Simple Database publishing

  Brittasnorfolk 15:05 18 May 04
Locked

As a non-programmer I want to publish a basic database file on the web.

I have dreamweaver for updating server files but have only used basic HTML tables and pages. I have Filemaker for database work but cannot use Filemaker as I do not wish to host the files. I can export to various other formats though.

The data is static but I want it to be searchable.

Can anyone recommend a simple wizard or program that can import data, convert it to ASP or similar to run on a remote server and be searchable by an end user?

  Taran 15:50 18 May 04

The quick answer is that there is no simple solution.

Online databases are a complicated issue by their very nature. In fact, most people run for the hills at the thought of a database for use on their desktop computer, never mind the added headaches of publishing one to the web.

Without knowing a bit more about what it is you want to do it is impossible to even begin to suggest possible solutions.

FileMaker is a good program but for web use most people plump for .jsp dynamic pages and this requires some pretty specific web hosting.

You say that the data will be static but needs to be searchable. There are CGI and PHP search scripts that can be used for keyword searches on web pages. A lot would depend on what you want to do with the data once a search has been run and a match found. If you want to display just the information that matched the search then you really are starting to lean towards a dynamic site.

Can you supply some more information about what the data is, or at least the number of data fields and what they are in terms of text, images or numbers ?

It would also help to know what your web host supports: ASP, PHP, MySQL, Access, MS SQL or whatever.

You don't convert data to ASP. ASP stands for Active Server Pages and, like PHP, the page is run on a web server, it performs whatever tasks and actions the programmer coded into it, then it sends the plain HTML output to the web browser that requested the page to begin with. The web browser never sees the ASP or PHP code, it only sees the HTML produced by the web server when it runs the ASP or PHP page.

Often ASP and PHP will interact with a database while beingh processed by the web server and may request information from it to display on the web page produced.

I'm afraid that without quite a lot of information to work on I'd be nuts to even try to suggest a workable solution.

  Brittasnorfolk 16:35 18 May 04

I didn't think there would be a really easy solution!

The data is approx 12 fields, almost all small (<30 characters) text fields with a couple of small (<10 character) number fields.

The data to display is just the information that matched the search.

As far as I know, the server supports most if not all technologies you mention.

Thanks for the general advise.

Brit

  Taran 17:52 18 May 04

Are you saying that each search would return a row of around 12 data fields ?

If so, how many rows will the search have to look through ?

Would it be totally impractical just to produce a long list of items in a web page ?

Each category could have a link from the top of the page to jump to an anchor point lower down to that category. The top of the page could, for example, have a series of links for ABC, DEF, GHI, JKL and so on, and each link would jump down the page to all entries beginning with those letters.

Just a thought.

I guess I'm looking for a simple way of presenting a long list of information that doesn't involve a keyword search.

You also haven't answered what you would want to do with the information once a search has been run.

Example:

You have a list of data fields as follows:

ID, Name, Surname, Address1, Address2, Town/City, County, PostCode, EmailAddress, TelNo, MobileNo.

Obviously if your search was for a specific person with those sensitive data fields you wouldn't want a long list that could be browsed by everybody. But assuming your search finds Joe Bloggs in the list of people in your database, do you want to pull up a copy of Joe Bloggs information for the searcher to see ?

I'm struggling to understand what it is you want to do with the information in your database, and until I do, I can't even come close to taking a stab at offering a solution.

If it is a list of relatively harmless information then a long page with links to take you to subcategories and then back to the top of the page would be all you'd need. For anything remotely personal or specific then a dynamic search would probably be of far more use.

Try to describe, if you can, what it is the search will be for, what the search will be looking through and what your desired output will be.

  Brittasnorfolk 09:31 19 May 04

The database is a basic price list. It would contain about 150 records.

I could display them as a list but would prefer to allow a web visitor to obtain only records in their price range or only certain types of products or possibly with certain key features.

No records contain personal data so all records can be searched and displayed.

I envisaged displaying 5 or 6 data fields – the database has about 12 fields in total. As mentioned, ideally, 2 or 3 fields would be searchable.

The found set of data is purely for information for the visitor. I do not intend collecting and processing the results of a search.

  Brittasnorfolk 09:32 19 May 04

The database is a basic price list. It would contain about 150 records.

I could display them as a list but would prefer to allow a web visitor to obtain only records in their price range or only certain types of products or possibly with certain key features.

No records contain personal data so all records can be searched and displayed.

I envisaged displaying 5 or 6 data fields – the database has about 12 fields in total. As mentioned, ideally, 2 or 3 fields would be searchable.

The found set of data is purely for information for the visitor. I do not intend collecting and processing the results of a search.

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