If you think creating a database-driven Web site requires hard-core coding, think again. Lasso Studio for Dreamweaver 1.5, which lets you add database functions to Web sites, is simple enough for nonprogrammers 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 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 functions quite elegantly. The upgraded Lasso Configuration Wizard identifies your database and its records and fields. To create a database search page, you choose fields from the FormBuilder dialog 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 bit of a misnomer, though: you’ll use Dreamweaver to build sites and SiteBuilder’s templates to add search pages to them.