Chapter 3: Server Components
from the book: Microsoft Exchange Server Survival Guide
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Microsoft Exchange Server is the next generation in LAN-based electronic mail. Microsoft is the first of the mainstream electronic mail providers to offer mail that is based on a client/server model. Popular electronic mail programs such as ccMail and MS Mail are based on a shared file system structure rather than a database.
rson called an online-only merchant. Online-only merchants might sell hard goods or digital products such as software, games, information, or artwork. They may use traditional payment systems such as MasterCard, Visa, and American Express, or newer micropayment technology developed for small-ticket items.
This chapter is a step-by-step introduction to online-only digital sales with micropayment technology. The Web page that you will build with Microsoft FrontPage and Microsoft Image Composer to sell digital products is called a storefront with a catalog. Because digital products are downloaded immediately when they are purchased, an order form is not required. A customer's name and address are not collected because there is no need to ship a product by conventional means. In fact, there are so few steps required that this chapter suggests that digital artists, musicians, animators, game programmers, 3-D designers, and writers can set up their own single-page storefronts.
Complementary 3-D chat.
Larry Rosenthal's Starbase C3 Web site is an example of how a 3-D chat environment can complement a retail storefront. Visitors buy inexpensive, digital spaceship parts, build their own ships, and use the ships as avatars in the VRML3D chat zone called the Flight Deck. Larry has used Blaxxun's VRML Community Platform 3.0 to create the 3-D chat area. This tool enables developers to create their own 3-D multiuser communities.
The Starbase C3 Site
The Starbase C3 storefront page that is described in this chapter is a smaller, single-page version of the Cube Productions Web site created by Larry Rosenthal (www.cube3.com/starbase). Rosenthal is an entertainment designer and a 3-D world builder who sells digital spaceship models through CyberCash and Microsoft Wallet payments.
Wallet software is a virtual debit card that customers fill with a check or traditional credit card. After money has been transferred into a wallet, the customer has purchasing power with thousands of wallet merchants who have recently set up storefronts on the Web.
Instead of setting up his own server to conduct transactions, Rosenthal worked with Sound Wire owner Joe Maissel (firstname.lastname@example.org), an electronic commerce specialist who brokers CyberCash transaction processing to other merchants. Because CyberCash recently provided their CyberCoin Payment Module for Microsoft's wallet software, Microsoft Wallet can be used to purchase goods from CyberCash merchants.
Microsoft Wallet add-on to Internet Explorer 4.0.
Microsoft Wallet software is available as a Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0 add-on and can be downloaded from the Microsoft Web site at www.microsoft. com. A version of the wallet software is also available for Netscape Navigator and will be shipped with future versions of Windows.
How Do Merchants Sell Digital Goods and Get Paid?
Maissel operates a commerce server and provides merchants with software that they can use to upload digital products to his server. Merchants maintain their own storefronts all over the Internet. On their sites, they place button links that initiate secure sales and downloads of digital product from Maissel's server. Each merchant who works with Maissel gets a merchant wallet. The dollar value inside a merchant's wallet increases each time a product is sold. Transactions are handled with no up-front cost to the merchant. When goods are sold, the merchant owes Maissel a percentage of the sale. As the wallet grows, merchants may transfer money into a checking account to pay Maissel.
Direct marketing over the Internet.
Selling products and services directly to consumers or businesses is called direct marketing. Prior to the electronic commerce initiative on the Internet, direct marketing was accomplished through telephone sales, catalogs, business reply cards, and television.
Internet usage estimates by the year 2000.
The growth rate of the Internet is enormous. Projections of household Internet usage by the year 2000 illustrate the potential for Internet commerce.
Country Households with Internet Access
United States 36 million
Europe 20 million
Japan 12 million
The Storefront Page Layout
Rosenthal planned Starbase C3 graphics to fit within a screen that is 640 by 480. His layout is a simple, centered format that uses line breaks to separate the graphics.
Creating the Storefront
You will start the Starbase C3 storefront project with an Image Composer project, assembling a Microsoft Wallet banner from separate credit card images. Image Composer's sprite technology allows you to import the credit card graphics separately and combine them into a horizontal banner graphic.
After the Microsoft Wallet banner is complete, you will start a new Web site in FrontPage 98 and create the single-page storefront using the graphics on the Starbase Web page.
Moving sprites in Image Composer.
Use the arrow keys on your keyboard to position sprites in Image Composer.
Cutting-edge customer service.
The leading virus protection software manufacturers have devised unique customer service applications on the Web. McAfee and Symantec both provide new virus definitions and software updates on their Web sites. McAfee uses BackWeb Push technology to automatically download product updates to registered users.
Symantec's Live Update feature is similar, but the download doesn't happen automatically. You must remember to click a button that logs you on to the Symantec Web site. Both companies have a try-before-you-buy offer. McAfee's VirusScan Security Suite (VSS) is $49 and Norton AntiVirus is $69.95. (http://www.mcafee.com and http://www.symantec.com).
Before you start using FrontPage to create your own storefront, you'll need to:
Obtain the link information that you'll add to the Microsoft and CyberCash coin links.
Prepare images for the Web page in advance, using Image Composer or another image editor, and save the files in GIF or JPG format.
Designing a Microsoft Wallet Banner in Image Composer
In Image Composer, you will combine text and images to create a banner for the storefront page.
Open a New Document
1.Start Image Composer. A workspace containing the Image Composer composition space is displayed.
2.From the Insert menu, choose From File.
3.Select Amex.bmp and click OK. This file and the other files you'll need for this chapter are available at this book's Web site: mspress.microsoft.com/mspress/products/1576. outdated link.
4.Use the same technique to insert three other graphics files: Discover.bmp, Visa.bmp, and Master.bmp.
5.Move the sprites so that they are side by side.
Coin wallet hyperlinks.
The two coin graphics beneath each Starship contain links to CGI programs on Maissel's server. One initiates a Microsoft Wallet transaction and the other initiates a CyberCash Wallet transaction.
Start an in-house corporate Web user group.
Companies that have introduced employees to the Internet should consider starting an in-house user group. Hold meetings once a month at lunch time in a company conference room. Invite guest speakers, hold a question and answer session, and demonstrate software. An HTML newsletter and an intranet discussion mailing list both complement monthly user group meetings.
Save the Document
1.From the File menu, choose Save As. The Save As dialog box appears.
2.Name the file "Wallet_Banner" and click Save.
Resize the Composition Space
Reduce the size of the composition space to an area that is 400 pixels wide and 112 pixels tall.
1.Choose Composition Setup from the File menu and then change the Height and Width entries on the Composition Setup dialog box. Click OK.
Have you considered starting an Internet mailing list?
An Internet mailing list can make your company accessible to your customers. If you like the idea of exchanging e-mail with your customers and you're new to mailing lists, here are some definitions and resources:
Publisher: The person who maintains or manages the list.
Subscriber: The person who participates in the list.
Announce list: E-mail that travels one way from the publisher to subscribers.
Discussion list: E-mail posted by subscribers and sent to everyone on the list.
List Directory: Catalog of 70,000 mailing lists organized by subject (www.liszt.com).
Mailing list host: Internet Service Provider that hosts a mailing list for a fee. To research which ISPs host mailing lists, visit Mecklermedia's resource guide called "The List" (thelist.internet.com) outdated link.
MLM: Mailing List Manager software that handles subscriptions and distributions. The comp.mail.list-admin.software newsgroup is devoted to comparing features of the popular freeware programs for all server platforms.
Producing Text for the Microsoft Wallet Banner
The text you create for the Microsoft Wallet banner should describe the purpose of the banner, such as "Download a Free Microsoft Wallet."
Preselect Text Formatting and Add Text
1.Click the Text tool on the toolbox, and on the Text palette, choose 12 point, black, Arial text. Click OK.
2.Click the composition space. A text bounding box and a blinking insertion point appear.
3.Type Download a Free Microsoft.
4.Deselect the text bounding box by clicking the surrounding workspace.
5.Reselect the Text tool and choose 12 point, black, Arial Black text on the Text palette.
6.Click inside the composition space. Another text bounding box and a blinking insertion point appears.
8.Deselect the text bounding box by clicking the surrounding workspace. A set of selection handles appears.
9.Position this new text sprite to the right of the first text.
Adding background sound to your FrontPage Web.
Background sounds that play as a page is loaded in a browser can be an interesting addition to a Web page.
To add a background sound in FrontPage 98, choose Page Properties from the File menu in FrontPage 98. The Page Properties dialog box is displayed. On the General tab of the Page Properties dialog box, click the Browse button next to the Background Sound field and select a WAV, MIDI, AIF, or AU sound for your Web page. The Loop field beneath the Background Sound field allows you to specify the number of times the sound repeats.
Center the Text Inside the Composition Space
1.Shift-click both text sprites so that they are selected.
2.Move the sprites together and center them on the composition space.
Managing junk e-mail with Microsoft Outlook Express.
Microsoft Outlook Express' Inbox Assistant has a sort rule feature that allows you to create a filter to handle e-mail automatically when it arrives. If you're plagued by junk e-mail, create a new rule to automatically delete e-mail forwarded from spammers.
Collecting mail from all your Internet mail accounts.
Outlook Express allows you to define multiple e-mail accounts in the same user profile.
Position the Credit Card Sprites
Drag the credit card sprites into position below the text.
Sprite stacking order.
If your credit card art stacking order is different from the order shown here, use the Bring To Front or Send To Back Commands on the Arrange menu to alter the stacking order of the individual graphics.
Save the Banner
1.Choose Save For The Web from the File menu. The Save For The Web Wizard opens.
2.Click All Sprites In The Composition Area, and then click Next.
3.Click Fill Them With The Background Color, and then click Next.
4.Accept the default white color, and then click Next.
5.Choose the image labeled JPEG (Best Quality), and then click Next.
7.Open the folder in which you want to save the file and then click Save.
Designing for WebTV.
There are now 150,000 subscribers surfing the Web via a TV, a set-top box, and a phone line. The newest addition to the WebTV product line is a WebTV Plus receiver. It's a $299 box that comes with a 1.1-GB hard drive, a 56K modem, and printer support. A WebTV account costs $19.95 per month and includes up to six individual e-mail accounts--ideal for families who don't own computers.
Realizing that Web via TV is a growing market, a number of entertainment firms are designing Web pages that are optimized for the WebTV interface. You can find design guidelines at
webtv.net/primetime/preview/design/index.html. outdated link.
Creating the Storefront
When you start FrontPage, the Getting Started dialog box provides a variety of start-up Web sites. You will use the Empty Web because you are creating a single page.
Open a New Web Site
2.Create a new, empty FrontPage Web and title it "Starbase."
3.Click the New Page button on the FrontPage Explorer toolbar. A Home Page icon appears in the FrontPage Explorer window.
4.Rename the home page "Starbase C3."
5.Double-click the Starbase C3 page. The FrontPage Editor window opens.
Cable modems are a reality.
Oceanic Cable, a subsidiary of Time Warner Cable, is the first cable operator to launch cable modem services using Microsoft's Commercial Internet System, a Microsoft Windows NT platform designed for ISPs. Using Motorola cable modems, the Oceanic service is available in Oahu, Hawaii.
Digital Equipment Corporation employees working from home in Massachusetts are also using cable modems to telecommute.
VRML animation vs. GIF animation.
VRML animation files run longer and the files are often a fraction of the size of GIF animations.
Add the Starbase C3 Graphics
1.From the Insert menu, choose Image. The Image dialog box appears.
2.Click the Select A File On Your Computer button.
3.Double-click the file named Welcome.jpg. The graphic appears in the FrontPage Editor window.
4.Click the Center button to center the graphic.
5.Click the Show/Hide ¶ button to show nonprinting characters.
6.Press the right arrow key on the keyboard to move the cursor to the right of the graphic.
7.Press Shift+Enter to add a line break after the graphic.
8.Add the files Biglogo.jpg and News.jpg. Add a line break after biglogo.jpg and press Enter after news.jpg.
Most people don't know that banner ads are clickable. Always include a call to action in your banner ad copy such as "Click Here."
Free customized news delivery to Outlook Express users. Infobeat, formerly Mercury Mail, has partnered with Microsoft to provide HTML versions of its news to Outlook Express users. Infobeat is a provider of customized e-mail news. For more information, visit http://www.infobeat.com.
Add Text and Color the Text
1.With the blinking insertion point centered beneath the News.jpg graphic, type Use a Microsoft Wallet or the CyberCash Wallet to Buy Starships Instantly Online.
2.Select the text.
3.Click the Text Color button on the FrontPage Editor toolbar.
4.Click a green color, and then click OK. The text becomes green.
The Microsoft VRML 2.0 viewer.
To add VRML 2.0 viewing capability to your Internet Explorer browser, you'll need to add it to your browser as a separate component. For detailed information about this and other multimedia component add-ons, visit microsoft.com/ie/ie40/download/addon.htm. outdated link.
Add the Remaining Starbase C3 Graphics
Repeat the previous steps to add the following Starbase C3 graphics:
Geek Talk and tips.
HotWired's Web Monkey Web site offers Web authoring tutorials, demonstrations, and an advice column called Geek Talk ( http://www.webmonkey.com/)
The digital camera market. Digital cameras have become popular with Web developers because there's no need to develop film. First introduced in 1996, digital cameras have become increasingly sophisticated while becoming less and less expensive. While most digital cameras fall into the point-and-shoot category, Olympus has recently introduced a line of digital cameras with features such as interchangeable lenses, manual exposure settings, and higher resolutions.
Recruiting over the Internet.
There are now more than 600 Internet sites dedicated to jobs and careers. Human resource managers are excited about the cost savings associated with recruiting on the Internet, which is particularly advantageous for recruiters looking for candidates with technical expertise. Although the Internet may not be a good resource for reaching non-technical people, the Web represents a global medium with an exceptionally wide reach.
Build a Table to Hold Information and Tips
1.Click the Insert Table button on the toolbar and create a table with two columns and four rows.
2.Click any cell in the table.
3.Choose Select Table from the Table menu.
4.Click the Center button on the FrontPage Editor toolbar to center the table.
5.Drag the border between the table columns to the left to make a narrow column and a wide column.
6.Click the second cell in the first row and type Information and Tips.
7.Tab to the first cell in the second row and type 1.
8.Continue to tab from cell to cell and type the text shown here.
Fare Tracker for Microsoft Expedia customers.
Fare Tracker is a free airfare reporting service delivered via e-mail. Subscribers can specify up to three trips to track. Each week, a subscriber will receive an e-mail report showing the best fares for each trip. To subscribe to Fare Tracker:
1.Visit Expedia at http://www.expedia.com
2.Click Travel Agent on the Expedia navigation bar.
3.Register as a new user.
4.Click Fare Tracker to enter trips to track.
Microsoft's new real estate project.
Microsoft's Boardwalk, due to launch in 1998, will introduce home buyers to sellers. The Boardwalk site will partner with multiple listing services throughout the country. The site is expected to complement Sidewalk, Microsoft's local city guide.
Back up your site. Corporate Web sites on the company's Web server are usually backed up by the Management Information Systems (MIS) department. The development site on your hard disk should be protected with a daily backup. Back up your site to another computer on your network or to removable media.
Align Table Text and Add Boldface to the Title
1.Select the text in column one.
2.Choose Cell Properties from the Table menu.
3.Choose Right from the Horizontal Alignment drop-down list.
4.Choose Top from the Vertical Alignment drop-down list, and then click OK.
5.Select the text "Information and tips:"
6.Click the Bold button on the FrontPage Editor toolbar. The text will become bold.
Adding a vCard link to your contact Web page.
To save your customers the trouble of entering your contact data in an address book, provide them with a link on your contact Web page to a .vcf file. vCards and vCalendars are formats for exchanging personal data on the Internet in the form of electronic business card, and calendar/scheduling information. vCards can also be sent as e-mail attachments. For more information about vCards and vCalendars, visit the Internet Mail Consortium's Web site at www.imc.org/pdi. Also see the tip "How to Create a vCard (.vcf) file in Outlook Express" on the next page.
Remove the Table Border and Color the Text
1.Choose Select Table from the Table menu.
2.Choose Table Properties from the Table menu.
3.Type 0 in the Border Size field and click OK. The table border is now displayed as dotted lines, which do not show on a browser page.
4.Choose Select Table from the Table menu again.
5.Color the table text green.
How to create a vCard file (.vcf) in Outlook Express.
Creating a vCard file in Outlook Express is easy. Follow these steps:
1.Create an entry for yourself in the Outlook Express address book.
2.Select your name from the address book list and select Export/Business Card from the File menu.
3.Save the .vcf file on your hard disk.
To add a vCard to a mail message, select Business Card from the Insert menu.
To see a vCard in use, go to http://www.edventure.com/bios/jerry.html (link outdated). Jerry Michalski, managing editor of Release 1.0, the monthly newsletter that explores the future of communications and computing technology, has a vCard link on the Release 1.0 Web site. When you view Michalski's biography Web page with Internet Explorer 4.0 and click the vCard link, the file is automatically downloaded and added to Outlook Express.
Add a Background Color
1.Choose Background from the Format menu.
2.Choose Black from the Background drop-down menu, and then click OK. The background is displayed as black.
A glossary for your site.
If your site contains special terminology, make it user friendly by building a glossary page. Use the hyperlink-to-a-URL-and-bookmark technique described in Chapters 3 and 8.
Save the Storefront Page
1.From the File menu, choose Save. A Save As dialog box is displayed.
2.Type storefront.htm to replace "default.htm" in the URL field and then click Save.
3.In the Save Embedded Files dialog box, click OK.
Streaming audio and video.
Streaming technology is an instant download for high-bandwidth multimedia formats such as sound and video. To speed up the development of streaming media, Microsoft, Vivo, Adobe, Intel, and RealNetworks have collaborated on an Active Streaming Format (ASF) specification. Formerly known as Progressive Networks, RealNetworks is a pioneer in the field of streaming software. Microsoft has upgraded its Netshow multimedia streaming software to support RealAudio and
Add Links to Your Storefront Page
1.Click the Microsoft Wallet banner.
2.Choose Hyperlink from the Insert menu.
3.In the URL field, type microsoft.com/commerce/wallet/default.htm link outdated.
4.Repeat these steps to add hyperlinks to the Starbase C3 graphics. Use the following diagram as a guide.
Search engine robots.
The title of your Web page is an important element that gets indexed by search engine robots. You may want to add your city name to your Web page title so that it will appear in search engine results.