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Microsoft® Office SharePoint® Designer 2007 Bible by Vikram Kartik

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15.1. Understanding Data Sources

SharePoint Designer provides an easy interface for Web site designers to use standard Web technologies, such as ASP.NET 2.0, to connect to data sources and retrieve, format, and display data on Web pages. The functionality is driven by intuitive GUI (Graphical User Interface)-based wizards, and although you might need some understanding of ASP.NET, you most likely won't need to write a single line of code to be able to complete a standard data-driven Web site.

The basic steps involved in working with data are usually the same no matter what technology you choose. You do the following every time you work with a data source:

  • Use a data source control to connect to a source of data. The source of data is usually a database for an MS-Access database file, an SQL Server database instance, or an XML file. In more complicated scenarios, you might be connecting to a server-side script or a Web service. The data source control uses a connection string to connect to the source of data. A connection string is a string of text that specifies information about connecting to a specific data source.

  • Using a data display control, connect to the data source control you set up to display the data. You can modify, transform, or lay out (or any other term you like to use) data to make it look inviting. Usually, this is where you use your imagination and design skills to convert a row or table of data into what your end users would relish working with. Remember, developing ...

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