Chris, For Coldfusion, all that's needed is Coldfusion Studio to begin writing Coldfusion code. If you are using NT technology (WinNT, Win2000, WinXP) with a working web server installed (Apache is fine) then the Personal Coldfusion Server, that is included in Studio will allow you to develop and test applications locally. Personal Coldfusion server will provide the link to MS Access (or another DB) that is on the local machine or available on a network. Only when you are ready to deploy, will you need the actual Coldfusion server. If you are renting server space from another company they may be able to upgrade your service to use a Coldfusion Server. Coldfusion is a tag based language, so it will be very familiar to a HTML'er. I would be less concerned about which technology that you choose leading to a cul-de-sac. Technologies change very rapidly, and a well designed and documented system can evolve with technology changes. Even if Coldfusion does not work out, Studio (the big brother/Sister of Homesite) is a dandy Web Editor, but it will cost you about $500 dollars American, beyond the 30 evaluation copy from Macromedia (I hope they still do this). Good luck, Douglas McCaw Web Applications Consultant mccawd at cber.fda.gov <-- Chris Price wrote --> My experience has been in building html in fragments around a Java driven engine (if that makes sense) using a text editor. I have heard some good reports about Coldfusion and I'm trying to figure out what we'd need, in terms of software, using an Apache server. I figure we'd just need just Coldfusion Studio to create a dynamic site + something to build a shopping cart. The way I see it you need a server, a database, software to access the data and html to make sense of it.