Methods for using a Database with your website and tools it takes to use them
Hosting Company has to support the Database - Make sure you choose a web hosting company that allows you, the client, to use a database for the dynamic development. Access, Mysql, MSSQL, and Oracle are some of the most common types a web server and hosting company will support.
Methods for connecting to your Database - Once you find a Web Server that supports Database Design and Development, you need to find out the proper methods of Database Management from your web host, for connecting to the database with your web page. Some Hosting Companies allow you to connect directly to the database from your desktop with a 3rd party tool, like MySQL Front, and other Hosting Companies force you to use an online tool, like PHP MyAdmin to gain access to the Database Server.
Access the Data to and from the Database - Once you gain access to your database server, you can begin putting your tables onto the server. Once you have your table or tables on the server you can begin writing code in your web page that will connect to the database via the web and request data from the database and table you specify. It is commonly referred to as a "connection string" that you put into the web page, "in code view". Once again, your web host should provide you with the code to use. Some web hosting companies allow you to create a datasource which makes the web page code very simple.
Writing a Database Query - Supported Languages - You have to use a dynamic language, such as PHP, ASP, ASP.NET, Perl, JAVA or Coldfusion and write a query that will gather the desired data from the database table. (just to mention a few).
Web Editors for Database Development - A good web editor, like Dreamweaver, once setup properly, can assist you in writing code and queries to gather your desired data from the database table. Dreamweaver supports many languages. You can use Microsoft .NET to create and deploy ASP.NET applications. Even Frontpage is now supporting dynamic sites that use the database and provides some tools to assist you in the development. We happen to like some of the tools Frontpage provides for XML development, but we won't go into XML on this topic.
Below are some of the things we use a Database Table for on the web.
1. If you need to share and store data for your web site and on your web server, we can design the database for you or use an existing database and implement it on your web site. If you need an admin area that is secure, we write user login and password login into the site database or we can use your existing database "user roles" if you already have it set up. We can also set it up to use NT logins (Applies to Windows 2003 servers).
2. The database can be as simple as microsoft access, but we have found them to be slower on the server. We usually suggest that it gets "ported" up to a MySql Server or MSSQL Server for security and performance. The access database usually sits on the web server which makes the web server process the web pages and the database at the same time and this can stress the server out very fast depending on how many records you are returning. We use win2003 IIS 6.0 to serve up the web pages and use MySQL or MSSQL Database servers to store the database information and then pass it back to the web server. With Dreamweaver we can create dynamic web pages for ColdFusion, PHP, ASP, and ASP.NET.
Depending on your companies hosting needs, we will help you choose the right web hosting company for you.
ODBC Database Support: If we need to use an ODBC connection to rapidly create and deploy a client Database, I usually stick my clients on a Windows 2003 server. Our favorite host allows us to use our favorite 3rd party software and connect directly to the database for its development. Also Note: We can create an ODBC connection with dreamweaver and complete query tasks with ease. On our Windows 2003 server I use both MySql and MSSQL.
If you are on a budget, and need to keep your hosting cost down, we can host you on Linux and create the database with .sql scripts and phpmyadmin. On our Linux Server I use MySql.