Tuesday, 31 July 2007

Microsoft Expression Web

Microsoft release it's new web development suite "Expression" a couple of months ago, the Expression suite is broken down into four applications Expression Web, Blend, Design and Media. All of which give the user the ability to make in depth web2.0 pages.

I was lucky enough to be given a free copy of Expression Web the other month when I attended the Microsoft SLIDE 7 event. I haven't used any web development products before such as Dreamweaver all of the web pages that I have created in the past have all been done in Programmers Notepad, which I find is a brilliant light weight programming tool for a wide variety of languages. So when installing Expression Web I had no idea what to expect and found the idea of designing and creating a visually pleasing web site quite daunting. However I quickly found that this is not the case, this software is easy to use, it is perfect for beginner Web developers and designers, as well as any developers who want to concentrate on the front end of there site.

The training DVD supplied in the box was extremely good, going through features of the package step by step on screen, however only contained the first two lessons so I went out and bought the full set of lessons and have been going through and now feel confident that I could develop a great website using Expression Web.

The software has some really good features it uses the intellisense from Visual Studio, this is something that I have really missed since I have been developing with java and PNotepad recently and makes life alot easier.
The inbuilt CSS control is also very nice and allows you to move and share styles all through the pages on your site. Even with it being a Microsoft product the ability to preview your site in other browsers such as Firefox and Safari make it great to develop pages that will be displayed correctly in all browsers due to how each of the browsers deal with CSS.

Expression Web also has ASP.NET functionality which I have yet to sample as I am still in the process of learning of learning the technology, but will go back and take a look how much of ASP.NET is supported when I am more proficient with it.

Great software! I am now looking forward to get time to start developing and designing web sites.

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