U UN NI IV VE ER RS SI IT TY Y O OF F B BR RI ID DG GE EP PO OR RT T

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5 Νοε 2013 (πριν από 4 χρόνια και 7 μέρες)

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Web Based Discussion Forum




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Student

Name

:

Radha

Reddy

Kar


SID: 578657


Submitted

to:

Prof

Mahmood


CS 597


Advanced Problems in Computer
Science Projects

Web Based Discussion Forum using ASP.NE
T
Framework with VB.NET & ADO.NET



Abstract:


Recent interactive implementations of the World Wide Web offer opportunities for
sharing ideas, posing questions, and presenting individual discoveries at a time of
convenience, and better, at the time of thou
ght. This project describes the use of World
Wide Web
-
based discussion forums to provide an avenue for sharing information beyond
time and place constraints of the physical involvement. Electronic discussion forums
provide a time
-
of
-
convenience and place
-
of
-
convenience opportunity for person
-
person
contact. Discussion forums on the World Wide Web (WWW) are a common space for
sharing opinions, solutions, literary citations, and pointers to sites on the Web
--
arguably
the most publicized segment of the "world

of information and ideas."

A shared space on the Web, the discussion forums provide a common "meeting" place for
participants to contribute information. Content is presented as a collection of threaded
messages with Web interfaces for perusal of existing
threads and submission of new
posts. The threaded presentation puts messages on the same topic together and indicates
response messages with indentation, allowing readers to follow discussions topic by
topic. These forums are Modeled as
Client


Server
-

Da
ta three tier Structure




Introduction to the Project “Web Based Discussion Forum”:


Typical use of the
WWW
is by passive consumers, searching through information others
have made available, book marking useful or entertaining sites, and creating individu
al
libraries of information. Web
-
based discussion forums, on the other hand, are built by
participation. Beginning as an empty page, the forums develop as people submit
questions, provide answers/solutions, present opinions, share pointers to other resourc
es,
and post whole documents for others to download. Groups of people work together to
create shared libraries of information.

To include information other than simple text in messages, universal resource locators
(URLs) embedded in the text automatically

become active hypertext links, enabling
participants to easily share their pertinent bookmarks. Similarly, an e
-
mail address
provided in a submission becomes an active hypertext link for quick e
-
mail response.
Because not all dialogue occurs via the forum
, incorporating the e
-
mail link provides a
direct option for one
-
to
-
one dialogue that may not be appropriate for the forum. The
discussion forum software also allows participants to upload whole documents as
attachments to messages. These documents remain
in the same format as when uploaded
and are made available to others to download via a link, a convenient mechanism for
sharing documents.

Since Web pages do not necessarily "deliver" information directly to people, but instead
must be "visited," how do fo
rum participants know when new items have been added?
The discussion forum software has a notification module that delivers, via e
-
mail, daily
notices of new posts on the individual forums. The notices are brief messages indicating
new posts by subject and

author and giving the URL of the forum, which reminds those
receiving the notice how to get to the forum and provides an active link to those who read
e
-
mail using a Netscape browser. Instructors, as the "owners" of their forums, have an
option in the cre
ation and maintenance menu to specify e
-
mail addresses of people to be
notified. We encourage instructors to use their customer lists as the notification list.

By putting discussion forum administration in the hands of the forum owners, we gave
instructor
s the flexibility to use forums whenever and however they wished. Instructors
can create and maintain their forums at their convenience via a Web interface. Forums
can be restricted or open. At the time of creation, forum software automatically generates
a

single ID to be used when access to the forum is restricted. Using an option on the
maintenance menu, the instructor can change the password to restrict or unrestricted
access to the forum at any time.

Project Features:

(i)

Administrative Features
:



Adding new forums and deleting posts.

(ii)

Users Features


Viewing and searching posts


Posting and editing messages User profile maintenance



Viewing posts by individual users


Searching posts

(iii)

System Features


Password protection


Display active informat
ion

Unlimited capacity


Introduction of ASP.NET:

ASP.NET is a programming framework built on the
common language runtime that can be used on a server to build powerful Web
applications. ASP.NET offers several important advantages over previous Web
develop
ment models:




Enhanced Performance.

ASP.NET is compiled common language runtime code
running on the server. Unlike its interpreted predecessors, ASP.NET can take
advantage of early binding, just
-
in
-
time compilation, native optimization, and
caching service
s right out of the box. This amounts to dramatically better
performance before we ever write a line of code.



World
-
Class Tool Support.

The ASP.NET framework is complemented by a
rich toolbox and designer in the Visual Studio integrated development
environm
ent. WYSIWYG editing, drag
-
and
-
drop server controls, and automatic
deployment are just a few of the features this powerful tool provides.



Power and Flexibility.

Because ASP.NET is based on the common language
runtime, the power and flexibility of that enti
re platform is available to Web
application developers. The .NET Framework class library, Messaging, and Data
Access solutions are all seamlessly accessible from the Web. ASP.NET is also
language
-
independent, so one can choose the language that best applie
s to his
application or partition of application across many languages



Simplicity.

ASP.NET makes it easy to perform common tasks, from simple form
submission and client authentication to deployment and site configuration. For
example, the ASP.NET page fram
ework allows us to build user interfaces that
cleanly separate application logic from presentation code and to handle events in a
simple, Visual Basic
-

like forms processing model.



Manageability.

ASP.NET employs a text
-
based, hierarchical configuration
s
ystem, which simplifies applying settings to the server environment and Web
applications. Because configuration information is stored as plain text, new
settings may be applied without the aid of local administration tools. This "zero
local administration"

philosophy extends to deploying ASP.NET Framework
applications as well.



Scalability and Availability.

ASP.NET has been designed with scalability in
mind, with features specifically tailored to improve performance in clustered and
multiprocessor environme
nts. Further, processes are closely monitored and
managed by the ASP.NET runtime, so that if one misbehaves (leaks, deadlocks), a
new process can be created in its place, which helps keep our application
constantly available to handle requests.



Customizabi
lity and Extensibility.

ASP.NET delivers a well
-
factored
architecture that allows developers to "plug
-
in" their code at the appropriate level.
In fact, it is possible to extend or replace any subcomponent of the ASP.NET
runtime with our own custom
-
written
component. Implementing custom
authentication or state services has never been easier.



Security.

With built in Windows authentication and per
-
application
configuration, one can be assured that his applications are secure.



The three Tier Architecture of

the ASP.NET

Introduction to the Project “Web Based Discussion Forum”:


This project aims in developing a web based Discussion Forum using ASP.NET,
VB.NET and ADO.NET to connect to MS
-
Access database using OLEDB interface.
This web application consists of
User
-
Authentication, user registration, Members area
with privileges of view, post and reply messages using ASP.NET’s web controls and
ADO.NET’s database connectivity. I mainly aimed to learn and understand .NET
framework and ASP.NET a very powerful tool f
or making dynamic and interactive
web pages.


Project Set
-
Up


.NET Framework Set
-
Up:

Before starting the project we should check whether the
system has .NET Framework or not. If its not there then the .NET Framework may be
installed as a web download. The
.NET Framework is installed by default on Windows
Server 2003. It is also provided as a Windows 2000 and Windows XP update from the
Windows Update Service.

The below link will guide to install the
.NET Framework.

http://www.asp.net/webmatrix/CheckDotNet.aspx


After installing the Framework, there is some small additional work to be done to
fully run any .NET application on the system such as running the services and ASP.NET
engine.


Running th
e Services and Engines:

For this, go to the Administrative tools in the
control panel, click on the services and then you get into the window of various services
available on local host (system). In the services we have to make sure that both the

ASP.NET


state service engine and “
IIS Administration
” service is running as shown
in below pictures


Control panel


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Opening a Project in .NET Framework:

Now we are ready to develop or run any
ASP.NET application. Assuming that

we have all the source code files in the
c:
\
inetpub
\
wwwroot
\
forum

and the Database file should be in
c:
\
inetpub
\
wwroot
\
forum
\
DB
. And we open the existing web application through Visual
Studio .NET as shown in following pictures






ODBC Connectivity an
d Database Set
-
up:

In the present project we are connecting to
MS
-
Access Database. In order to connect to a back end Database from ASP.NET we
need to check for MS
-
Access specific ODBC drivers. For checking the availability of this
driver one needs to chec
k it in the

Control panel


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This is clearly demonstrated in the fig below:




DataBase Set
-
Up:


Here in this project I have setup MS access Database consisting of two tables
namely

1.membTable:

It has got
S
erialId, Username, PassWd
, and
accessLevel

fields.

2.msgTable:

It has got
messageId, msgUserId, msgString, msgpostDate,
and





msgSubject

fields. These Database tables are clearly shown below.



Setting Up the Privileges:



After setting the Database we

need to make sure the
security/access

level
privileges are given to
everyone
. The folder in the “
C://inetpub/wwwroot”

in which the
database file is kept should be
read and write

enabled

and also sharable as shown below.


Compiling the Project and Buildin
g the Solution:


Once the source files are loaded as described and opened in the new
.NET

project
frame work we need to build the solution (ctrl+shift+B) this will save, compile and build
the project (solution).




The VisualStudio.NET generates a Dynami
cally Linked Library (dll) and project
database (.pdb) files and stores them in the application’s
bin

directory which will be used
by .NET framework to process a web request. With everything ready we are now all set
to launch our application in a browser.


If client is in the same machine as server where the current web application is
running then we can launch it using the following URL:

http://localhost/WebApplication1/login.aspx


or else if
the client is running from any machine other than the web server, then use the
following URL format to browse to the web application.
http://<
SERVER_NAME
>/WebApplication1/login.aspx
. This wi
ll result in the below
picture on the browser and we are ready to use the application.



Project Screen Shots:

Login Page:



Login Page: (User not found error)



Registration:



Members Page:



Groups Page:



View Message Page:



Reply/Post a new me
ssage page:



Database: MS ACCESS





Conclusion:


This project can be extended to a more secured and comprehensive content
management system:



We can add an administration interface for setting up new forums and deleting old
posts and also can add some k
ind of moderation or censorship mechanism.



An auto
-
logout of users after a certain time and to maintain the session Id
mechanism for more secured authentication.



An administrative interface to setup and administer users and topics.

All I could say is keep
experimenting and that’s the best way to learn. The current project
is not an extremely robust and secure one but it’s robust to some extent. I would like to
thank Prof. Mahmood for giving me this great and wonderful learning opportunity of
ASP.NET in web
applications, which certainly boost my career opportunities.