4. Setting Up Your Database Environment
Databases play an integral role in providing dynamic content for your Web application. Whether that content is images for an online art gallery or articles for an online magazine, you can add a database connection to your Web page and serve current content from the database whenever the page is requested in a Web browser.
Now that you have a Web server, an application server, and a Dreamweaver site set up, and you've configured your Dreamweaver coding environment just the way you like it, it's time to set up your database environment so that you can connect to a database to provide real-time content for your Web pages.
This chapter introduces you to fundamental database concepts and then explores the requirements for working with a database in Dreamweaver. You'll learn how to install and configure a database and database driver, create a Data Source Name (DSN)a shortcut for making a connection between your Web application and a local or remote databaseand make a connection to your database in Dreamweaver.
Showing installation scenarios for every type of database available is obviously beyond the scope of this book. For our database installation, this chapter focuses on the nuts and bolts of installing MySQL. The MySQL database is based on Structured Query Language (SQL), the language that's most commonly used to create database queries, and it's freely available, so it's a good choice for an example installation. Showing you how to make a connection to your database in Dreamweaver using every possible server technology is also beyond the scope of this book, so this chapter focuses on ASP, ColdFusion, and PHP. You may remember from reading Chapter 1 that ASP, ColdFusion, and PHP share similar code, they're widely used, and none of them require you to use object-oriented programming languages.