Monthly Archives: December 2007

SharePoint Designer vs. Expression Web … Finally

Actually, it’s nothing new and web designers know it already… But I managed to experience it, at last.

Long ago, Microsoft had been producing a program called Microsoft Office FrontPage, an award-winning program for designing and deploying web sites. Now, it is still being produced under a new names: Microsoft SharePoint Designer.

Microsoft Office SharePoint Designer 2007 is the rightful descendant of Microsoft FrontPage 2003. In every respect, it is like another prodigious child of the FrontPage dynasty (FrontPage was famed for having significant and cool improvements in every new version), except the name. In addition, Microsoft FrontPage Server Extensions (which unlike FrontPage itself I didn’t like) are now a part of Microsoft SharePoint Services. So, everything FrontPage is now something SharePoint.

However, SharePoint Designer also has a twin sister: Microsoft Expression Web. Basically, she is exactly like her brother except she lacks the capability to interface with Microsoft SharePoint Services, so it’s a few megabytes smaller. Microsoft Expression Web is a part of Microsoft Expression family.

Now, these information would not be new to you if you are a professional web designer. SharePoint Designer blog has a good article explaining the matter in more details. Well, but I am not a web designer so, until recently, I didn’t know these. If you, however, like me, didn’t know these until now, I’m glad I could share some knowledge.

By the way, Microsoft produces another line of web development tool. It is called Visual Web Developer, which is a part Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 and 2008. After all, developers will inevitably run into HTML and XML. However, Microsoft Visual Studio line of products has Express editions everyone can download and use free of charge. So if you ever need a good web editor, Visual Web Developer 2008 Express is for you!

The Case of Missing Gateway Icon

If you connect to Internet via a gateway computer (another computer in your network that is connected to Internet and allows other computers to connect to Internet through it) then you’ve probably noticed the gateway icon in your Control Panel > Network Connections folder.

I have learned that this icon appears only when:

  1. Internet Gateway Device Discovery and Client Control, a Windows component, is installed. Since this component is by default installed on Windows XP, all you should do is to leave it alone. (Of course, maybe you haven’t even heard its name, but some mad would-be system utilities think it’s something unnecessay or dangerous and wipe it out without your consent.) You will find this component in Control Panel, Add/Remove ProgramsAdd/Remove Windows Components, under Network Services component. (Select Network Services from the list and click Details… button.)
  2. SSDP Discovery Service (SSDP = Simple Service Discovery Protocol) and Universal Plug and Play Host services must be set to Manual or Automatic. By default, they are set to Manual upon Windows XP installation, so unless you have tampered with them, you don’t need to open Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Services, find them from the list, and ensure that their Startup Type is set to Manual. Unfortunately, chances are that either you (encouraged by an article on web) or a wanna-be system utility of yours actually has tampered with it, in the name increasing performance, increasing security and such.

Unfortunately, these information are actually hard to come by and are buried deep in Microsoft Knowledge Base whose only informative access hub is it search page. Although if you are curious and eagle-eyed, you are likely to find part of the clue in Add/Remove Windows Components dialog box, in the description text of Internet Gateway Device Discovery and Client Control.

You can read more about the services mentioned above in Microsoft’s Threats and Countermeasures Guide white-paper which is available for download from Microsoft web site.

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