Now that I've introduced the Data View web part, I'd like to give you a quick demo of how easy it is to add one of these data-driven views to a web page...
-> The main entry point for creating Data Views is the top-level menu called Data, which is a new menu to FP 2003. Nearly all of the Data View's functionality can be accessed via the Data menu - you'll definitely want to hunt and peck in there when you have some time. For our demo today, we want to insert a Data View from scratch, which one does by clicking Data/Insert Data View:
Step 1: Configure a data sourceAfter clicking Data/Insert Data View, FrontPage will bring up a task pane called the 'Data Source Catalog' or DSC for short. As the name implies, you can use the Data Source Catalog to manage and configure all of your data sources. Now, it may seem a bit weird that 'Insert Data View' brings up a task pane for managing data sources, but the reason is that you first need to configure a data source to work with and that's what the DSC is all about. As you can see from the screenshot, the DSC supports many data source types: SharePoint lists, database servers (SQL, DB2, Oracle), XML files (both remote and local to the site), server url's and web services. The catalog is also pretty smart - it dynamically discovers any SharePoint lists or XML files in the site and aadds them to the proper category. Since the 'Announcements' list is already configured and ready to use, we'll work with this source for our demo. Note: It does gets a smidge harder when working with 'external' data sources such as web services, but nothing too crazy :)
Step 2: Select the data sourceOnce you have chosen a data source to work with and are ready to create a view, you can click that data source in the task pane and choose the 'Show Data' menu item. That will cause FP will navigate to another task pane called 'Data View Details' or DVD for short. The DVD is a really nifty piece of UI that will become your home for working with Data Views. Not only can you create and format Data Views from the DVD, but it also allows you to browse the records in your data set, as well as filter/sort that data.
Step 3: Create your Data ViewWhen you are ready to add a Data View to you page, simply select the fields you want to be in your view and press the 'Insert Data view' link. FrontPage will then insert a new Data View at the current cursor location in your page. And that's all there is to creating a Data View! :) Once you have a Data View in your page, you can now format it using the regular FrontPage formatting tools.
In summary:- the Data menu is your friend for creating data-driven web pages- the 'Data Source Catalog' (DSC) is the place to manage all of your data connections- using the 'Data View Details' (DVD) task pane, you can add Data Views to your page (as well as browse data sources)
Next up: Formatting your Data View