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Elemental's Drumbeat 2.0, Part 3

By Scott Clark Databases made easy...no, really! Another time-saving function is the ability to use "SmartSpacers," which are actually single-pixel GIF images that are selected from the toolbar to place a dynamic "space" around another element. Although designers have been doing the same thing with single-pixel GIFs since David Siegel's book "Creating Killer Web Sites" came out in 1996, the use of SmartSpacers saves the designer the hassle, and allows them to visually create the space they need in their pages. The use of SmartSpacers is highlighted when you begin to create dynamically generated database-driven Web sites. In order to maintain the original integrity of the page, the developer can place Drumbeat SmartSpacers below the data fields that are returned by a database to maintain the desired minimum space between fields, independent of the actual size of the data that is retrieved. Drumbeat uses a DataForm Wizard to define which pages search, update, insert and delete records in an ODBC-accessible database. The wizard generates the pages, including all the fields and server-side scripting needed to query and edit a database from within your Web pages. Drumbeat fully supports Microsoft Internet Information Server 3.0 and above, with no additional software necessary for database aware Web pages. Other Web servers, such as Netscape and Apache, will require an ASP-compatible server application, such as Chili!Soft's Chili!ASP (which conveniently comes on the CD-ROM as a trial version), to be used with the DataForm Wizard.


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