Choosing a Database

You can use almost any database with your Web application, such as Microsoft SQL Server 2005, Oracle 10g, or Microsoft Access. However, a sound choice is based on the projected number of visitors to your site, your budget, and your experience with designing and creating databases.

If you're using PHP for creating Web applications in Dreamweaver, you'll need to use MySQL as your database, but you can use any database with ASP, ASP.NET, ColdFusion, and JSP. Dreamweaver includes both a sample Access database and a SQL file for creating a MySQL database as part of its tutorial files.

Microsoft Access

Microsoft Access can be a good database choice if you meet the following criteria:

  • You're just learning how to create databases. Access is a fairly easy database to learn how to use. If you've used other Microsoft Office programs, the Access interface will be familiar, and it also provides a number of wizards to guide you through designing a database and creating queries.

  • You don't expect that a large number of online users will be connecting to your database at the same time. Because Access is a file-based database system, it can't support a large number of online users at once. (See the sidebar "File-Based and Server-Based Databases" for more details.)

  • You're on a budget. Access is a moderately priced database that's available as part of the Microsoft Office Professional package or as a standalone program.

  • You're using Windows rather than Macintosh. You can connect to an Access database using a Macintosh, but Microsoft Access software is not available for the Mac.

File-Based and Server-Based Databases

Access is a file-based database system that's limited to 255 concurrent users. In a file-based system, data is processed on the client side. So when a user makes a request for data from an Access database table, the entire table is copied to the client's computer, and then the request is processed and the data is filtered to answer the request. In contrast, when a user makes a request for data from a server-based database, the request is processed and the data is filtered on the server side before it's sent to the client's computer.

Because server-based systems transmit a lot less data than file-based database systems, they can provide data more efficiently and to more users at the same time than file-based systems can.

Server-based systems

Commercial server-based database systems, such as Microsoft SQL Server 2000, Microsoft SQL Server 2005, and Oracle 10g, are high-performance systems that are a good choice for large Web sites because they can accommodate many concurrent users. However, these systems are also more complicated, requiring a fair amount of expertise to use them, and they're much more expensive than file-based database systems.


MySQL is a good compromise in choosing between a file-based database system and a high-end commercial server-based system. MySQL is a server-based system that is supported by Windows and Mac OS X. It is available in two different forms: an open-source free developer version (MySQL Community) and a commercial version for production use (MySQL Network). Although it lacks a few of the advanced features of commercial database systems, it will likely meet your database needs.

The next section of this chapter shows you how to install MySQL.

Macromedia Dreamweaver 8 Advanced for Windows and Macintosh. Visual Quickpro Guide
Macromedia Dreamweaver 8 Advanced for Windows and Macintosh: Visual QuickPro Guide
ISBN: 0321384024
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2004
Pages: 129
Authors: Lucinda Dykes © 2008-2017.
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