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How to Create a Messaging Website Video Tutorial

How to Create a Messaging Website


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How to Create a Messaging Website Transcript for Video:
Welcome to the video tutorial on how to create messaging websites to use with GetWeb. In this tutorial, we’ll be going over how to implement the stock templates that come with PageGate’s GetWeb interface as well as touching on how GetWeb’s CGI executable can be used.

Before we begin, there are a few important notes to make. The GetWeb interface must be configured and your web server must be configured to accept its CGI executable. For more information on that, please see the ‘Configuring GetWeb’ video tutorial.

To start, let’s get a better understanding of how the basic CGI executable works and is called.

PageGate’s CGI executable, webgate.exe, can be called with either POST or GET method.

The POST method can be used by creating a form on your webpage which points to webgate.exe in the FORM ACTION statement.

The three variables webgate.exe is expecting to see are USER, FRM and MSG.
USER specifies who the message should go to.
FRM specifies who or what sent the message.
MSG specifies the text to be sent.

The GET method is more popular with scripting languages such as JavaScript and Java.  It allows the GetWeb CGI to be called with a command similar to one that could be entered into a browser's URL field.

Also, the webgate.exe CGI program can be called directly rather than using it only with an HTML form.  Here is a sample command that can be used in the URL field in a browser to call webgate.exe:

http://www.mydomain.com/scripts/webgate.exe?USER=it_dept&FRM=HR&MSG=This+is+a+test

This would send a message to the recipient 'it_dept', from the sender 'HR', with a message of 'This is a test'

As shown in the example above, the three variables webgate.exe is expecting to see are USER, FRM and MSG.
USER specifies who the message should go to.
FRM specifies who or what sent the message.
MSG specifies the text to be sent.

So, you could use any of the GetWeb interface’s stock templates but you can also have anything capable of using the GET/POST methods communicate with our CGI executable to notify PageGate when a message needs to be sent, who the message should go to, who sent the message and what the message should say.

Now that we’ve got a basic understanding of how the webpages submit information to our CGI executable, let’s go over how to create those messaging websites.

First, let’s take a look at the six stock templates that come with the GetWeb interface. To do that, open a file browser in Windows and browse to the ‘templates’ sub-directory of your Web Pages Path. By default, you would browse to c:\inetpub\wwwroot\templates\

Here in the templates folder, you’ll see these six template files.

The ad-hoc template is meant to be used with an ad-hoc recipient and provides a messaging website that can accept freeform IDs to message rather than providing a static list of recipients and groups to select from. This template must be tied to a recipient whose type has been set to ad-hoc and cannot function with any other recipient type or group.

The anyuser template provides a messaging website that allows information to be entered freeform rather than providing a static list of recipients and groups. Users will need to fill in the ‘To’ field with a recipient or group name as it exists in the PageGate Admin.

The basic template is meant to be used with a single recipient or group and provides a messaging website to message that specific recipient or group. When this template is tied to a recipient or group, it provides this messaging interface. When messages are submitted, they are delivered to the recipient or group this messaging website has been tied to and cannot message any other group or recipient.

The guilist template is meant to be used with a group and is formatted to appear visually similar to the PageGate GUI Client. When this template is tied to a group, it uses that group’s member list to populate the recipient list. If a recipient or group is a member of this website messaging group, they will appear in the recipient list as available to message. Using this template is a good method of controlling who is allowed to show up on which messaging websites.

The list template is meant to be used with a group. When this template is tied to a group, it uses that group’s member list to populate the recipient list. If a recipient or group is a member of this website messaging group, they will appear in the recipient list as available to message. Using this template is a good method of controlling who is allowed to show up on which messaging websites.

The multipage template is a bit like the ‘anyuser’ template in that it provides a messaging website that allows information to be entered in a freeform manner rather than providing a static list of recipients and groups. However, the ‘anyuser’ can only accept one value at a time in the ‘To’ field and the multipage template allows users to specify multiple recipients and groups in the ‘To’ field.

So, let’s go through the process of creating a messaging website. First, open the PageGate Admin.

Next, the type of site we want to make will determine whether we make a recipient or group. In this example, we’re going to configure a guilist template with a group so right click on Groups and select ‘Add’.

The group’s name will determine the name of the directory that GetWeb will publish to on the web server. For example, let’s say that our PageGate server’s machine name is PG01 and that we create a group called ‘messaging’. That would make the URL to get to our messaging website http://PG01/messaging/

After giving the group a name, click Apply.

Now go to the ‘WebPage’ sub-section of your new group. In the drop down, select ‘guilist.htm’ as your Template File. We’ll touch more on the Text and Image fields in a moment.

Then check ‘Group List’ and ‘Full Names’, then click Apply.

Now that we’ve tied the group to a template, we’ll need to add members to the group. Again, members we add to this group are allowed to show up on the messaging website. Recipients and groups that are not members of this group will not display. Let’s add some example recipients and groups, then click Apply.

Next, we’ll want to open a web browser and go to the URL of our new messaging website. Displayed here, we have our list of recipients and groups to select from and an interface to send them messages.

To go review the basic process for creating a messaging website, you’ll need to create a recipient or group in the PageGate Admin, then tie them to a website template. PageGate will then publish a directory to the web server that matches the name of the recipient or group and will populate it with an index.htm and default.htm constructed from the template that recipient or group has been tied to.
These templates are guidelines and are not meant to represent the full functionality of what you can do with GetWeb’s CGI executable. The templates are pre-coded to supply the different variables that need to be passed to the CGI executable and are intended to provide a framework for you to familiarize yourself with the interface’s processes and data submission methods.

This concludes the tutorial on how to create messaging websites with PageGate’s GetWeb interface.

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