E business - Database Development

Database Development

In relation to the web, a database is a structured collection of data. It can be anything from a set of names, addresses and phone numbers to a complex listing of all your products including descriptions and pictures. Databases also give you the facility to add, edit or delete your products listings and all their details.

By far the most popular database management system is Oracle, SQL Server and mySQL, and most web hosts have it installed. Any database can be used in conjunction with a language such as .Net, JSP or PHP to create a website which interacts with the database.

Creating a web site in any language using a database to store the information, or some of it, has many advantages over a normal static site. One of the most common and most useful ways to use a database in websites is in a content management system.

Why have a database? The major advantages of database driven, dynamic web sites are that they allow users to select and display the exact information they choose. They support complex searches and allow content creators who don’t know anything about HTML to publish information. Most importantly they are easy to update, and the content of the site is easier to manage overall.

The major drawbacks are the initial development costs due to the complex programming required. However, you can expect to save on site maintenance and upgrade costs in the future with a static website.

For large sites with many content creators, rapidly-changing content, and increasingly demanding web audiences, static HTML is no longer much of an option. Dynamically generated sites, driven from a database at the ‘backend’, offer unequaled consistency, speed and cost efficiency.

A database driven site is necessary if you want to:

  • Display a searchable catalogue of products .
  • Create a shopping cart to securely sell your products.
  • Have the ability to update your data through your web browser with a secure username & password.
  • Create bulletin boards or notice boards eg. for your clients to leave messages.

The foundation behind all E-commerce, DSS and OLTP applications are database servers managing gigabytes to terabytes of data. Whether the system architecture is 3-tier, web server, distributed or client server based --- the primary determinant in providing good end-user service is the database server.