Web User Interface Framework
The Web UI is an HTML-based application used to configure and manage the server appliance from a remote client. By extending the Web UI, you can build a consistent, reliable, and extensible UI. The Web UI supports client computers with Microsoft® Internet Explorer version 5.0 and later, or Netscape 6.01, and Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) 6.0 on the server appliance. All configuration data is accessed using the Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) and Component Object Model (COM) interfaces, with the bulk being handled by WMI providers.
The Microsoft® Server Appliance Kit 3.0 Web UI framework supports a simplified interaction model that consists of three types of items: tasks, resources, and alerts. To present these items, the framework provides several page types. To effectively use the framework, you need to understand this model.
The framework provides navigation items and taskbars to allow the user to find the desired task quickly. The primary navigation bar bundles tasks into general categories, known as primary navigation pages. Each category can contain a set of specific tasks, called secondary navigation bar items. Secondary navigation bar items can either be navigation pages, task pages or area pages. Navigation and area pages allow for another level of selection. This flexibility allows you to create a sophisticated UI.
Tasks are used to configure the settings for an item or to perform an action. Examples include setting the server appliance name, IP address configuration, or date and time. The Web framework provides property pages, multitabbed property pages and wizards for implementing tasks. Multitabbed property pages and wizards are used for tasks that require multiple pages. Wizards provide more information to the user and allow for different options based on the users input.
Resources are items that have a dynamic status. Examples include printers, Internet connections, and disk drives. The Web framework provides one method for displaying simple status information for a resource, and another for displaying extended status information. Resources are displayed under the Status heading on the main status page and they can also be displayed on the Shutdown status page.
Alerts are pieces of information that are displayed to the user. Alerts may contain good or bad news. Examples include Date and time not set up, and Failed connection to the Internet. Alerts are displayed under the Alerts heading of the main status page.
The Web Element Manager service, which acts as a configuration database manager for UI elements, provides the overall flexibility and extensibility of the structure. With the Web Element Manager, everything from menu and navigation bar items to wizard pages may be added to the Web UI.
This guide assumes you have a basic knowledge of Web development, with knowledge of scripting languages such as VBScript and JScript, as well as Active Server Pages (ASP) and HTML.
For detailed information about how to implement the framework and add custom pages, see Extending the Web UI.