Database Driven Technologies to Future-Proof your Web Site

If you want to Future-Proof your Web sites, there is probably a database in your future.

Database-driven Websites are often called “Dynamic” Websites. this means that what each visitor sees on the page is pieced together by the Web server. That is, the page HTML code is built by the server as the page views are delivered to the visitor. Content Management Systems are generally include a type of database-driven site management. Link to Content Management

Actually, the word “visitor” is not entirely correct. The person does not go to the server or the page. The correct term would be more like reader, viewer (as in television viewer) or “Peeping Tom.” :-)

Here are a few of the tricks that a database-driven site can do that a static site cannot do (at least without a lot of effort):

  • Change content on the site daily
  • Change what visitor sees once they log in, showing them their personal site
  • Collect specific documents and present these in a customized list
  • Maintain up-to-date access to archived information
  • Keep RSS feeds up-to-date

There are several ways that sites connect to database programs. These include:

  • Active Server Pages
  • Javascript Server Pages
  • Cold Fusion Pages
  • Hypertext Preprocessor (PHP)

There are several databases that are used. These include:

  • MS Access™
  • FileMakerPro™
  • MS SQL™
  • Oracle™
  • MYSQL (Open Source)
  • Postgres SQL (Open Source)

The database that is most used for Websites is MYSQL because it is available on multiple server platforms, and because it is free.

Some Content Managment Systems (CMS) are actually database-driven systems.