Welcome!

Silverlight Authors: Automic Blog, Michael Kopp, AppDynamics Blog, Kaazing Blog, Steven Mandel

Related Topics: CMS, ColdFusion, Microsoft Cloud, Adobe Flex, Machine Learning , Silverlight, Agile Computing

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.


IoT & Smart Cities Stories
Cloud-enabled transformation has evolved from cost saving measure to business innovation strategy -- one that combines the cloud with cognitive capabilities to drive market disruption. Learn how you can achieve the insight and agility you need to gain a competitive advantage. Industry-acclaimed CTO and cloud expert, Shankar Kalyana presents. Only the most exceptional IBMers are appointed with the rare distinction of IBM Fellow, the highest technical honor in the company. Shankar has also receive...
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that ICOHOLDER named "Media Sponsor" of Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPO. ICOHOLDER gives detailed information and help the community to invest in the trusty projects. Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPO has opened its Call for Papers. The two-day event will present 20 top Blockchain experts. All speaking inquiries which covers the following information can be submitted by email to [email protected] Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPOalso offers sp...
Headquartered in Plainsboro, NJ, Synametrics Technologies has provided IT professionals and computer systems developers since 1997. Based on the success of their initial product offerings (WinSQL and DeltaCopy), the company continues to create and hone innovative products that help its customers get more from their computer applications, databases and infrastructure. To date, over one million users around the world have chosen Synametrics solutions to help power their accelerated business or per...
DXWordEXPO New York 2018, colocated with CloudEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City and will bring together Cloud Computing, FinTech and Blockchain, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, AI, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location.
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo, taking place November 12-13 in New York City, NY, is co-located with 22nd international CloudEXPO | first international DXWorldEXPO and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time t...
When talking IoT we often focus on the devices, the sensors, the hardware itself. The new smart appliances, the new smart or self-driving cars (which are amalgamations of many ‘things'). When we are looking at the world of IoT, we should take a step back, look at the big picture. What value are these devices providing. IoT is not about the devices, its about the data consumed and generated. The devices are tools, mechanisms, conduits. This paper discusses the considerations when dealing with the...
Charles Araujo is an industry analyst, internationally recognized authority on the Digital Enterprise and author of The Quantum Age of IT: Why Everything You Know About IT is About to Change. As Principal Analyst with Intellyx, he writes, speaks and advises organizations on how to navigate through this time of disruption. He is also the founder of The Institute for Digital Transformation and a sought after keynote speaker. He has been a regular contributor to both InformationWeek and CIO Insight...
Digital Transformation is much more than a buzzword. The radical shift to digital mechanisms for almost every process is evident across all industries and verticals. This is often especially true in financial services, where the legacy environment is many times unable to keep up with the rapidly shifting demands of the consumer. The constant pressure to provide complete, omnichannel delivery of customer-facing solutions to meet both regulatory and customer demands is putting enormous pressure on...
Machine learning has taken residence at our cities' cores and now we can finally have "smart cities." Cities are a collection of buildings made to provide the structure and safety necessary for people to function, create and survive. Buildings are a pool of ever-changing performance data from large automated systems such as heating and cooling to the people that live and work within them. Through machine learning, buildings can optimize performance, reduce costs, and improve occupant comfort by ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that IoT Global Network has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 6–8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. The IoT Global Network is a platform where you can connect with industry experts and network across the IoT community to build the successful IoT business of the future.