Web Databases

Overview One of the most popular uses of the Web is the viewing, searching, and filtering of data. Whether you're using a search engine to find a specific Web site, or browsing Amazon.com's product listings, you're accessing collections of Web-enabled data. How do you make a database Web-enabled? What tools are available? How do you learn how to use these tools? The links below will answer these and other questions.

General Information Database information can be published on the Web in two different formats. Static Web publishing simply involves creating a list or report, based on information stored in a database, and publishing it online. Static Web publishing is a good way to publish information that does not change often and does not need to be filtered or searched, such as this listing of the Academic Departments in the University of Minnesota's Technical Institute. The other form of Web publishing is dynamic Web publishing. Dynamic Web publishing involves creating pages "on the fly" based on information stored in the database. You can see an example of dynamic Web publishing here.

Web Database Tools One common tool for creating Web databases is the Common Gateway Interface, also known as CGI. Check out this page for an overview. Microsoft's Active Server Page technology also includes database tools. Check it out here. XML is rapidly becoming a standard tool for Web enabled databases. This site offers information about XML, as well as an excellent introduction to the technology here.

At Download.com's Database Connectivity Web page (www.download.com/Database-Connectivity), you can find an extensive list of annotated links to companies that are producing products designed to connect databases with the Web. Additionally, many software companies have created commercial solutions to Web DBMS connectivity. Check out the links below for information on specific technologies:

The Association for Institutional Research also has a long list of links to Web database software manufacturers, which are available at www.airweb.org/page.asp?page=309&cat=webdatabase . Reviews of many popular Web database tools can be found on the Webdeveloper.com Databases Resource Directory

Additional Links Are you looking for a book to help you understand and implement a Web database? Jim Buyens’ book, Web Database Development Step by Step .NET Edition (Microsoft Press, 2002) (www.microsoft.com/MSPress/books/5833.asp), discusses Internet database technologies and explains how to create them. Java-specific database connectivity resources can be found at www.javaworld.com/channel_content/jw-jdbc-index.shtml.