If you think creating a database-driven Web site requires hard-core coding, think again. Lasso Studio 1.5for Dreamweaver , which lets you add database functions to Web sites,
is simple enough for non-programmers
to use. Without altering Lasso’s user-friendly visual programming style, Blue World Communications has beefed-up the latest version and made it even easier to use. New features include SiteBuilder, a convenient set of templates for adding database search functions, and Database Selector, which makes working with multiple databases a matter of a few wizard choices.
After installation, you access Lasso commands from within Dreamweaver.
Lasso’s straightforward LDML (Lasso Dynamic Markup Language) tags work with the included server-side application – Lasso Web Data Engine – which controls data-flow between a Web server, database, and Web client. Lasso comes with a Lasso Web server, but works with all common Mac-server software.
Lasso works elegantly. The upgraded Lasso Configuration Wizard identifies your database and its records and fields.
To create a database search page, choose fields from the FormBuilder dialogue box, rather than hand-coding tags.
Dreamweaver’s Object palette includes several Lasso programming icons for manipulating fields and records. The SiteBuilder function is a a misnomer, though – you use Dreamweaver to build sites and SiteBuilder’s templates to add search pages to them.
Lasso requires considerably less database experience than other popular Web-database solutions – such as Pervasive Software’s Tango 2000, or 4th Dimension’s 4D Server. Lasso also handles any ODBC-compliant database, but you can expect to do more work if you range beyond FileMaker and 4D. You can embed SQL queries into Lasso Web pages or use Lasso’s LDML-to-SQL translation.
Min specs: Dreamweaver 3.01
Lasso Studio offers Dreamweaver users a great way to put a business product catalogue on a Web site.
Version 1.5 refines the code converters and Configuration Wizard of 1.0, but retains the simple Lasso graphical approach.