Server Side Web Development for ECommerce

ASPs and SQL Server Approach



Dale R. "Zai" Fox



Office Hours:

2:00 - 2:50 PM Monday, Wednesday
5:30 - 6:30 PM Tuesday
or by appointment





none in print

Important Reference: Noel Jerke, Visual Basic Developer's Guide to E-Commerce with ASP and SQL Server, Sybex, 1999.

Mitchel and Atkinson, Teach Yourself Active Server Pages 3.0 in 21 Days, SAMS, 2000.


The grade will be based on homework and tests 

  • There will be four homework assignments for a total of  60% of your grade.  You are expected to talk to each other when developing homework solutions, though each of you needs to turn in their own results.  

  • There will be two exams, a midterm and final, worth 40% of your grade.

As usual, homework that is turned in late within 24 hours after the due date will receive an automatic 5 point deduction.  Homework that is late more than a day, but received within 3 days will receive an automatic 10 point deduction.  Homework that is more than three days late but less than a week late will receive an automatic 15 point deduction.  Any homework turned in more than a week late will receive an automatic 25 point deduction.

Background: The level of this course is based on the assumption that you have had a rather elementary course in Visual Basic.  It shouldn't be a major difficulty if you haven't, but it would add to the difficulty of the course.  I'm assuming everyone had CS 110 or the equivalent in VB.

The course will also be based on the assumption that you have some background in HTML or development of relatively static "information" pages for the WWW.  If you can develop your own personal web in HTML or FrontPage or some similar package you should have more than enough experience.  Though you are likely to learn much more about the meaning of HTML tags than you currently know.   If you don't currently have these capabilities it should be  relatively easy to compensate.

We are almost surely going to use Macromedia/Allaire Homesite as the basis of our ASP development.  Though you can choose another product if you want.

Any background in SQL or SQL Server will be helpful.  Almost nothing will be assumed about any such background.  This is likely to be the most difficult tool in the course, yet the most universally useful!

Description: This course will present a discussion of the major strategies involved in web development and their concomitant approaches to e-commerce processing.  Then we will focus on  Microsoft tools for implementing a functioning organization website.  We will spend little time developing web page interfaces in class since some background is assumed.  We will use Homesite as the development environment  to agglutinate the large variety of tools we will need.  The primary focus will be on developing HTML for interface development viewed through browsers, VBScript ASPs as middleware between the client and server and using SQL Server for database operations on the server.

The template we are building is based off of a relatively high-volume design used for,, and several others.  While Jerke doesn't credit the firm he worked for, there are references to these sites in the book.

Required Software: For this course, most of the processing  will be enacted by a web server.  Thus you need to have a web browser, preferably Netscape or Internet Explorer, in order to interact with the server.  The HTML, VBScript and SQL that we will use will all be executed by the server.  

Ultimately, the entire course could be developed from Notepad.  But you will need some way to upload your files to the web.  Some sort of FTP program is best.  I use GlobalScape's CuteFTP.  It cost about $40.   There are many others, for example WS_FTP available at, many of which are free.

Finally, we will use Homesite which you are likely to get from an educational reseller for Macromedia/Allaire or download off the web.



Weekly Topic Coverage


Week 1

Some Remote - Local - User Processing Issues
Some Database Issues
The QUESBMI Faculty Interest Database Management System

Week 2

Creating ASP Pages
Sending ASP Results to the Browser - The Response Class/Object
Starting a Login ASP
Homework 1

Week 3

Background on Web Based Interaction with a User
Some HTML for Developing Web Forms
Getting Information from the User - The Request Class/Object
Completing the Login ASP

Week 4

Using Server Variables
Maintaining Persistent Information with Session Variables
Maintaining Persistent Information with Cookies

Some Background on ASPs and Databases
Some Processing and Database Issues

Homework 2

Week 5

Some SQL Background
Connecting and Displaying the SQL Northwind Database
SQL Select Commands and Clauses
SQL Update and Create Commands

Week 6

Building the Interface for the Shopping Experience
Background on the Tables for Wild Willies CD Store
Background on the ASPs for the Shopping Experience

Some Code That You Won't Actually Implement
Creating the Necessary Tables Using SQL
Inserting Initial Data Into the Tables

Building the Page Structure
Developing Features Common to Most Pages
Developing Wild Willie's Home Page

Week 7

Browsing and Searching
The Departments Page
Developing the Products Page
Developing the Page for Each Product
Searching the Store

Making the Shopping Basket
Designing the Basket
Adding Items to the Basket
Displaying the Basket
Updating the Basket
Deleting Items from the Basket
Emptying the Basket

Homework 3

Week 8

Making the Check Out Pages
The Shopper Profile and Checkout Process
The Shipping Page
A Page to Validate Shopper Shipping Inputs
Calculate Shipping and Taxes
The Payment Page
A Page to Validate Payment Inputs
Confirmation Page

Profile Management
Some Profile Activities
The Profile Page
Updating the Shopper's Profile

Week 9

Building the Store Management Interface

Designing the Store Manager
Managing Security

Managing Products
Listing the Products
Searching the Products
Adding a Product
Manage a Product
Delete a Product
Update a Product
Deleting and Adding Product Assignments to Departments
Deleting and Adding Attributes

Homework 4

Week 10

Managing Departments
Listing the Departments
Adding a New Department
Managing Each Department
Delete a Department
Update a Department

Managing Tax
Manage and Update Taxes

Managing Shipping
Manage Shipping
Update, Delete and Add Shipping Parameters

Week 11


Week 12


Week 13


Week 14






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