Searching through data is obviously one of the tasks that a computer does best. It's also one of the fundamental reasons for storing data in a database. What good is storing your 5000-title comic-book collection in a database if you can't search to verify that you have a particular title?
Dreamweaver MX lets you quickly build search pages for your databases. It provides a simple, single field search or a more advanced, multiple-field search, all created with a few clicks of the mouse (and just a little data entry.)
Searching for data can take many forms. In today's computing environment, you can search through data in many ways. The term data is also defined in different ways when you're referring to searching. For example, the data for which you're searching can be found in user records stored in a single table or across an entire database. Perhaps the data consists of all the word-processing documents in a particular folder on your hard drive. Possibly the data is found in a series of websites and their HTML pages. Or maybe it's found in a combination of both files and databases.
Searching myriad data sources can sometimes be complex, which is why various software packages organize and index the data you've specified into collections or other types of prebuilt indexed files. Generally, these types of search software packages provide fast search speeds and varying levels of complexity and accuracy in creating and delivering search results.
Examples of search software include Microsoft's Full-Text Search, which is part of Microsoft's SQL Server, and Verity's suite of products that have been licensed to Macromedia for inclusion in ColdFusion. These search engines scan your data, indexing and building information stores that yield faster search results when you perform a search. Windows 2000 and Windows XP include the Indexing Service, which uses Full-Text Search to build an index of your files so that Windows can deliver your results faster when you search for files.
When you're dealing with websites, however, as a developer, you typically need to search through database tables in order to return information such as customer orders, product lists and inventories, and so forth. Dreamweaver MX lets you build both simple and more advanced search pages quickly. We'll look at both types of searches, starting with the simple search page.