A database is a great way to organize Web sites with a lot of regularly updated content. Databases power dynamic Web sites, meaning pages are created each time someone requests them. The pages are made by pulling information from the database into a Web page template upon request.
One example of a database-driven Web site is an online banking site. Each time you check your account information, the site pulls your specific transactions from a database and drops them into an account summary template. Another example is a daily news Web site. Reporters file their stories as text documents in the database, and the Web site automatically pulls those stories into the site when it updates.
Database Web sites are easy to update. Any changes made to content in the database will automatically appear on the site. You don’t need to go into each page and change the code.
Redesigns also are a snap. You need only to redesign the page templates. All Web pages will continue to be dynamically generated from those few templates, drastically cutting the number of pages you must change.
To create a database for your Web site, you would use a collection of programs called a database management system (DBMS). These programs allow you to store, edit and retrieve your information in a fast and efficient way.
Click the links below to learn about some of the most popular DBMSes.
Planning a collaboratively authored Web site? Many of the most popular collaborative Web sites were created using an open-source relational database management system called MySQL.
If you plan to deploy a database for your Web site, you need high-performance querying software. SQL Server is designed to handle small and large projects and can be used with ASP or ColdFusion.
Creating your first database might sound like a difficult task. A good solution for beginners, Microsoft Access’s familiar, graphical interface makes it simple.