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Master pages and the glory of ASP.NET May 30, 2008

Posted by mmoriar1 in Uncategorized.
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So I’ve been watching tutorial after tutorial about ASP.NET and it’s finally starting to click (I think). Coming in to ExactTarget I had no prior experience with it and it seems to be a very powerful language/tool. I would definitely recommend http://www.asp.net for tutorials and videos–it’s a very well organized site and offers a ton of lessons to everyone from beginners to advanced users.

I’ve also been doing all of my work in Visual Studio. It’s kind of daunting to get comfortable with (I’m still trying), but it’s incredibly powerful. I really love using the design window in conjunction with the properties window and the style options to design the overall look of the site. One feature of the design window that has helped debug some positioning errors has been this guy (click for larger view):

It allows one to select and then style, etc. all of the containers/tags which hold the currently selected area of the design view. PS: Don’t judge the site in the image above :-P.

I also learned about master pages and site maps in ASP.NET. The concept is pretty straightforward: a master page is a page which controls the site-wide layout and usually contains navigation controls, header information, and footer information. The benefits of a master page are fairly obvious in that if you want to change the style of your website, you only have to change one page instead of copying/pasting changes to ALL pages. In this way, I try to think of master pages’ benefits in much the same way as CSS stylesheets’ benefits: instead of having each page’s styles inline in each page’s HTML code, one stylesheet can be used to style all of the site’s pages. Then when the stylesheet is changed, those changes are reflected in all pages which use the stylesheet.

That’s all I’ve got so far, up next should be my struggle with Login and Access controls. I’ve been reading up on the Session object and I need to read up a bit more on the Profile object, because I think that’s the direction that I’ll be going with it.

Until next time, adios,