Can you guys help a new gut out? I'm trying to learn how to create web based database applications using MS SQL. I'm new so I'm trying to figure what design environments I should focus on. Its very importanty that I have the ability to make the final web pages very asthetic. Since it cost so much to purchase MS Visual, Coldfusion, Dreamwever, etc.. I would like to get it right the first time. I'm gravitaing to to MS SQL as I want complete scalability and the MS Server Manager Studior has a GUI that helps me to learn. Got that part I think. Now how what would be the best software that would allow me to create the Pages and link to the DB? I'm exploring PHP and ASP.Net, but I hear I can run into some flexibilty problems with ASP.NET, but I like the ability to work quickly due to thier component type drag and drop features. At the same time I do not want to create limitations down the road. In addition visual studio seems to be inferior to dreamweaver in terms of the asthetics. I'm not even sure VS is intended to deliver the final product but just set up the web pages for query. (?) This is where it breaks down for me. Very confusuing, but I'm a quick learner. I get that I know nothing, but I need the appropirtaite environment to achieve my goals. So the question is what do I need to install and learn to get from a basic SQL database to a super awesome sophisticated loooking web based application. I would like a combonation of speed and ease (to learn) without the sacrifice of flexibility if possible. Feel free to offer advice for any peripheral softwares that will help me to have a comprehensive ability to finsh the job (i.e adobe fireworks, etc...) Help me out smart people. :)

Thanks in advance


I'm only a few classes in to becoming a programmer so I'm not in a position to advise you on coding. But I'm not new to IT or networking so I've got some general advise for you.

Linux and Sun servers can (?should be?) be set up to respond to ASP.NET requests. That was the biggest issue that came to mind, I'm sure there are solutions for most problems like that.

Dreamweaver is sweet and is also available on a trial basis from Adobe, check their web site. Visual Developer does not seem to best for web design. But the whole suite seems geared towards integrating server/client side code, collecting data, and interfacing with data bases. Microsoft's related development environments may be be more useful than Adobe's offerings. There seems to be no reason you could not design pages in Dreamweaver and use Visual Studio to plug in 'functionality'. Microsoft does have a product that is like Dreamweaver but I've yet to work with it. Try the Express versions of Visual Studio, they are available at no cost.

As far as what skill sets you need, the Visual Studio suite alone would represent both a significant undertaking to master and the tools for comprehensive web development productivity. Check advertisements for software development jobs on Craigslist or Monster to get an idea of what skill sets employers consider complimentary.