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Posted 13 Jul 2002


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Discover ISAPI: ADO Data Access from ISAPI

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13 Jul 20023 min read
A way to build HTML pages in ISAPI using OLE DB database access

Sample Image


This article presents a way to build HTML pages in ISAPI using OLE DB database access. The sample database is an Access database.


When you open the page in a client browser (WriteLayout.dll in the URL), the default page is opened:

Image 2

Here are 2 links, WritePageDB2Web and WritePageDemo. Both links load the same HTML page.

The first link loads the page using dynamic data from an Access database and piece of data from HTML resource. The second link loads the page using an HTML string resource. The advantages are clear: the entire HTML page will be fastest loaded because the only dynamic data will be coming from the Database using the CAdoDatabase and CAdoRecordset classes. Large HTML parts of the page are hard coded in resource strings and will be loaded only on the first call.

Developing the pieces of HTML code inside of Visual Studio project are very easy. The HTML string resources from a C++ project will be linked exactly to the correspondent external files. If you will work with Macromedia or InterDev on that HTML's files, just recompile the C++ project and the changes will be updated !

To link the external HTML files to HTML resources strings, follow these steps:

Image 3

Open the Resource tab of the project. Right click inside this tab and choose Import, like in the picture.

Image 4

After the previous step, you will see the Import Resource control dialog. Choose an appropriate directory for your project directory where you work on those HTML files. In this example, we have the C++ project under the /MFC/WriteForm and the HTML hard coded files under /MFC/Web/HTML.

Image 5

After this step, we will obtain a new tag in our resources, called HTML.

Under that tag, we will see the new added HTML file with a resource ID such as IDR_HTML1. Right click on IDR_HTML1, click properties and change the ID to your custom name (like in the picture). It is very important to change the properties the FileName location and check the ExternalFile (see the picture). In that way, your resource inside the c project will be linked exactly to the external file ("..\web\HTML\Form.html").

You now have the HTML file in your C++ project! To see it, just double click the imported resource.

Image 6

Double click the resource in the right panel to open the HTML file with syntax coloring. Right click on the right panel to obtain an option with browser preview of that resource HTML file.

Using the HTML Resources in Your Project

How do you use these string resources into your Visual Studio project? Just use the LoadLongResource private function:

BOOL CWriteLayoutExtension::LoadLongResource(CString& str, UINT nID)
    HRSRC       hRes;
    HINSTANCE   hInst   = AfxGetResourceHandle();
    BOOL        bResult = FALSE;

    //if you want standard html type
    hRes = FindResource(hInst, MAKEINTRESOURCE(nID), RT_HTML);
    if (hRes == NULL)
        ISAPITRACE1("Error: Resource %d could not be found\r\n", nID);
        DWORD dwSize = SizeofResource(hInst, hRes);
        if (dwSize == 0)
        {   str.Empty();
            bResult = TRUE;
            LPTSTR  pszStorage = str.GetBufferSetLength(dwSize);
            HGLOBAL hGlob      = LoadResource(hInst, hRes);
            if (hGlob != NULL)
                LPVOID lpData = LockResource(hGlob);
                if (lpData != NULL)
                    memcpy(pszStorage, lpData, dwSize);
                    bResult = TRUE;
    return bResult;


The WritePageDB2Web method builds the entire page. The HTML page is constructed from 4 pieces of hard coded HTML data inter correlated with dynamic string data.

The hard coded strings are loaded from resources using the LoadLongResource private function.

// first piece of hardcoded page
LoadLongResource(strPagePart1, IDR_HTML_PAGE_PART1);

The dynamic HTML string parts are loaded from the database using customized functions.

//The output page will be:
*pCtxt << strPagePart1 + GetArticlesFeature +  // some HTML built from DB
          strPagePart2 + GetArticlesTopRated + //some HTML built from DB 
          strPagePart3 + GetArticlesLast10 +   //some HTML built from DB  
// (will have 3 fixed parts and 2 parts dynamically, from DB)

Outputting the mix of hardcoded and dynamic HTML to the page is done as follows:

//1, fixed part:
*pCtxt << strPagePart1;           // output hardcoded HTML part 1

//2, dynamic part:                // GetArticlesFeature
if ( ! GetArticlesFeature(AdoDB, &bstrOutput, &bstrError) )
    *pCtxt << bstrError;          // if its an error display it
*pCtxt << bstrOutput;             // write part 1

The dynamic data is built in private functions using the CAdoRecordset and CAdoDatabase classes. The connection string is hosted in the CWriteLayoutExtension() constructor string. I chose an Access database for database support. It is possible to use a direct connection string:

m_bstrConnectionString = L"Provider=Microsoft.Jet.OLEDB.4.0;Data Source=C:\\Projects\\DB\\Db2Isapi.mdb";

or a file connection string (double click the udl file to link it to access DB):

m_bstrConnectionString = L"File Name=C:\\DataLinks\\ConnectionArticleDB2Isapi.udl";

The database is accessed very easily:

//the sql stmt string
_bstr_t  bstrSTMT(L"SELECT * from tblArticles where type=1");    

MACRO_BEGIN                          //here the begin code from macro
_bstr_t  bstrValue_link, bstrValue_title,
bstrValue_author, bstrValue_headline;    
while ( !AdoRS->IsEof() )            //if we have records
    AdoRS->GetFieldValue("link",    &bstrValue_link );
    AdoRS->GetFieldValue("title",    &bstrValue_title );
    AdoRS->GetFieldValue("author",    &bstrValue_author );
    AdoRS->GetFieldValue("headline",&bstrValue_headline );
    wsprintf(wcOut,     "TR"\
         "TD width=100%% FONT class=links size=1 A href=%s %s/A BR "\
         "by B%s/B BR"\
         "FONT color=black%s/FONT"\
         (LPCTSTR)bstrValue_link, (LPCTSTR)bstrValue_title, 
         (LPCTSTR)bstrValue_author, (LPCTSTR)bstrValue_headline

    *bstrOutput = (LPCTSTR)wcOut;    //the output here

MACRO_END                            //here the end code from macro

To Install

  • Copy the folder Web under your web site.
  • Provide "Scripts and Executables" Execute Permission to the Web application. This will allow the IIS web server to execute the WriteLayout.dll.


This article has no explicit license attached to it, but may contain usage terms in the article text or the download files themselves. If in doubt, please contact the author via the discussion board below.

A list of licenses authors might use can be found here.

Written By
Web Developer
Romania Romania
I make programming for over 4 years and extensive experience in C++, ASP, Pascal, MFC, COM+, ATL, TCP/IP, HTTP protocols, XML, XSL, SOAP and SQL.
For the last 2 years i working extensively at the background of financial sites (databases, n tier architecture).

I’m available for contracts and/or outsourcing (<Adrian Bacaianu>

Comments and Discussions

GeneralThe best article Pin
watt1-Aug-02 10:28
watt1-Aug-02 10:28 
GeneralRe: The best article Pin
Adrian Bacaianu10-Jan-06 11:47
Adrian Bacaianu10-Jan-06 11:47 
GeneralGood Pin
NormDroid14-Jul-02 20:52
professionalNormDroid14-Jul-02 20:52 
GeneralExcellent Job Pin
WhiteKnight14-Jul-02 12:11
WhiteKnight14-Jul-02 12:11 
GeneralRe: Excellent Job Pin
Adrian Bacaianu14-Jul-02 13:16
Adrian Bacaianu14-Jul-02 13:16 
Smile | :)

It's a tutorial, tks!

Adrian Bacaianu

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