IMS tip: Publishing

One of the most common questions we receive relates to
understanding how to transfer a web page created in an IMS product
to the Internet. All three products, IMS Web Engine, IMS Web
Spinner and IMS Web Dwarf, include FTP upload dialogs.
Although Web Engine and Web Spinner provide additional features
such as multiple Publishing Profiles, DHTML support and Relative
file path support, the FTP process for all three is essentially the

FTP stands for 'File Transfer Protocol' and is the primary
means by which most of us will transfer files from our local
computer to a remote Internet Host. Prior to providing FTP
support, the IMS programs could only 'Export' a project to a
local directory on your computer. You would then use a 3rd party
ftp program to transfer the exported files to the Internet host. When
advanced FTP capabilities are required such as bypassing a firewall,
this may still be the best way to transfer a project. For most users
however, the IMS built in FTP client should be sufficient.

FTP operations can appear quite complex to the uninitiated. To
understand the process you must realize that a Web Page is located
on a computer that can be anywhere in the World. This computer
(called a Host) probably does not belong to you. In order to transfer
your files you must know exactly where they are going and prove
that you have permission to put them there. To compound the
problem, not all hosts use the same Operating System or Server

In order to transfer your project files from your local computer to
your Internet Host computer you must first be logged onto the
Internet (obviously). The next thing to do is to establish your
permissions. These are sent in the form of a User Name and
Password that should have been given to you when you signed up
with a Host. Enter them into the User Name and Password edit
boxes in the IMS Publisher. Keep in mind that some Host
computers are case sensitive. That means that you should use the
same UPPER CASE and lower case characters that were provided
in the User Name and Password you were given.

The Host Name/IP address box is used to identify the location on
the Internet of your host computer. Your Internet Hosting company
should have sent you instructions on what to enter here. It should
either be a URL or an IP address. An IP address will look like: while a URL will usually be your domain name
without the 'www' such as "mydomain.com".

The most common problem we see relates to identifying the Publish
Directory on the Host Server. The reason this presents a problem is
because it is often different for each user. If for example, you
entered the IP address or URL of your domain into the Host
Name/IP address box and your Host is an NT Server, then the
destination directory will be the top level directory pointed at by
your IP address. In other words, the "Destination Directory' box
should be empty (or have a "/").

If the IP address you were given is on a Unix Server or is the
address of the server itself, then you will need to know the path to
your directory and enter it into the "Destination Directory" box.
Again, you Host Company should send you the instructions and
path that you need to use. Unfortunately, sometimes the instructions
are unclear.

To help solve finding the destination directory, we have included a
Browse Button next to the 'Destination Directory' edit box. Once
you have entered you IP address, User Name and Password, select
the 'Apply Button' in the Publisher to save your entered information.
Next, select the Browse Button. If you have entered everything
correctly you should open a directory on your Internet Host
Computer. Use your mouse to find the destination directory. Select
the Red Arrow to move up a directory or a yellow folder to move
down. Once you have found the destination directory, select the OK
button. The path will automatically be entered into the 'Directory
Path' box.

If when you select the Browse button, a blank dialog with no files is
displayed, then you did not successfully connect to your Internet
Host. The most likely problem is a bad User Name, Password or IP
address. Check them and try again. Another possibility is if the
address points to a directory on the remote Host that you do not
have access permission too. In this case you will need to find out
what the correct path is and type it into the 'Remote Destination
Directory' edit box.

Although setting up your Publishing Profile may seem complex, the
good news is that you should only need to do it once. IMS Web
Dwarf will save your information so that it can be used the next
time without having to reenter it. Web Engine and Web Spinner
allow you to create multiple profiles so that you can publish your
projects to many different servers after having entered the
information once. To find out more about using the Web Spinner
and Web Engine publisher, see our previous article at:

As a final note, some free Hosts will not let you FTP files directly
to their server. You must use their Upload dialog to locate the files
on your local computer and then transfer them. This should not
present a problem. Simply create a new empty directory on your
computer then Publish to it using the 'Copy to Disk' and 'Gather'
options. All files in the directory can then be selected and
transferred to the host.

"IMS Web Tips" ISSN 1488-7088
© Copyright 1999 Virtual Mechanics

"IMS Web Tips" is a weekly news letter for all web site managers regardless of experience who are looking for detailed information on creating, maintaining and promoting their web sites.
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