Roadmap to BDSBBS/BDSWEB for NewUsers
Introduction: The BDSBBS/BDSWEB system consists of a full featured Bulletin Board System (BBS) , and a full featured webserver (BDSWEB). The ( WorldGroup) BBS has the capability for multiple means of user connections. You can telephone in (currently via another machine), or connect via the Internet. Over the Internet you can connect using any text-based generic Telnet client ( connect to bdsweb.ballroom.com), or use the WorldGroup specific graphical interface client program (WorldGroup Manager), or you can just point your web browser to the BDSBBS (http://bdsweb.ballroom.com:8042). When connecting using a "plain" web browser you are not presented with the full functionality of using the WorldGroup manager client program. However, WorldGroup Manager includes so-called "plugin" program components for the popular Netscape and Internet Explorer (and most compatible) browsers that add full graphical functionality to the BBS experience when you "browse" in. This works basically by automatically starting the WorldGroup Manager program when you visit a WorldGroup BBS web link.
However you reach BDSBBS for the first time, the only function you can implement is the newuser "SIGNUP" process that results in you answering some questions and being issued a "USERID" and "PASSWORD" for future access, and limited newuser permissions to explore the site. When BDS is automatically notified of your newuser status,we will upgrade you to full access privileges once we have determined that you have properly identified yourself,and are a ballroom dance enthusiast. Please note that BDSBBS/BDSWEW is only intended for ballroom dance related use,and inappropriate use will result in your account deactivation.
Once you are signed up and your account has been upgraded---you will receive e-mail to that effect from the BDSBBS SYSOP (system operator---ie.me,Bill Rowe)--- you can then connect and download the WorldGroup Manager graphical client install program from the File Libraries section.Several versions might appear as they are periodically upgraded.Pick the latest one.Which one is not critical because the client software will automatically update outdated components the first time you connect to BDSBBS. After downloading the installation program,move it to a temporary directory and execute it. The WorldGroup Manager will be installed on your Windows system and it will also search your system for any browsers and install the client plugin program(s).If the install program cannot locate all the browser programs during the automatic install you can browse your system or directly input where the browser(s) is located---or you can simply install the plugin portions later. Once you get that far you have complete access to the features of the system as discussed below.
It should be apparent that the BBS and WEB features overlap and are redundant in many areas. In fact the BBS runs an auxiliary web server in addition to the main BDSWEB web server. The strengths of the BBS are in the infracstructure provided for automating and maintaining many user accounts. Currently for BDS this is used mainly to control user construction and updates to their main BDSWEB web pages. The BBS auxiliary web server uses Microsoft Active Server Pages (ASP) (and Active-X) technology to enable browser access to the BBS. This is invaluable in allowing newusers access to the initial BBS signup,and access to download of the main WorldGroup graphical client over the Internet using any web browser. Once the WorldGroup Manager is installed the main graphical BDSBBS screen is presented where the WEBMASTER program can be executed. WEBMASTER is the simple to use program that allows all BDSBBS users to build and update their websites on BDSWEB at their own pace without BDS intervention.For example, dance studios and teachers routinely use WEBMASTER to make monthly updates to their activity calendars.It might seem like a big complication just to control the main web page updates, but if you think of the hundreds of pages that might be on BDSWEB and the many people who might have access, Internet security demands that the process be controlled. By restricting updates to BDSBBS preapproved users then any offenders can easily be identified. Remember its your data they could be crashing. Although, this control can be manually provided on BDSWEB directly, much more attention would be required, so please excuse the unpleasant initial BBS signup process. Also remember that full access to BDSWEB is provided for anybody to browse; only those wishing to load information onto BDSWEB must have BDSBBS accounts.
The main BDSWEB is divided into two sections, the Shopping Mall and the Yellow Pages. The Shopping Mall presents all the merchandise of the BDS on-line dance retail store for sale. Sections/Departments are presented for dance Music, Shoes, Videos, Books, Accessories ... where articles can be viewed, listened to, and ordered directly on-line. Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) security technology (an Internet standard) is utilized to assure credit card and other sensitive ordering data is securely transmitted to BDS headquarters in Campbell, CA where all orders are processed. The Yellow pages section presents all the FREE services provided to dance enthusiasts including links to places to dance, instructor web pages, partner/video/ and costume exchanges, and the Ask_DPOPE database.Ask-DPOPE is an on-line database of dance People,Organizations, Places,and Events. You can enter yourself or your dance organization/event directly with your web browser, or use your browser to search the database for items matching your interest.
Rather than attempting to describe all the features of BDSWEB I suggest you point your browser to http://bdsweb.ballroom.com and surf around.
Hope you find the system useful.....Bill