Assignment Website Creation-Visual Studio 2017 on Windows

Summary of steps
Common Problems
Sample HomePage


Before you begin:
For this project you must first have Visual Studio 2017 Enterprise installed on your computer.
*** From off-campus you must first establish a VPN connection to publish/upload your files to your website using Visual Studio. Or get this ERROR. ***
**** Use Firefox or Internet Explorer when saving web pages, Chrome and Edge will not save files correctly. ****

Note: Proficiency with Microsoft Visual Studio is a valuable skill. Feel free to make use of the tutorials or the W3Schools website to improve your web design skills.

Video recording

Grading criteria:

This assignment is worth 100 points, and is graded based on the following criteria.
Grading is done only once, there is no awarding of points past the due date.
You are expected and required to have your website working correctly during the entire semester.

1. (20) Assignment website home page url submitted to database correctly using form per step 17.b
2. (20) Website url of the correct format: <YearTerm+CourseIdentifier>/<UserName>
3. (5) Student's Name at top of Assignment template-per step 5
4. (15) Feedback email address url with correct format, such as: mailto:<UserName> per step 6
5. (10) Confirming email sent to the professor-per step 14.g.
6. (20) First assignment hyperlink correctly formed, with correct folder structure such as:
'<YearTerm+CourseIdentifier>/<UserName>/Summative01/Assignmentxx.htm' - per step 11
7. (10) Miscellaneous issues-which means not following items listed in these instructions, poor grammar or spelling.
8. You will continue to lose points from this and individual assignments if you do not link assignments correctly, or do other things that prevent me from being able to grade your assignment.
In effect, at the end of the semester you can end up with zero points for this assignment.


Figure 1 : You will create one website for each class you take with Professor Paulson.
website root folder is <Course> and contains your website home page, named "default.htm" 
Each assignment will be a “subfolder” of this root folder. 
Graphics files and screen shots are saved in the "Assignmentxx_files" folder.
Your folder structure must look like this:

             File, folder structure

Preliminaries- To Customize These Instructions For Your Website Complete The Following Steps:

    1. Replace <SemesterYear> with current semester and year, e.g. Spring2018
    2. Replace <Course> with the course, e.g. MIS202
    3. Replace <Section> with the appropriate course section, e.g. 01
    4. Replace <YourName> with your name, e.g. Joanne Smith
    5. Replace <UserName> with your WSU network username, e.g.jrstudent13
    6. Replace <CourseIdentifier> with the six digit course ID, e.g. 00xxxx
    7. Replace <YearTerm> with the current academic year identifier.  Academic year starts in summer (1) and includes fall (3) and spring (5).
      Current YearTerm is 20185  (Spring2018)
    8. Do not use spaces or non standard characters in your folder or file names!  Only use a-Z, 0-9 and ‘_’ (underscore) Why not?    Bookmark example!
    9. It is easier to work with files if you can see the file extensions.  In File Explorer select View>Details from the menu. Then choose Tools>Folder Options, select the Views tab, under ‘Advanced Settings:’ clear the box titled ‘Hide extensions for known file types’.  Click on the ‘Apply to All Folders’ button, then click OK.
    10. You must have a WSU username and password, be registered for the class and have an Internet connection to complete these steps.

      Visual Studio Settings
      Open Visual Studio, under Tools>Options change the following settings to ensure your development environment is optimized for this class.

      Visual Studio quirks:

      Make sure to press the refresh button to see the latest files.

      Remember that an asterisk (*) next to a filename indicates that the file has been modified, make sure to save changes often, or publish your website.

  1. Creating Your Assignment Website

In Visual Studio, a website consists of two parts: a collection of files and folders on a local computer (the local site),
and a remote web server where you upload the local files and folders, so that the professor can view them (the remote server).

    1. Open Visual Studio and create a new empty website. 
    2. From the menu choose File>New>Project...  A dialog box will open; choose Installed, expand 'Visual C#', expand 'Web' and select 'Web Site'. 
      For 'Name:' type in your class, such as 'MIS202', 'MIS342', 'MIS362' or 'BUSA353', no spaces.
      Then in the lower right click the 'Browse' button and go to ...\Documents\MyWebSites, and this will appear in the 'Location:' box.
      Make sure to leave the two check boxes for "Create directory for solution" and "Add to Source Control" clear.
      new web site

    3. Visual Studio will display the website in the Integrated Development Environment (IDE) and it will look something like this:
      VS new empty site

    4. From the menu choose 'Build>Publish Web App'  , for Publish choose 'Custom' and create a Profile named for your course (such as 'MIS202');
      click next and enter the 'Target location:' for your course from the table below:
      network target location

    5. Please read this entire item before proceeding.
      where '20185' is the current year/term and '00xxxx' is the six digit course code.
      Locate your course in the table below, then copy the correct path from the right column.
      Then paste the path into the "Target location:" text box and change <username> to your WSU network userame.  (Do NOT use your StarID)
      Course Days Time Path: \\\dfs\Students\ClassStorage\Year/term + CourseID\ <username>
      Example: \\\dfs\Students\ClassStorage\20185001234\tsmith14
      Spring 2018


    6. You will see your website in the Solution Explorer box on the right side of the screen.
    7. You have your website setup – now you will create the folders and pages that make up the actual website.

  1. Create Folder Structure
  2. - one possible method
    1. Right click root folder (<Course>), select Add>New Folder.
    2. Name the folder ‘Summative01’.  Press Enter Key.   
    3. Minimize Visual Studio.

  3. Download Home Page File

    Note: use Firefox or Internet Explorer, do not use Chrome or Edge-they do not produce the correct html files needed.

    1. Locate your course in the table below.
      Click the appropriate hyperlink in the 'Template' column.
      From the menu choose File>Save As...'
      Make sure the 'Save As Type' is set to 'Web page, complete (*.htm ; *.html)'
      Save the file as 'default.htm' in  Libraries\Documents\MyWebSites\<Course>\  
    Semester Course Template
    Spring2018 MIS202 MIS202Template.htm
    Spring2018 MIS342 MIS342Template.htm
    Spring2018 MIS362 MIS362Template.htm
    Spring2018 BUSA353 BUSA353Template.htm
    1. Go back to Visual Studio (click on icon in Taskbar).
    2. On the right you should see your default.htm under your course in the folder tree.

                                                               i.      Click the icon to REFRESH in Solution Explorer – default.htm should be there.

  1. Set up the Attendance Page
    1. Right click default.htm and in the pop-up menu click "Open with..."to bring up the dialog box
    2. Select "HTML (Web forms) Editor(Default)"  click "Set as Default" ; then click OK.
      web forms

    3. In your browser, from the menu click File>Save As... and save as 'Attendance.htm'
      Make sure the 'Save As Type' is set to 'Webpage, complete (*.htm ; *.html)'
      Semester Course Template
    4. Save in Libraries\Documents\MyWebSites\<Course> 
    5. Go back to Visual Studio (click on icon in Taskbar).  Double click the  'Attendance.htm' icon so that it opens.
    6. Select the 'First Name' Input control, and in the properties box 'Value' field, enter your first name. To make the 'Properties' window visible either choose View>Properties from the menu or press the F4 key.
    7. Repeat step 4.d. for your Last Name, Email Address, and StarID. 
    8. Check that the 'Class' Input control, has the 'Value' propety set to the correct class, such as MIS202, MIS343, BUSA353, MIS362.
    9. Repeat step 4.f. in order to select your section.   Save the attendance.htm file.
    10. STOP! If your attendance page looks like the following, you will need to delete it and begin again, or seek assistance from a teaching assistant or  the professor.
    11. Your attendance page should look something like this:

  1. Configure Your Homepage
    1. Open Default.htm. (Double-click on it in the Solution Explorer Panel)
    2. On first line select the text  “Your Name” and change it to <YourName>.
    3. Either in the Title field under the menu, or right-click on screen and choose Page Properties and Title/Encoding.
    4. Select  the text  “<YourName>" in the Title <YourName> <Course> <SemesterYear> Homepage” and change it to your name, then click on OK.
    5. Click on the 'Attendance' text, go to properties "href", click the ellipsis at the right end (...) and select the "Attendance.htm" file from the root folder of your website. Then click OK.
      attendance page link
    6. From the menu select File>Save and save the file.
    7. Be careful not to delete form field text boxes as described in steps 4.i. and 4.j.

  2. Create Assignment Feedback E-mail Hyperlink 
    1. At the top of the homepage select "YourFirstName" and change the text to <YourFirstName>.
      If your firstname is 'John' the text will appear as "Email to John"
    2. In the Properties panel 'href' box replace 'username' with your WSU network/email username. 
    3. Make sure that the 'href' field email address has the following format.

      'xxx' is the course number, such as'202'
      You must format the subject using the wording EXACTLY as shown above, no spaces are allowed
    4. Select File>Save and save your work.
  1. Save Assignments
    1. Open Firefox (32 bit or 64 bit) (Chrome will cause problems, do not use it to save assignments)
    2. Browse to <Course> Syllabus, such as<Course>/default.asp.
      IMPORTANT: DO NOT right click the hyperlink and choose Save Target As... because this will not save any graphic images on the page
    3. Click on the appropriate assignment so that the page displays in your browser.
    4. Choose File>Save as.
    5. Navigate to Libraries\Documents\MyWebSites\<Course>\Summative01 or appropriate assignment folder.
    6. Save as File Name: Summative01.htm (or appropriate Summativexx.htm)
    7. Make sure Save as type: is set to WebPage, complete (*.htm; *.html)  
      (IE7,8 warning-DO NOT save as Web Archive, single file (*.mht)-
      this file type cannot be edited in Visual Studio.)
    8. Each week you will repeat these steps to save the remaining assignments.  Make sure to put Summative02.htm into folder Libraries\Documents\MyWebSites\<Course>\Summative02, and put Summativexx.htm into folder Libraries\Documents\MyWebSites\<Course>\Summativexx
    9. If you are in more than one course with Professor Paulson, you must do this for each assignment for each course.

    Note: at this point you have created a functioning website for Project01.
    The remaining steps show you how to save and complete assignments each week, and how to check your website to make sure it functions correctly.
    You are strongly advised to check that your website still functions correctly each time you work on it.
    Have your website open in your browser and get used to pressing the Refresh/Reload/F5 button.

  2. Finding Assignments
    1. Open Visual Studio.
    2. Expand folder list under \Summative02\
    3. Press F5 to refresh.
    4. Double click Summative02.htm.
    5. The assignment to be completed will open.
    6. Other assignments that have been saved will be found under the appropriate folder, i.e. Summative03.htm will be under the folder \Summative03\

  3. Completing Assignments
    1. You will fill in your answer in the 'Value’ field located below in the Properties Panel (if Properties Panel on the bottom of screen does not show up press Ctrl+F3).  Click on white field beside  ‘First Name’.  ‘Name’ field will have ‘FirstName’ in it – Leave this alone.  Fill in ‘Value’ white field with your first name and press 'Enter'.
    2. ‘Last Name’ , ‘StarID’, 'Email Address' and other TextField boxes (including questions in blue text) are filled out the same way.  Do not modify any TextField name, which is on the left end of the Properties Panel under the 'TextField' label.  Only place your text in the ‘Value’ field.
    3. Also select the 'Section' and 'Assignment' ListMenu controls and choose the correct value in the 'Initially selected' control.   If there is only one section the section number will not be editable.
    4. For questions with black text click on the answer block and type in the answer.  You will fill out the rest of your Assignment that contains questions with black text this way.
    5. For questions that require you to link a file within your assignment:
      1. First complete the assignment using Excel, Access, VB....
      2. Save the file with the required file name.
      3. Place a copy of this file in the folder for that assignment-see Figure 1 and note the location of the Summative02.xls file in MIS362
      4. Working in Visual Studio, within the Summative .htm file, select the text where you are instructed to place the hyperlink
      5. Select Format>Convert to Hyperlink... from the menu, browse to the folder containing the file from step 3.
      6. Click on this file, then click OK.
      7. Make sure the hyperlink (blue text) appears, if not, try again.
    6. Make sure to save your work frequently.
    7. When you are finished go to File>Save to save your work.

  4. Assignment Screen Shots
    For the easiest screen shots-use the Snipping Tool, click Start and type in "snip" to find it! Or do the following series of steps...
    If you are asked for a screen shot remember the following tips
    1. Pressing the ‘Fn+PrtScrn’(Mac may be different) button copies all contents of your screen/monitor to the clipboard.
    2. Pressing ‘Fn+Alt + PrtScrn’ (Mac may be different) copies only the contents of the active window to the clipboard.
    3. Place the cursor at the location in your assignment where you want to place the image, and press Ctrl+V or choose Edit>Paste and the screen shot will appear-or your 'Snip' will appear. (If the 'Image Optimization' dialog box appears click 'OK').
    4. Choose File / Save.  Choose the appropriate assignment folder to save to.  Choose an appropriate file name (example:  Summative1Q1Graphic).  Choose .png or .jpg as file type.  Click Save.
  1. Updating Home Page Hyperlinks
    1. These steps need to be done each time an assignment is completed.
    2. Open Default.htm in Visual Studio.
    3. Select “Summative01’ in the “Work’ column. (Note: some assignments do not require hyperlinks, they will be so noted on the homepage.)
    4. Select Format>Convert to Hyperlink...
    5. Browse to and select the ‘Summative01” folder by double-clicking it.
    6. Select  the ‘Summative01.htm’ file in the right hand "Contents of folder" section, then click OK.
      assignment hyperlink
    7. Save your work.
    8. You will do the same procedure in order to link the text ‘Summative02’ on your home page to the file Summative02.htm and the text 'Summativexx' on your home page to the file Summativexx.htm … as needed.

  2. Local Website Check
    1. Open Windows Explorer.
    2. Navigate to Libraries\Documents\MyWebSites\<Course>\default.htm.
    3. Double-click on ‘Default.htm’ and your browser will open and display your ‘homepage’.
    4. Remember F5 to refresh.
    5. In the menu, make sure View>Status Bar is checked.
    6. On Default.htm, move cursor over the “Summative01VBA” hyperlink.  The Status Bar will show the hyperlink as file:///C:Users/<UserName>/Documents/MyWebSites/<Course>/Summative01/Summative01.htm.
    7. Click the hyperlink to display the page.
    8. Your “Summative01” page appears.

  3. Website Publishing
  4. - note that you can Publish your entire website, or copy specified files.
    1. Make sure you are logged onto the WSU network.  If off campus first establish a VPN connection.
    2. Open Visual Studio – make sure your website is displayed. 
    3. If you are opening Visual Studio and your website is not open- you will find your web site from using the menu, select File>Open>Web site...  Click on your site’s name from the Local IIS choices, and then click on Open.  
    4. To publish, from the menu select Build>Publish Web App, make sure you have the correct course website listed, and click on 'Publish'. 
    5. It is a good idea to check the 'Web Publish Activitiy' Output window to make sure that publishing was successful and there were no errors or warnings.
      web publish success
    6. alternative: From the menu refer to Website>Publish " " to publish a specific file.
    7. alternative: From the menu choose Website>Copy Web Site... in order to move around specific files
    8. warning: if your website does not publish your updated files, you may need to publish individual files or folders
  5. Internet Website Check
      1. In your browser navigate to:<YearTerm + CourseID>/<UserName>/
    1. Your ‘default.htm’ web page should display.
    2. Verify that each assignment hyperlink works correctly, i.e. displays the proper page on your website.  If not, you must return to Visual Studio and correct your hyperlinks.
    3. You must check your email hyperlink for proper operation by clicking on it while viewing it in your browser.
    4.  You are strongly advised to use Outlook for your email program. It will be autoconfigured when you start it up while you are logged onto the WSU network.
    5. If the email hyperlink does not work correctly, that is, does not open Outlook with an email addressed to your webmail account, with a carbon copy (cc:) to my email account, and the proper subject line-then go back to step 6 and review and fix any problems.
    6. When satisfied that your website is correct, and your email hyperlink is correctly formatted, click on the email hyperlink. Outlook should start up and create a new email that is addressed to you, with a cc: to me.
    7. In the body of the email type "I have finished my Project 1 website and everything appears to work OK."
    8. Press the send button.
    9. Verify that you have successfully received this email in your WSU email account.
    10. Do not worry if you send this email several times.
    11. Realize that the copy of this email is your proof of completing this assignment on time. If it does not work correctly, or a copy is not sent to me, you have not proven that your assignment is complete.
    12. Each time you do an assignment, make sure to check for proper operation of the hyperlinks on your website home page (default.htm), and that your assignment and all the screen shots are functioning properly. Remember that if you make any changes to a assignment or screen shot, you must republish those files. Then you must make sure to recheck the website, using your browser. Be aware that you may need to press the F5/Refresh button to view the latest file. Sometimes you may need to repeatedly press Ctrl+F5. Alternatively, you can set your browser to request a new web page each time you view a url. See the table below.
      Internet Explorer: Tools>Internet Options>Browsing History>Settings Firefox: Tools>Options>Privacy, choose "Never remember history"
      browser cache

  1. Submit Assignment Pages
    1. The submit button is on each assignment page. Your assignment is not considered done until you have completed the submission process and received confirmation of your submission.
    2. If not already at your homepage:

                              i.      Open your browser and navigate to:<YearTerm + CourseID>/<UserName>/.

                             ii.      Your ‘default.htm’ webpage should display.

                            iii.      Navigate to your Summativexx page.

                            iv.      Make sure that your assignment is completed.  Check that screen shots display properly, all answers are completed, and your name and assignment information is filled in.  If not, go back to Visual Studio and complete or correct any problems or errors.

                             v.      When you are satisfied with your assignment, click the Submit button to submit your assignment.

                             vi.      You will see a confirmation page telling you that your assignment was submitted.  There will be a lot of other info on there that you probably will not understand – just ignore.  It is a good idea to save this confirmation page.  Click File>Save As….  Choose an appropriate folder to store these pages.  A possibility is Libraries\Documents\<Course>\ConfirmationPages\

If instead of a confirmation page you see a warning or error message, then your assignment did not submit and you will not receive credit for it. Save a copy of the page containing the warning/error. If you cannot figure out what went wrong (such as not being connected to the Internet), then email this page to the instructor before the assignment is due. Make sure the email subject line contains at least the course, section and wording "Assignment Submission Problem".

                            vii.      Click on the Homepage hyperlink to go back to the professors's website… or click the Back icon in the menu to go back to yours.

  1. AssignmentInquiry – Review what assignment you have already submitted and when it was submitted.
    1. On click on Inquiries>Assignment Submissions.
    2. You will need to enter your Last Name and your StarID.
    3. Press the ‘Get Assignments!’ button.
    4. You will see what you submitted and when.  This is handy if you cannot remember what you have done so far for the class or to make sure your assignment was turned in on time!

  2. Submit your URL – You will use a FORM to do this.
    1. These steps need to be done only once at the start of the semester.  If for some reason you change the URL to your website (name change or submitting a new social security number will cause a username change) make sure to notify your professor.  See if they want you to repeat this step.
    2. Using your broswer, navigate to the form used to submit your URL to Professor Paulson- it is at this location
    3. The name of the form is Studentwebs Assignment Website URL Submission Form.
    4. Fill out form with the term, campus, class, your last name, your first name, your StarID (also use the StarID for assignment and attendance) and your website address.  You will fill out this form the normal way by just clicking in the fields and entering your information.
    5. Press the SUBMIT button.
    6. Your will receive a confirmation page telling you that your website URL was submitted successfully.  It will also tell you the time and date you submitted it.
    7. Next make sure that the url that you submitted works by going to the form shown below, entering your  last name and StarID, and then click on 'Check URL'.  Your assignment website home page should be displayed.  If not, I cannot see it either, and there is a problem with your website.  You must correct any problems!
      URL Inquiry

  3. URLInquiry – Confirm that your website URL has been submitted correctly.
    1. On click on Inquiries>Website URL.
    2. You will need to enter your Last Name and your username.
    3. Press ‘Get URL!’ button.
    4. You will see what you submitted and when.  Check to make sure information is correct.  If you are in multiple classes with Professor Paulson, information for all your websites will be listed.
    5. Click on Check URL in the Hyperlink column.  This should display your home directory for your website.  If you get a 'page not found' type of message there is something wrong with the URL that you submitted. Recheck your information and resubmit your url. Or stop by Somsen 207 and ask one of the STARs for assistance. Or see Professor Paulson.
  1. Summary-Completing Assignments- Completing an assignment consists of the following steps.
    1. Making sure you have downloaded the assignment to your website.  See Step 7.
    2. Complete the assignment.  See steps 9,10, 11 and 12.
    3.   Publish your assignment.  See step 13.
    4. Verifying your assignment.  See step 14.
    5. Submitting your assignment.  See step 15 and 16.
  1. Recomnended care and maintenance-
    1. Add links to your browser toolbar to access your studentwebs site quicker.
    2. Make periodic backups of your website to CD-R or CD-RW, DVD, or USB key or your personal network storage space.
    3. Create another website to experiment with and learn about the technology (such as 'studentwebs')

    ----- Common Assignment Website Problems ------

    1. Wrong class/section- The most common mistake is that students do not change from the default MIS999 class when submitting their url.  See 17.d.
    2. Incorrect email hyperlink- Another common mistake is that students do not create the correct email hyperlink on their assignment website home page. See step 6.
    3. Change to username- If you obtain a new WSU network username (<UserName>) during the semester, this can cause problems.  Reciving a new network username will occur if you submit a name change to WSU, or if you submit a social security number.  If you are going to do either, make sure to have a complete and accurate backup copy of your website.  There can be problems accessing your new network accounts and website. Having a backup copy of the website will allow you to get your assignment website installed at its new location very quickly and conveniently.  Please notify me of either of these events, because I will have to change your assignment website home page in my database.
    4. Exceed disk space- If you have had more than one class with me, or you publish a lot of materials to your studentwebs site, you may run out of web storage space. As a precaution only publish Assignment assignments to your website. Do not use it for general purpose storage, otherwise you will exceed your disk quota. When this happens, you will no longer be able to connect and/or publish Assignment to the server. The error message that you receive will in no way reflect this fact, it is very ambiguous!
    5. Hard drive re-imaged- If your hard drive is re-imaged you may lose your Visual Studio website settings.You then must reconfigure your website by repeating step 1.
    6. Incorrect screen shot hyperlinks- If you see this image in either Visual Studio, or while viewing your assignment page from the studentwebs server (NOT from your local machine), there is something wrong with the way you inserted the image into your page.  Review step 10.
      page does not exist at this location
      ftp password problems

    7. Password change - If you see a password error message:

      It is most likely because you recently changed your network password or username.

    8. Directory Listing Denied?-You hyperlinked to a folder and not to a file.
      Check out the status bar in your browser.
      If you hyperlinked to a folder, the file extension (.htm, .png) will not be displayed.
      If you hyperlink to a folder which does not contain a file named index.htm or default.htm (like your hompage), you will receive one of the following errors, depending on the browser you are using.

      access denied IE6

      access deniedIE 7

      Directory listing denied FireFox2

      Try it, Click Here!

      Solution: See step 11.i.
      Make sure you are linking to a file-usually it will have an extension of .htm; but some assignments require you to link to .exe; .xls or other files.
      Also note that you will not get this error if you link to a folder that contains a file named index.htm or default.htm
      Those files are automatically displayed instead.
      Here is an example. Default.htm

    9. Page Note Found- Most likely there is an error in your file or path name.
      page not foundIE8

    10. Assignment Submission Problem- if you press the submit button and receive this message, there are network or server problems beyond your or my control.
      Please send a copy of the message via email to alert me as soon as possible.
      SQL error

    11. Cannot upload files to the network. There are several reasons why you may encounter the following error, most likely you are trying to upload/publish files from off campus and you did not first start up the VPN. Or your network access was revoked(unlikely), or there is something wrong with the WSU network (also unlikely). Possible solutions-start up VPN, click to map drives, try again, reboot, try again.

    --- Trouble Shooting Tips ---

  2. Chris Pederick's Web Developer toolbar is a valuable web page troubleshooting add-on for Firefox. It is a great way to quickly verify that your hyperlinks are correct. (Information> Display Link Details)