iveWire lets you create client-server applications that run over the Internet. Using JavaScript, you can create dynamic HTML pages that process user input and maintain persistent data with the LiveWire object framework, files, and relational databases. The types of applications you can build range from internal corporate information management and intranet publishing to mass-market electronic transactions and commerce.

What you should already know

This book assumes you have some basic background, including

System requirements

LiveWire runs on Windows NT and Unix workstations (see release notes for specific Unix platform support). You must have a Netscape HyperText Transport Protocol (HTTP) server running on the workstation to run LiveWire applications.

See your Netscape representative for information on availability of LiveWire for Macintosh.
A version of LiveWire for the Macintosh is also available, but because there is no Netscape server for the MacOS, you cannot run applications. However, you can use Site Manager, and you can use the LiveWire compiler to create applications to be run on another platform with a Netscape server.

Release notes

Read the release notes for updated information on LiveWire, including known problems, how to report bugs, and other important information. LiveWire release notes are available online at
Each platform has a separate file, for example, win-1.0.html for Windows NT.

What is LiveWire?

LiveWire is an online development environment for Web site management and client-server application development. It uses JavaScript, Netscape's scripting language, to create server-based applications similar to CGI programs. Unlike CGI programs, however, LiveWire applications are closely integrated with the HTML pages that control them.

LiveWire has three major components: Site Manager and the LiveWire compiler, the LiveWire server extension, and Netscape Navigator Gold. LiveWire runs in concert with Netscape servers and is packaged both separately and together with a server. LiveWire Pro adds a Structured Query Language (SQL) database and report generator.

Site Manager and LiveWire compiler

Site Manager is the main graphical interface for LiveWire application developers and Web masters. Site Manager provides

LiveWire server extension

The LiveWire server extension works in concert with a Netscape server to run applications, creating interactive Web pages. The LiveWire server extension is built into Netscape version 2.0 servers.

The LiveWire server extension provides

Navigator Gold

Navigator Gold is an edition of Netscape Navigator that provides a WYSIWYG ("what you see is what you get") interface for creating and editing HTML pages, including the ability to edit JavaScript statements embedded in HTML.

For more information on using Navigator Gold to create and edit Web pages, see the Navigator Gold Authoring Guide.

LiveWire Pro

LiveWire Pro adds two components to the basic LiveWire set: a SQL database server and Crystal Reports report generator. If you do not already have a database server, LiveWire Pro gives you the capability to create database applications. Crystal Reports lets you generate HTML reports from your database. These two components have their own documentation.

Document conventions

LiveWire runs on Unix, Windows NT, and Macintosh operating systems; the information here applies to all versions. File and directory paths are given in Windows format (with backslashes separating directory names). For Unix versions, the directory paths are the same, except slashes instead of backslashes separate directories.

This book uses Uniform Resource Locators (URLs) of the form

In these URLs, server represents the name of the server on which you are running LiveWire, such as "research1" or "www," and domain represents your Internet domain name, such as "" or "" In general, items in italics in URLs are variables, and items in normal Courier font are literals.

This book uses the following typographical conventions: