For the web developer, knowing that SQL Server 2000 is fully web-enabled is important. In general, that simply means that the relational database management system (RDBMS) makes it easy to access data via a web connection. SQL Server 2000 bases its web capabilities on existing standards such as SQL, ActiveX Data Objects (ADO), and Active Server Pages (ASP). It also offers other features such as:
Extensible Markup Language (XML) with stored procedures to integrate data
Analysis Services that integrate cube technology
Uniform Resource Locator (URL) technology to get the data you need
Chapter 9 covers ADO and ASP in relation to Access. The information is essentially the same for SQL Server, so please see Chapter 9 for a brief introduction to these subjects. In addition, entire chapters are devoted to ADO.NET, ASP, and ASP.NET. For more in-depth information on these languages, see Chapters 13, 14, and 15
SQL Server 2000 takes Extensible Markup Language (XML) to a level far above simple support with XPath, URL queries, and XML Updategrams. XML is a platform-independent markup language that creates a structured file—a file that contains both text and nontext objects. For the most part, XML is used to transfer and share data between systems that aren't connected. XML is considered a web technology, and developers are using XML to publish interactive data on the web. XML documents run on the server or the client and are compatible with almost any browser using the following features:
OPENXML provides a relational view on XML data. SQL Server enables queries to return data as XML using a SQL SELECT and the FOR XML clause. The FOR XML clause accesses a relational database. Then, a SQL SELECT and the OPENXML T-SQL keyword retrieve XML data. SQL Server 2000 also provides XML views, which access relational tables as XML documents.
XML Updategrams update a SQL Server 2000 database, using XML. You specify the current state of the data and how you want the data to look, and the Updategram generates and executes the appropriate SQL statement required to produce the desired results. Bulk Load, a utility, loads large XML documents into a SQL Server 2000 database faster than Updategrams.
XML's main purpose is to publish interactive data to the web, but many developers are using it to share data, even when the web is not involved. XML is quickly becoming a standard, and SQL Server 2000 goes out of its way to accommodate the technology. For the most part, you'll rely on SQL and data-specific features to retrieve, insert, delete, and modify data via a web browser when you're dealing with a live connection. When working with data that rarely changes, you can save data to XML format and then display that data via an associated Extensible Stylesheet Language (XSL) file.
SQL Server can use XML to share data or import and export schema. Consequently, you can share a database's structure as well as its data. In fact, you can create an entire relational database by importing an Extensible Schema Data (XSD) file schema.
Here's our recommendation: more than likely, you won't encounter XML files when using Dream- weaver MX since XML is primarily a tool for transferring and sharing data, not accessing live data. Your website can use them, but you won't create them or interact with them in Dreamweaver MX.
For more information on using SQL Server 2000 and XML to integrate your data, visit www.microsoft.com/sql/techinfo/xml/default.asp.
Customer information is a valuable resource to a company, and the web can provide tons of it, if you only know how to extract it. That's what SQL Server 2000's Analysis Services are about—accessing customer information from a website.
Cubes are dimensional views of data. Linked cubes make cubes (data) accessible to other servers, making the data (and its analysis) available to simultaneous users. Cubes present a multidimensional view of data. Linked cubes are simply cubes that are defined and stored on other servers. SQL Server 2000 also permits cube access over HTTP, enabling access to remote cubes over HTTP and through a firewall.Here's our recommendation: this level of support won't be needed by the average site—this is for really large sites that support tons of data.
Download a white paper on SQL Server Analysis Services from www.microsoft.com/sql/evaluation/ compare/analysisservicesWP.asp.
SQL Server 2000 provides several Uniform Resource Locator (URL) actions that access data. The following are just a few methods:
Retrieve data by executing SQL queries using URL strings that reference a SQL Server 2000 virtual root. To do so, use the following URL form:
The appropriate instance of SQL Server returns the result as a standard rowset. If you specify the FOR XML clause, an XML document is returned instead.
Retrieve database objects using the following URL form:
The data isn't returned as XML, so you can retrieve database objects.
Reference a template file using the following form:
A template file is a valid XML document consisting of one or more SQL statements. When the URL specifies a template file, the SQL commands stored in the template file are executed. The results of the query replace the query itself, and then the entire XML document is returned.
Execute an XPath query via an XML View using the following form:
An XPath query retrieves specific data from relational tables via an XML View.
Here's our recommendation: the features in this section could possibly complement your work in Dreamweaver MX, but you won't manipulate them from within Dreamweaver MX.