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