can make a big difference. Furthermore, some believe search engines may not look kindly on standards complaint pages. This is just a theory, though. In general, any page modification that makes the content easier to reach and higher in the code is considered wise. Search engines, so it is believed, prefer to reach content quickly, and a greater weight to the first content they encounter. Using XHTML and “div” layout allows designers to perform this task easier.

Conclusions
XHTML is the current standard of the W3C. The W3C continues development of XHTML and XHTML 2.0 will replace the current standard in the future. Learning and using XHTML today will help designers prepare for tomorrow. Valid XTHML produces no errors that could delay a browser, and the code produced is clean and efficient. This saves in file size and helps designers better achieve their SEO goals. Learning XHTML is primarily about learning a new way to layout pages. Though frustrating at first, the long-term benefits far outweigh the initial inconvenience.

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