A database is a software application or enviroment that is designed to store information.
Over the years databases have evolved from nothing more than a text file to very
powerful storage tools. There are many different types of databases and all have
there own unique good and bad points. For online web application the most
popular type of database is called a SQL (see-quill). Microsoft’s SQLserver
and Oracle are the 2 favored by corporates but these are very expensive and in
most cases have far more features than the user requires.
The most popular SQL database is called MySQL, it doesn’t have all the
advanced features found in Oracle and SQLserver but it is more than powerful
enough to suit most users needs and it’s free. However if you are wanting to
use a MySQL database hosted on a web server you will need to pay for the hosting
of the database.
For people who have little or no computer skills we would advise they use a
hosted database solution, mainly because the hosting company will set up your
database for you and then just tell you how to connect to your database (server
– username – password – database name) and this is the only bit of
information easyGen needs to start building your database. You can set up a PHP
web site and MySQL database at http://www.easygen.com/hosting/
NOTE: A SQL database is a software environment
that has to be installed on a server. You can't just create a database of your
choice, the software (MySQL, SQLserver, Oracle, etc) needs to be installed on
the server you are going to use. If you don't have a host that offers a SQL
database or don't want to pay for a SQL database to be hosted, use the Access
database that comes with easyGen.
You can also use the Access database that comes with easyGen, this can be
found in your easyGen folder under access db, (C:/Program
Files/Symbiant/easyGen 2/access db).
Access is a Microsoft software package but you can build and store
information in an Access database without the need to buy or use the Access
program. Access can only be used with ASP and is ideal for low user sites.
However it’s not as robust as a SQL database and also not as secure. An
experienced hacker could easily tap in to an online Access database. But if your
not storing sensitive data and don’t expect more than 10 people trying to
access the database at the same time it is a good low cost choice. Also if you
want to create your own application, such as on a PC or Intranet, this again is
a good choice.
Using an Access database is the same as any other database except you are working with a file rather than a server. If you have a copy of Access you can simply create a new Access mdb file to link your project to, if you don't we supply a blank access database file you can use. However, there is an important differance to remember when exporting projects that use an Access database. Because the Access database is a file, it needs to be exported with your project, easyGen will manage all this for you and export the database to your designated web server or folder in a directory called ds. All you need to do is set the permission of this directory to allow full read and write privilages for internet guest users (IUSER), so Windows knows to allow data entered on your web site to update the database. For instructions on how to do this, see http://www.easygen.com/faq/index.php?p=default&cat=10#a34.
Experienced computer users can set up SQL databases on their own PC or
server, such users can find instruction on how to do this from the provider of
the database they wish to use. See page 18 of the user manual, Using Your Own
PC to run ASP or PHP pages, for more on that topic.
As a general rule the following databases use these programming languages
Access – ASP
SQLserver – ASP
MySQL – PHP or
with ODBC module)
Oracle – ASP
OLE or ODBC databases – ASP
We will be bringing out new database connectors for
both ASP and PHP over the next few months. But as a rule for PHP use MySQL and
for all other databases use ASP.