A complete guide to creating effective Web sites using a database as the back-end server, this volume concentrates on integrating Access 97 into a Web site. The book covers all server platforms as they relate to Access. The CD-ROM software toolkit contains complete management and performance tools. .
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This book will show you the skills and describe the techniques you need to know to become successful designing, developing, and implementing production Web applications that use Access 97 databases. I trust you're not surprised to learn that you are not alone in the migration of developers to building Web database applications. Your ability to be successful in large part is determined by your skillset and how you apply those skills to solve business computing problems. Learn what is in these pages and you will have the basis to be successful. How you apply those skills is up to you.
What You'll Need
The book assumes you have a beginners understanding of Access 97. It also assumes you are running Access 97 on a Windows 95 or Windows NT machine. It is designed to introduce Access 97 database design, construction, and incorporation to the Internet application development process. There is emphasis on the latter and the facilities in Access 97 to build and deploy databases for use and access over the Internet. Key topics are the planning, design, and implementation of enterprise-quality Internet/intranet applications that include database connectivity to Microsoft Corporation's Access 97 databases with production-level security and performance. All technical terms used in the book are defined and there are abundant screen images, tips, and callouts. Also included in this book are abundant examples of Web page construction and program code with database access.
How to Read This Book
The layout of this book is designed to be informative and valuable for those who like to read a book from the front cover to the back. If you are the type of person who likes to read only those topics that interest you, then you will be pleased to learn that with 20 chapters and three appendices, you can pick and choose which chapters to read without missing anything. The following paragraphs provide a brief description of each of the chapters in this book.
Section 1: Planning
In this section you will learn about the Internet and Web in general, as well as some of the specifics of the different programming languages and development suites available to help in the construction process. Following this introduction, you will read introductory chapters to HTML, and CGI programs. If you have no interest in any of these topics, I would recommend that you read at least Chapters 6 and 7. The material in these chapters is preparatory to, and referenced in, future chapters.
Chapter 1: The Web Connection.
Before you plunge into the issues specific to the design, development, and implementation of Web database applications, it is valuable that you understand a few things about the origins of the Web. That's what this chapter is about. With this as a foundation, hopefully you can make better sense out of all the Web-hype that so pervades the computer industry.
Chapter 2: Web Commerce.
This chapter introduces you to some of the reasons why companies are turning to the Web as the production platform of database applications. You will learn the role that the database plays in these applications. Following this is a list of some of the things you should consider, outside of the technical issues that you'll learn about in the remainder of this book, when doing business on the Web.
Chapter 3: Choosing a Programming Language.
Choosing a programming language to use to develop a Web database application is becoming increasingly more difficult. Currently, there are a myriad of languages, derivatives of languages, dialects of languages, development suites, programming suites, and various iterations of each of these from which to choose. This chapter focuses on the most popular languages available to build Web database applications.
Chapter 4: Overview of Java and Java Script.
The release of Java from Sun Microsystems coincided with the release of Java Script. Partly because of this, some people view these two languages as being an either/or decision. This is not the case. Although these two languages share similar syntax and use objects similarly, the languages were developed to solve different sets of problems, as you will learn in this chapter.
Chapter 5: Application Development Suites.
This chapter presents information on a number of application development suites. The major features of the products are described along with contact information. Most vendors will supply you with evaluation copies of their products, and in many cases, you can download these evaluation copies directly from the Web.
Chapter 6: Overview of HTML.
This chapter is an overview of the HyperText Markup Language (HTML). If you are new to the Web, this chapter gives you a good introduction to what HTML is, how to read it, write it, and use it. If you are an experienced Web developer or user, you, too, will find useful information in this chapter on topics such as the structure of HTML, advanced HTML topics, good HTML coding practices, and the future of HTML.
Chapter 7: Overview of CGI.
In this chapter, you'll learn about the Common Gateway Interface (CGI) and the role it has in Web database application development. You'll learn about the CGI standard as it applies to UNIX and Windows operating systems. Simple programs are used to communicate and demonstrate CGI capabilities.
Section 2: Internet Database Design
This section includes chapters that are specific to the process of designing and constructing an Internet database application. You will learn about the facilities in Access 97 that are specific to creating database objects and building queries to an Access 97 database.
Chapter 8: Web Application Design and Development.
This chapter takes the fundamental concepts of client/server database application development and applies them to the unique attributes of the Web. It begins by discussing what those concepts are, progresses through describing the architectural components of the Web, and ends with the application of those concepts to the Web architecture.
Chapter 9: Introduction to Access 97.
Beginning with this chapter and continuing into chapters 10 and 11, you are introduced to Microsoft Corporations Access 97 product. This chapter provides an overview of the product and some of the features (most of which are new) specific to Web database application development. It continues on with specific information on DDL, SQL, and the facilities in Access 97 to define databases and database objects.
Chapter 10: Access 97 Queries.
In this chapter you will learn how to build and execute simple queries in Access 97. You will also learn how to use an external data source, including Open DataBase Connectivity (ODBC), in your Access 97 tables and queries. This information will assist you if you are using a development tool besides Access 97 to build your front-end Web database application.
Chapter 11: Designing Advanced Access 97 Queries.
In this chapter you will go deeper into the facilities in Access 97 to create advanced queries. This includes using multiple aggregate functions, applying criteria in the query, parameter queries, nested queries, and optimizing performance of queries.
Section 3: Interfacing with the Internet User.
This section includes chapters that describe the process of building a Web database application that incorporates user access and input. This includes not only building the components that provide user access, but also building user interfaces that extend this capability to include database updates. Included in this section is a chapter on how to incorporate multimedia and advanced graphics and images in your Web application.
Finally, you will learn things you can do to improve the performance of your Web database applications.
Chapter 12: HTML Forms and Database Access.
This chapter gives you a thorough introduction into the markups (controls) available to construct and transmit an HTML form. These markups, and the actions and attributes you code to the controls on the form, are the input mechanism into your Web database application.
Chapter 13: Accessing Web Databases Using CGI Programs.
This chapter begins with a review of CGI basics you learned in previous chapters in this book. You will learn about CGI input and output processing, and some of the different ways that exist in which a client can make a request to the server when an HTML form is submitted. Then, you will see how CGI programs can be used to generate HTML. Later in this chapter you will learn among other things, how to write a CGI program to perform whatever type of database access required by your Web database application.
Chapter 14: MIME and Advanced Data Presentation. Earlier chapters include a number of examples of how data can be formatted and displayed throughout many of these chapters. In this chapter, you'll lea
All you need to know to build high-value Web sites with MS Access databases!
Building Access Web Sites provides the information you need to build a Web site with an MS Access back end. Targeted at computer professionals, home Web site developers, and MS Access users looking to move their content to the Web, this book assumes a minimal background in both Web site administration and in MS Access. With the software on the CD-ROM, this package is a toolkit for creating an MS Access Web site. You'll learn all about:
Designing the Access Web site
* The programming and Web tools to construct the site
* Access, SQL, and HTML
* Generating dynamic HTML pages on the fly
* Security and backup issues
Building Access Web Sites focuses on the whole Web database development environment, not just HTML. Author James Hobuss introduces third-party products that you can use to create and enhance your Web site regardless of scale. Two sample scenarios conclude the book to show, in detail, how to design your Web applications using one of the tools on the CD.
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