Dreamweaver MX can connect to almost any database that runs on Unix or Windows. If an ODBC (Open Database Connectivity) or OLE DB driver exists, Dreamweaver MX will produce the code necessary to connect to and interact with the database. In this book, we'll review two of the largest full-system databases on the market: Microsoft SQL Server 2000 and Oracle9i. We'll also review the popular desktop database application, Microsoft Access, and the open-source relational database MySQL.
More than likely, as the application developer, you really had no choice over the database you'll be using. Your company chose it for a number of reasons: current costs and future needs were probably discussed. However, you probably ended up with the relational database that you already have. We're not endorsing a database, but we will use all the above in our examples throughout this book.
SQL Server 2000 is a powerful database and is fully web-enabled. You'll have no problem interfacing with it via Dreamweaver MX. It's also expensive and requires experienced personnel to administer and maintain the database. If you're a Windows fan and have the money, go with SQL Server 2000.
Access 2002 (also known as Access XP) is an alternative if you're running Windows, have limited resources, but anticipate a small amount of online traffic.
MySQL is fast, stable, runs on Unix and Windows, and it's free-do we need to say more? You can download MySQL at www.mysql.com. MySQL makes its money by selling technical support because the down side is that what you gain in fast, stable, and free open-source code, you lose in functionality. MySQL is a great alternative for the money-challenged but ready-to-learn-and-support crowd.
Oracle is a SQL Server 2000 competitor and has been around for a long time. This industrial- strength database has friends in many places, and Dreamweaver MX has no problem talking to it.