Designing Dynamic, Database-Driven Web Sites

Spend enough time designing for the Internet and you will quickly realize HTML's limitations. Websites produced with HTML are static. It requires a great deal of effort to expand and update a large site created with HTML. Dynamic, database-driven design gives you the ability to customize and modify content while generating thousands of pages on the fly. All this for little more effort than producing static websites.

4D focuses on methods for designing robust web sites that employ such tools as MySQL, PHP, XML, and ASP. The goal of this site is to provide users with an overview of the concepts and technologies associated with database design for the Web, as well as to give some basic instruction about developing database-driven sites. Areas covered include:

Technology Overviews and Product Reviews
What does it take to create a database driven website. These essays look at the various components and how they work together.

Microsoft Access:   Microsoft’s Access may be the most popular consumer database software. The program is part of the Office suite, placing a copy in almost every business in the world.

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Now that you know a little more about dynamic design, you may be ready to do a little. of your own. Our tutorial section focuses on the PHP and MySQL technologies used in the 4D site.

An Introduction to PHP Syntax and Code Construction :    For those with even the most limited programming experience, PHP is a relatively simple language to learn. In this tutorial, you will be introduced to the basics of PHP syntax and code construction.

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Web Resources
What better place to learn about internet technologies than the internet itself. This central resource connects you with more information on the technologies and concepts introduced by 4D.

Here's a random link:  Guide to Active Server Pages

Want to learn more about databases than you ever thought possible? The glossary offers easy-to-understand definitions of technical terms in the categories of data management, delivery, and presentation technology.

Open Database Connectivity:    A standard for accessing different database systems. There are interfaces for Visual Basic, Visual C++, SQL and the ODBC driver pack contains drivers for the Access Paradox dBase, Text, Excel and Btrieve databases. An application can submit statements to ODBC using the ODBC flavor of SQL. ODBC then translates these to whatever flavor the database understands.

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Design Documents
This section contains the various documents illustrating our design process. Users can download PDFs on site architecture, page diagrams, categorization schemes, and MySQL table designs.