Explains how to build a Web site with a Sybase back end. Two sample scenarios in the text detail how to design Web applications using tools on the CD-ROM. The companion CD-ROM contains shareware, demo, and evaluation copies of third-party software for the design, development, and administration of Web applications using Sybase. Appendices answer frequently asked questions and list online resources. Targeted at computer professionals, home Web site developers, and Sybase users looking to move their content to the Web. Little background in Web site administration and Sybase are assumed. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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If you are reading this Introduction while browsing in a bookstore, go ahead and buy the book. You won't be disappointed. If you are reading this after purchasing the book, good for you. I'll tell you why, and the reason may surprise you.
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 Sybase System 11 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.
The book assumes you have a beginners understanding of the Sybase RDBMS database. It is designed to introduce Sybase System 11 database design, construction, and incorporation to the Internet application development process. There is emphasis on the latter and the facilities in Sybase System 11 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 Sybase Corporation's System 11 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.
The layout of this book is designed to be informative and valuable if you like to read a book from the front cover to the back. If you are the type of person that likes to read only those topics that interest you, then you will be pleased to learn that with 21 chapters in this book, plus three appendices, you can pick and choose which chapters to read without missing anything. The following is a brief description of each of the chapters in this book:
Section 1: Planning
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 for 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. Now, you have a myriad of languages, derivatives of languages, dialects of languages, development suites, programming suites, and various iterations of each of these to chose from. To attempt to write about each of the current products would be futile. New languages and tools pop up all the time. This chapter focuses on the most popular languages available to build Web database applications.
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. I have reviewed a subset of these products, so it would be unfair (and therefore I won't do it) to recommend one product over the other. Most vendors will supply you with evaluation copies of the their products, and in many cases, you can download these evaluation copies directly from the Web. Most of the products described here are also included on the companion CD-ROM.
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 HTML, how to read it, write it, and how to 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. Being one of the most important links that connect Web pages to databases, CGI plays a critical role in Web database design and use. 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
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. We begin by discussing what those concepts are, progress through describing the architectural components of the Web, and end with the application of those concepts to the Web architecture.
Chapter 9 - New Features and Creating Database Objects in Sybase
Beginning with this chapter and continuing into Chapters 10, 11, and 12, you are introduced to Sybase Corporation's System 11 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 Sybase System 11 to define databases and database objects.
Chapter 10 - System 11 Queries
You will learn how to build and execute simple queries in Sybase System 11. You will also learn how to use an external data source, including Open DataBase Connectivity (ODBC), in your Sybase System 11 tables and queries. This information will assist you if you are using a development tool besides Sybase System 11 to build your front-end Web database application.
Chapter 11 - Designing Advanced Sybase System 11 Queries
In this chapter you will go deeper into the facilities in Sybase System 11 to create advanced queries. This includes using multiple aggregate functions, applying criteria in the query, parameter queries, nested queries, and optimizing performance of queries. The information discussed in this chapter is valuable to any developer using Sybase System 11 as their back-end RDBMS, regardless of what front-end design and HTML tool is being used.
Chapter 12 - Exploiting Sybase Stored Code And Object-Oriented Features
The information discussed in this chapter is valuable to any developer using Sybase System 11 as their back-end RDBMS, regardless of the front-end design and HTML tool being used. Two additional SQL topics, dates and views, are discussed. Sybase System 11 transactional logic and locking are explained. Finally, performance and tuning of SQL statements is covered.
Section 3: Interfacing with the Internet User
Chapter 13 - 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 14 - Accessing Sybase 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 15 - MIME and Advanced Data Presentation
The earlier chapters in this book present material on the tools available for Web database application development, Sybase Corporation's System 11 product, using the System 11 product to build database components, Web database application architecture, and HTML and CGI programming and processing. The chapters include a number of examples of how data can be formatted and displayed. In this chapter, you'll learn how to incorporate multimedia components in your Web database applications.
Chapter 16 - Managing Web Database Access and the Application State
As you may or may not know, the Web is an inherently "stateless" environment - it is nonconversational in nature. From one transaction to the next, unless you specifically build a mechanism to allow the application to keep track of where it is in a series of processes, it will lose track of where it's been. Often, when an application loses track of where it's been, it doesn't know where it needs to go.
This chapter describes three different techniques that you could use to keep track of where an application is a serial process - the application state. Those three techniques are:
Hidden Fields On Forms Database Tables Cookies
Chapter 17 - Improving Performance of Web Database Applications
It is no longer enough to merely build a Web application that has database access that satisfies a business need. With ODBC and the tools available to integrate Web and database technologies, the "art" in Web database application development is no longer in marrying the two toolsets. Rather, the "art" lies in crafting an application that not only meets the business needs but is efficient as well.
This chapter describes some techniques you can use to build efficiency into your Web database applications. It is segmented into two major sections; Application Optimization and Database Optimization.
Section 4: Advanced Topics in Internet Database Publishing
Chapter 18 - Migrating Data from Enterprise Data Stores to Server-Based Databases
In this chapter you will learn about some of the techniques used to migrate data from enterprise data stores to server-based Web databases. Specifically you'll learn about the features in System 11 that facilitate this process, such as replication and synchronization.
You'll first read about how to determine what to migrate from your corporate databases to Web servers. This is not simply a process of "copying" a database from one location to another. Next, you'll learn about some of the features in Sybase System 11 that you can incorporate in your overall data strategy that facilitate deployment of corporate databases to be accessed by Web applications. Finally you will read about backup and recovery principals that you can apply to your Web databases.
Chapter 19 - Using Firewalls and Security Components to Protect Your Data
This chapter introduces you to the issues of Web-based security and describes some of the things that you can do to secure your Web applications, including your Web-accessible Sybase System 11 databases. It is not intended to be a primer on the subject. It is intended to introduce you to the issues and components that you need to be aware of to safeguard your investment in your Web site and your data.
Chapter 20 - Designing an Internet Course Delivery System
This is the first of two "summation" chapters. In this chapter, you will take what was learned in the previous chapters and see how it is applied to the design of a Web database application. Specifically, recall that in Chapter 8 you learn how to design a Web database application to take into account the unique considerations of a Web-based database application. You saw how the information contained in that chapter, plus various other pieces of information from the other chapters in this book, are applied to the actual design of a Web database application. Then, in Chapter 20, this will be taken to the next logical step, which is the actual construction of a Web database application.
Chapter 21 - Building a Simple Class Registration System
This chapter focuses on how to use HTML and a Web database application development suite to construct a Web database application that includes both Internet and Intranet access. The company profiled in this chapter is A Better Computer (ABC) Company, a fictitious corporation that provides, among other things, computer training. The Web application profiled in this chapter contains, among other things, a query facility so that Web visitors can see what training classes are held in cities near them. This is the Internet component to the database that is profiled in this chapter. The Intranet component presented in this chapter is the facility used by ABC employees to update the Sybase System 11 database that maintains the data that describes the course offerings and availability of ABC Company.
Appendix A - CD-ROM Contents
Appendix B - Frequently Asked Questions
Appendix C - WWW Database Development Resources
In addition to the content of the book and the material contained in the chapters, this book also includes a companion CD-ROM. Evaluation copies of many products referenced in the book and that relate to the topic of the book are included on the enclosed CD-ROM.
Finally, I welcome your comments on the book. Feel free to e-mail me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is the first complete guide to designing, building and working with Sybase-based Web sites. It will get Web developers up-to-speed on Web database technology, explain Sybase SQL Server 11's Web-related features in detail, and show exactly how to build a Web site around an Sybase SQL Server 11 database.This book contains detailed coverage of the Sybase SQL Server 11 features that make Web development with Sybase unique. Learn which programming or scripting language is most appropriate for your application, and how Sybase SQL Server 11 integrates with CGI scripts and HTML pages. Understand how to build Sybase-based applications that interact with the user; how to overcome the limitations of HTML forms; and how to make the most of advanced data presentation techniques. Learn how to use forms, databases and persistent cookies to maintain application state; how to improve the performance of Web-based database applications; and how to utilize data from enterprise-based data stores. Understand critical firewall and security issues, and how to handle backup and recovery on your Sybase-based Web site. Finally, in two detailed chapters, walk through the construction of a real-world Sybase-based Web application.All Sybase developers, especially those focused on Web development projects.
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