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Home > Archive > SSW Standards > Developer General > The Best Tools for Web Forms Development

Do you agree with them all? Are we missing some? Let us know what you think.

would you like your software to be considered for this list? Give us your details .

  1. FrontPage 2002

  2. (Yes, number 1 and 2 and not 3rd Party utilities but so many developers use text editors I wanted to include them).

    FrontPage? Really? FrontPage??? Many people at a first glance think we're nuts to even consider using FrontPage. Like them, we have always hated FrontPage for one reason: it reformats our nicely formatted HTML, and adds a whole heap of additional tags...

    For once, Microsoft must have heard its customers, because one of FrontPage 2002's feature is HTML Preservation. That is, FrontPage will not try to automatically change your HTML (see Details ).

    Figure: Frontpage

    Equipped with FTP/FP publishing, a graphics editor, the best part about FrontPage is that it tries to open a website rather than merely a webpage. When you click the Edit with FrontPage icon on your Internet Explorer, FrontPage will try to open the actual file on the website, unlike many other programs which simply opens the copy in the browser cache. This sole feature makes it the best tool for quick editing your website.

  3. Macromedia Dreamweaver

  4. Whether you are new to Web design or a professional designer, Macromedia Dreamweaver 8 is a good choice. Dreamweaver offers a simple, easy-to-use interface with a powerful set of tools and features to help faculty and students create engaging Web sites. Dreamweaver 4 delivers productivity enhancements for high-end developers and lowers the barrier to entry for novices.

    Dreamweaver also allows you to directly edit the HTML code.The standard code browser has been integrated into the document window, so that code can be reviewed as page elements are added. This feature serves both to familiarise new users with HTML code and to speed up coding considerably. However, we recommend it as a designer for XSL only.

  5. FTP Sync

  6. FTPSync is an intuitive file management utility that provides the facility to synchronize files between a local machine and an FTP server. Particularly useful for updating web sites and downloading software upgrades and patches.

    FTP Sync

    Figure: Syncing files from local computer to website
    FTP Sync Web Site Leaving SSW Web Site

    I am hoping to one day replace this tool with Commerce Server 2006... I dont know much but I believe it will have cool Content Replication included in CS2006. Meaning it will replace the orphaned functionalities of Application Center 2000.

    It will be interesting to see what they come up with, but I am sure they are aiming for a strong solution to help the staging process of a commercial web site. I expect we will see content replication and also a number of other admin tools to enable site testing and staging.

    So although I am most interested in CS2006 content replication features, most others will like:

    1. How they extend the personalization and membership of ASP.NET 2.0 to support their existing marketing system
    2. Other components such as a catalog, datawarehouse, staging, B2B and admin system.

  7. Beyond Compare

    Many of you know that Beyond Compare is a fantastic file synchronization tool. However, with the latest version 2.4, Scooter Software has added reliable comparisons between FTP and local directories. This makes it the ultimate tool for synching between your internal web server and your public web site.

    Beyond Compare Website (Scooter Software) Leaving SSW Web Site

    Figure: Syncing files from local computer to website

    Figure: More options than you can shake a stick at

    Some of the best features:

    • It's FAST (e.g. To compare the SSW standards directory including subfolders with Beyond Compare was 55s, but it took more than twice as long - 2m:15s with FTP Sync)
    • The setting of local timestamps to the same as the server, just like FTPSync
    • You can merge and compare changes between files (unlike FTPSync)
    • It can export/import settings so that other people in your company can have the same settings (unlike FTPSync)
    • It has built in file comparison tool (unlike FTPSync) and can launch file viewers directly from the interface (unlike FTPSync)
    • The one tool can be used for both your file synchronization and FTP synchronization needs (you need FileSync and FTPSync for this)
    • It supports Several plug-ins including a picture comparison plugin for comparing images (unlike FTPSync)
    • It supports scripting for automated operations (unlike FTPSync)
    • Can ignore minor differences like whitespace (unlike FTPSync)
    • It uses an explorer-like interface
    • It has more options for file comparison and filtering rules than you can shake a stick at including CRC checks
    • It has drop-down file name auto-completion like IE/Windows Explorer
    • Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V actually works in the path fields (unlike FTPSync)
    • It shows if the contents of subdirectories are different - with colour coding of folders
    • Previously selected synch folder combinations will be automatically selected when you choose a folder to synchronize
  8. SSW Link Auditor

  9. Broken links should be considered as seriously as you consider bug in software applications - they really damage a company's professional image.

    What you need is a tool to eliminate all broken links on your web site. SSW Link Auditor does the job well. It is the best overall when you consider the price - Free.

  10. SSW Access Reporter .NET for IIS

  11. Deliver Access Reports online with Access Reporter .NET for IIS.

    SSW Access Reporter .NET for IIS is designed to keep Access open and available. The idea is, that only one Microsoft Access object needs to be open, saving on resource consumption. Also, as the Access object is kept open, the server is ready to process requests for reports quickly, as there is no need for the overhead of starting Access each time a report needs to be run. ADPs are snazzy as you get the functionality of great looking reports with a SQL backend.

    The Report Server provides the user with Several reporting formats, including Rich Text Format (RTF), Text only, Microsoft Excel format (XLS), HTML, Microsoft Access Snapshot format (SNP), and Adobe Acrobat format (PDF).

    Figure: SSW Access Reporter
    SSW Access Reporter Web Site

  12. Live Stats

    LiveStats works by scanning your web server log files, processing the data, and storing results in its compact SQL database. Web analytics reports are generated on demand and viewable anywhere on the web through the LiveStats web browser interface. Youll understand key metrics such as visitor activity, site stickiness, merchandising, geographic segmentation and marketing effectiveness, in absolute real-time.

    Figure: Live Stats
    Deep Metrix - Live Stats Leaving SSW Web Site

  13. Time Zone Converter

  14. For Future Times Leaving SSW Web Site - I use this converter to plan International phone calls in a future date or I am told to call 2PM Pacific Time? I want to know what that is in Sydney time to put in my calendar

    For Current Times Leaving SSW Web Site I use this page if I am about to make a phone call overseas.

  15. Google Analytics

  16. Google Analytics offers a host of compelling features and benefits for everyone from senior executives and advertizing and marketing professionals to site owners and content developers

    Figure: Google Analytics
    GoogleAnalytics Leaving SSW Web Site

  17. Nihuo Web Log Analyzer

    A Windows program reads the detailed web logs that your web site produces every day, and transforms them into information that you can use.

    Figure: Nihuo Web Log Analyzer
    Nihuo Web Log Analyzer Leaving SSW Web Site

  18. Visual Studio 2012

    Delivering a continuous flow of value requires state-of-the-art tools. Visual Studio Ultimate 2012 is the comprehensive ALM offering for organizations developing and operating highly scalable software applications and services. Embracing and enabling emerging IT solution trends such as the Consumerization of IT and Mobile workforce enablement require striking a fine balance between operational excellence and delivering innovative value through rich applications and connected device experiences.

    It is used to develop console and graphical user interface applications along with Windows Forms applications, web sites, web applications, and web services in both native code together with managed code for all platforms supported by Microsoft Windows, Windows Mobile, Windows CE, .NET Framework, .NET Compact Framework and Microsoft Silverlight.

    VS2012 /></dt>
                        <dd>Figure: Visual Studio 2012</dd>

                <h2><a name= WinMerge

    WinMerge is a free software tool for file comparison and merging text-like files. It is useful for determining what has changed between versions, and then merging changes between versions.

    WinMerge /></dt>
                        <dd>Figure: Using WinMerge to compare two folders</dd>

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    File Sync

    FileSync is our file/folder synchronisation utility and is the most complete solution for keeping files up to date between your notebook and desktop or workstation and server.

    By simply specifying source and target folder paths and the file types that you require, FileSync will produce a comparison list of the relevant files showing which need to be copied and in which direction. You then have the option to filter the list, examine specific files for differences and change copy directions before going ahead with the synchronisation process.

    The binary comparison capability is ideal for checking the integrity of CD-R and CD-RW recordings.

    Figure: File Sync synchronises your local computer to a file server
    File Sync Web Site


Adam Cogan