Rick Strahl's Weblog
Rick Strahl's FoxPro and Web Connection Weblog
White Papers | Products | Message Board | News |

Web Connection Training at Southwest Fox

August 22, 2011 •

Once again this year I'll be holding a Web Connection Training event at Southwest Fox on October 25th and 26th. These training events are an excellent opportunity to learn Web Connection and core Web Technologies like HTML, CSS, JavaScript and server side Web programming on the fast track in a two day course that emphasizes learning by demonstration.

Why you should consider attending

If you've never attended a Web Connection training event you are missing a unique experience that's educational both for beginning developers starting with Web Connection and Web development as well as for more advanced developers that have already used the tool and are actively building applications. The goal of the training is to provide real-world guidance by way of demonstration, by building a small application from scratch right in front of you. In the process I'm exposing attendees to all aspects of Web development from HTML and CSS design principles to the server side logic required to create the HTML content, to using JavaScript and Ajax to make applications more interactive to the server side service interfaces to feed Ajax clients with relevant data. You also learn about the tools that you can use to make development easier every day and get a feel for many best practices to get the most out of the development process.

When presenting our training session, you - as the attendee - are a part of the presentation. No two trainings are identical and the direction from attendees including questions and requests shape where the application we build is going and how it is implemented. The format is instructor demonstration, but the direction of the demonstration is driven by questions, requests and observations that's unique to each group that attends.

The best practices aspect and uniquely customized presentation are the reason that many Web Connection developers have attended several of the work shops over the years and each year walked away with new knowledge and ideas to improve their development.

What we cover

In this course the core steps are to walk through the creation of a small application from scratch. We start at the basics with an overview of how Web technology works, and then explain how Web Connection and FoxPro fits into this general scheme more specifically.

The first step is to create a Web site on the Web Server and configure the site to run. This includes setting up basic templates, scripts and configuring the Web server appropriately to route requests to Web Connection. Once configured we walk through the basic steps of checking Web Connection operation and talk about a few common things that go wrong. At this time we also discuss how Web Connection works behind the scenes - you get a detailed overview of how Web Requests are routed from the Web server into Visual Foxpro and how the results travel back to the Web Server. We also discuss the basics of how you 'interact' with the Web Server to request request information and return output back to the server which is the basis of all Web applications.

Then we delve into the steps of creating a simple application from scratch by introducing incremental concepts of building HTML based content and hooking up the underlying FoxPro code to perform typical Web development tasks. Again the first steps are very simple from a hello world type page to more complex pages that handle basic data displays, to pages that handle simple data input and saving that input in the database. From there incremental steps take you through more complex scenarios that involve business objects to simplify data access and display and store data captured from Web pages.

The process of building the application and its backend logic is the core of the workshop and all concepts discussed are applied in context of this application that is built interactively. Topics discussed include securing your application, persisting data across requests, optimizing requests, using CSS to format your designs more easily without re-inventing the layout each time, and quite prominently on how to use AJAX requests to make your site more interactive.

Towards the end of the session we are then delving into more advanced topics that deal with web site optimization, remote access from desktop applications and deploying and application developed locally onto a live Web server.

Phew… a lot of ground is covered in two days and you better bring your no-doze to keep awake during these sessions. The goal of all this information is not necessarily to teach you each and every feature of Web Connection or even Web development in general, but to expose you to a wide variety of scenarios that get you excited about the possibilities. You can then use what you learned and/or spend more time digging into the specific technologies as needed in your application.

Most of all it's supposed to be FUN!

Yup I know - it all sounds pretty cut and dried but these workshops can be a lot of fun both for me and the attendees. Attendees are not just sitting there being bombarded. But rather I try to involve the audience with questions to drive development and actively encourage related questions to help make the sessions a conversation that is driven from both sides. At the end of the days we all should feel like we've accomplished something together as a group and there's a great feeling in that.


Finally there's also a social aspect to this type of conference. You get to interact with other developers and ask FoxPro and Web development questions to your heart's delight. In sessions, in the breaks and lunch you get a chance to interact with me the speaker as well as the other attendees to compare notes on what you're doing in your development and how others are handling similar development tasks, problems etc.

So, if you're an aspiring Web Connection developer or a seasoned pro, the conference has lots to offer. You can find out more on the Web Connection Training page:


I hope to see you there,

+++ Rick ---

Posted in:

Feedback for this Weblog Entry