EW4 Front Pge Extension problem RRS feed

  • Question

  • Until recently I used EW2 for my website design. I had to use Front Page Extensions in order to for my feedback form to work. 

    In order to avoid the Front Page Extensions I converted to EW4. What I did was open up the EW2 design using EW4, deleted the old form and designed a new form from the EW4 Toolbox. When I tested the form using the SUBMIT button, I get the message that I need the Front Page Extensions in order for the form to work. Was it a mistake to open the EW2 design under EW4? Should I have started from scratch with a new EW4 design? 

    Saturday, June 16, 2018 7:18 AM

All replies

  • No, unfortunately, you are laboring under a misconception. It is not the version of EW that is FPSE (the server extensions) dependent, but the form itself which requires them. Opening that design in any of the four versions of EW in which you had not set up the extensions would cause it to fail. Moving away from the FPSE means moving to FTP publishing, whereupon any forms published using FPSE will not work. 

    To quote Microsoft:

    Although the FPSE are currently supported on Windows Server 2003 and Expression Web is able to use the FPSE, Microsoft strongly recommends that you use alternate methods when authoring and publishing with Expression Web. There are several reasons for this:

    • The FPSE are an old technology last released in 2002.
    • Many web hosting companies are dropping support for FPSE.
    • Reliability of the FPSE can be dramatically impacted by misconfiguration.
    • Expression Web is not designed to deal with some FPSE concepts. Therefore, problems can occur when using the FPSE to author sites with Expression Web.
    • It is preferable to use a modern standard when authoring and publishing.

    This site
    provides a good discussion of this issue, and also provides a very good list of those features requiring the extensions that you would have to eliminate to move away from the FPSE.

    If you want to get away from the extensions, you have to move to alternative technologies that do not require them. You would have to design the form using standard HTML form elements, then point the "action" parameter to a form handler written in, for example, PHP. If the form is a contact form, there is an excellent free one available in the Huggins Email Form Script, which is free and has complete documentation. Also, the maintainer of EXPRESSION WEB TIPS has kindly put together a package containing a full implementation of the form (minus the script, which you get from the URL above), with instructions for editing the sample form for your own use, as well as a full CSS page supporting the sample form page that you can edit to change the appearance to more closely match the appearance of your site, etc.

    Alternatively, and probably necessary if the form is other than a contact form, or if the form also drives or accesses a backend data store, you will need to implement it using EW's built in ASP.NET support, which can be used both to build the form and implement the database. Google "asp.net free form builder" to find if there are some alternatives for you there. Unfortunately, the former builder hosted at www.ctrfx.com is no longer available.

    Here's the thing, though, regardless of the alternatives you choose, leaving the FPSE behind will entail a learning curve on your part if you use any of the features that require them, such as this. Even the excellent free ctrfx generator required you to know enough ASP.NET to integrate it into your own page, for example. James Huggins' contact form comes with excellent documentation, and if you google it you will find several "helper" pages showing how to implement it, like the one referenced above. And if you have any features requiring or driving a database, you'll need to learn ASP.NET or another server-based technology, such as PHP and MYSQL (or one of the other database management systems supported by PHP).

    I imagine that you've already eliminated most of the other FPSE-dependent features (Shared Borders, Navigation View/Bar, etc. See above link). Making this move will entail a good deal of work, but it is something you definitely should do. We see here on a regular basis desperate developers who have their hosting providers suddenly drop support for the extensions, with literally no warning. They could no longer even access the site until they switched to FTP publishing, which immediately broke every component on their site that required the FPSE. So, do it now, while the timing is your choice and you can do the replacement at your own pace. It's work, but not nearly as much as if you're taken by surprise, and your site will continue to function during the changeover. Good luck!  ;-)


    Please remember to "Mark as Answer" the responses that resolved your issue. It is common courtesy to recognize those who have helped you, and it also makes it easier for visitors to find the resolution later.

    • Edited by paladyn Sunday, June 24, 2018 9:47 PM
    Sunday, June 24, 2018 9:17 PM