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Building a Forum with Dreamweaver – Part 1: What Is ImpAKT?

What Is ImpAKT?

ImpAKT is a Dreamweaver extension that offers a collection of wizards and server behaviors that will help you set up a dynamic website from scratch, with no coding at all. ImpAKT automates most common programming tasks and patterns, and even helps inexperienced HTML designers perform complex tasks. For example, ImpAKT will help you set up your site for user authentication, validate your visitors’ input, send e-mails after forms have been submitted, and upload files and images.

Extensions are software tools that enhance the standard functionality of Dreamweaver, much like plug-ins or add-ons. They can vary from simple code snippets to complex applications. Their purpose also varies: they can reduce manual coding, minimize repetitive tasks, fix certain bugs or errors, increase productivity, or build a specific object.

Extensions are usually delivered as executable MXP files. When you run them, the Extension Manager initiates the installation.

Start the installation by downloading the extension using the links at the beginning of this article. Then double-click the MXP file. After the ImpAKT installation is initiated, you’ll see a disclaimer. If you agree to the terms, click Accept to continue the installation. When the Extension Manager finishes installing (usually just a few seconds), you’ll see a dialog box notifying you that the installation is complete.

You’ll notice that ImpAKT is listed in the Extension Manager window (see Figure 2).

ImpAKT listed in the Extension Manager

Figure 2. ImpAKT listed in the Extension Manager

If Dreamweaver is open, close it and then relaunch it so the changes caused by ImpAKT can take effect. Each installed extension modifies the Dreamweaver standard workspace by adding its own commands, buttons, or menus. The ImpAKT elements are added to the Insert bar and to the Server Behaviors menu (in the Application panel).

Notice that a new tab called MX Kollection appears in the Insert bar (see Figure 3).

MX Kollection tab of the Insert bar

Figure 3. MX Kollection tab of the Insert bar

ImpAKT is part of a bundle of Dreamweaver extensions, which is why the tab is called MX Kollection.

From the MX Kollection tab, you can access some of the most common wizards and commands in ImpAKT that help you build database-driven web forms for inserting, updating, and deleting information, and set up professional user authentication for your website.

The second area where you can access ImpAKT commands is the Server Behaviors tab of the Application panel (see Figure 4).

Accessing ImpAKT commands in the Server Behaviors tab of the Application panel

Figure 4. Accessing ImpAKT commands in the Server Behaviors tab of the Application panel

In the next section, you will define your site in Dreamweaver.