also hosting uk-no-1.co.uk and eire-1.com
Welcome to the Database Design home page. (Last updated 24 June 2010)
Email us on firstname.lastname@example.org
Database Design and Programming with Access, SQL, Visual Basic and ASP
The new material (all about putting your database on the internet) is highlighted.
ASP Web site development
ASP allows you to have a database that can be seen by everyone on the internet and updated by those with a password. We can develop ASP applications to your requirements. You can try out some of our existing ASP applications below. Try before you buy. We're the first company in the world to let you do this, probably.
1. Product listing
In this application, your customer sees your product listing and orders by email or phone. You update the product listing by going on the internet, typing the password and making changes. Your customers see the changes immediately. We can tailor this off-the-peg product to suit your needs.
Try it now.
Click here to be one of ABC's customers, checking prices, stock levels etc. Click here to update the product list. The password is knucklebones
To purchase and use this ASP web database application, neither you nor your customers will need any new equipment or software - everything's on the web - all the processing power, the programs, the database, and the technical staff. All you need is what you've already got - an ordinary PC or laptop with access to the internet using Internet Explorer or Netscape.
And that's all your customers will need - simple Internet access only. It won't matter what browser they use or how advanced their PC is (it can use any version of Windows or even poor old UNIX), because we do all the work on the server! That's one of the advantages server-side scripting has over client-side scripting. You don't have to bother about any of this though. The product is ready to use.
Note: We can easily adapt this program to applications other than a product list - any application you have that involves a simple list (e.g. list of events, appointments, etc.) that you want to publicise and easily update from anywhere there's web access, using your password.
For further information on our ready-to-use ASP applications, email us.
This is a true e-business application. It's also an example of globalisation. Just as you can update your database from anywhere in the world, your customers can order from anywhere in the world. That's because the database and all the processing is done on the web - not on your (or your customer's) computer.
2. Product listing plus order processing
This ASP application is similar, but your customers fill in an order form on the web to order your products, which is sometimes more convenient than email, fax or phone. Customer orders immediately go onto the web database and you access them using your password.
For further information on this ASP application, e-mail us on email@example.com
3. Items for sale
Customers advertise their items for sale on the internet database. The password for inserting, deleting and changing items for sale is 'knucklebones'. Customers don't have to put their name or address on the database, just a description of what they want to sell, how much they want for it, and their telephone number and/or email address.
For further information on this ASP application, e-mail us on firstname.lastname@example.org
4. Travel agents
Customers click on a destination and are given a list of travel agents who can sell them tickets to that destination.
For further information on this ASP application, e-mail us on email@example.com
To discuss your ASP or other database application requirements, e-mail us on firstname.lastname@example.org
|Conventional web site development|
Eire-1.com currently advertises our conventional website development capability.
This site is under construction. In it we want to
- provide locality-targetted budget priced high quality conventional websites to advertise your product, company or organization, and
- give you a choice of using either
> our hosting facilities e.g. http://www.eire-1.com /tubbercurry/yourname or > your own domain e.g. http://www.yourname.com
- use our growing experience of ASP to provide websites with database access also at low cost
We provide everything, including webspace with your name on it (as above), attractive fast-loading web pages to your requirements, and your own domain name if required (as above).
We use a fast London based server which usually outstrips all the other servers we have seen. We also design your web pages so they will load fast. This is an advantage you will have over your competitors.
Check out our latest Database book
First edition Database Design and Programming with Access, SQL and Visual Basic published April 2000. Chinese edition Published August 2001. Second edition Database Design and Programming with Access, SQL, Visual Basic and ASP published Summer 2002.
The author, John Carter, says this about the book:
"This book was written to answer numerous questions from second and final year degree and HND students on how to implement their database applications in Access, and then how to produce workable input and update forms and reports using VB. I identified three problems: 1) incorrect database table and relationship design 2) insufficient knowledge of SQL - the main database language 3) too much dependance on Access wizards. So the three key themes in this book are entity modelling and normalisation to obtain the correct database design, SQL to perform core queries and updates on the database, and Visual Basic database programming in its three forms: data control, DAO and ADO. The feedback from my two previous database books led me to include lots and lots of examples of the things typical database applications will have to do. I have also tried to make the lecturer's life easier by including lots of exercises.
Regarding the second edition, I've added sufficient material to allow you to put your database application on the internet. To me, that seemed like the next logical step. Not all databases need to go on the internet, but if you do it, your database application is then available globally. Isn't the internet wonderful! We use ASP. The new edition beefs up the ADO chapter 11 by adding more examples, and adds an intro to the internet (chapter 13), HTML (chapter 14) and ASP programming (chapter 15). If you want to contact me on my email address email@example.com, please feel free to do so. Alternatively, try our Chatline."
You can buy this book at: Amazon and McGraw-Hill
Look at the book's website here. It includes contents, detailed index, sample pages, further exercises etc.
New: Any questions you have relating to the book will be answered on this website! See below.
For lecturers: A passworded page with outline solutions to selected exercises for lecturers is now complete. Send me an email with your name, role, institution and departmental telephone number in it and I'll tell you the password.
|Try our question and answer service. Email us your database question and we'll do our best to answer it and publish it here.|
Welcome to the question and answer page. This is a selection of questions sent in by readers by email. (Started 7-8-2000). When there are enough, we'll index them. The advantage of this over a newsgroup is that as well as giving answers in text, we can draw diagrams and give screen shots!
Just email your database question to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Look here for previous questions and answers.
|Have a look at the Preface and Contents of our new database book (to be published early in 2001 by McGraw-Hill)|
This book is intended to fill the role of a standard text for introductory courses on database theory. Typically, such a course might occur in the first or second year of a degree or HND course in computing and business information systems. While the emphasis of the book is on established database design methods and relational database technology, we also give a broad overview of emerging object oriented approaches. Preface and Contents Your comments and suggestions are welcome at email@example.com .
|Have a look at Steve Martin and Jacquie Bolissian's slideshow-on-the-web pages|
This is a site that points the way perhaps to important elements of remote learning. It's a slideshow on the web and it's about the paperless office. To me the important thing is how Steve and Jacquie have managed to produce the presentation itself. I understand the slides were produced in Powerpoint and then put onto the web using Microsoft Publisher. Listen out for the atmospheric mood music on the home page. Cool. http://www.suffolkclose.fsnet.co.uk
|A concise history of the Internet|
I heard this summary of the Internet on BBC Radio 5 Live on 16-8-2000 and I thought it covered some significant points about the Internet in just a few words. I asked its author (Matthew McGrath) for the transcript, and here it is:
"With hindsight , the development of the internet as we know it now was an inevitable step in the human desire to communicate. By the late 1960s TV and radio had brought mass communications to a global audience - but the problem with broadcasting was that it only allowed information to travel one way - and what you saw or heard was what the broadcasters wanted you to see or hear. Against this background the Internet was born in 1969 when American academics fuelled by research dollars from the Pentagon, connected 4 major
university computers. This inter-network was a simple but efficient means of transmitting information. It was designed in part to withstand nuclear attack by sending data via alternative routes if one pathway was destroyed. It wasn't a hierarchy, each computer in the network could play an equally important role in keeping the information flowing. This essentially democratic if not anarchic structure was key to its rapid success. More and more computers connected to the internet and although it remained the preserve of scientists and engineers these early adopters played a vital role in developing communication standards. They also ensured that no one person or group controlled the net. It was vast pool of information that everyone could share equally in. And that is where the internet might have remained if it hadn't been for two important developments. First the Personal Computer introduced by IBM in 1981. These cheap but powerful machines were adept at word processing and doing sums but when Tim Berners Lee developed the world wide web in 1991, this graphical way of distributing and accessing information was a match made in heaven for the powerful desktop PC. This web has literally changed the way we view the internet and that change has brought the benefits of information sharing via the Net to billions. No longer is communication a one way street. The internet has give an equal voice to everyone who gets connected. Few would have predicted the widespread impact of the net in its short life to date - but that, say the experts is only the start. The real internet revolution is just about to start."
Science and Technology
BBC Radio Five Live
+44 181 6249542
+44 1235 539116
+44 1235 520259 FAX
This a brief but fairly detailed intruduction to the basic aspects of HTML - the language of the Internet.
22-3-02 It now contains a useful (:-|we think|) page of HTML tag examples. These are meant to be memory joggers suitable for desk or handbag, or as an exam paper attachment, rather than a tutorial. However they do show, basically, what HTML consists of.
What we do at Databasedesign.co.uk
- develop database applications on and off the internet.
- act as a source of practical information for teachers, students, and database and internet application developers.
- aim to help you solve database design and database and internet application development problems.
- promote the database books of John Carter and others. John's most recent book Database Design and Programming with Access, SQL and Visual Basic is available now. It came out in April 2000 and has its own (developing) web pages. Click here to have a look at the book and its web pages.
We are happy to help you with your database design problems by email or (soon) using our newsgroup and to provide on-line and on-site consultancy where necessary.
The advice we can offer most confidently concerns:
- robust relational database design using entity modelling and normalization
- SQL database programming
- Visual Basic and Access database programming (DAO and ADO)
- designing efficient database programs
- processing Access databases on the internet using Active Server Pages (ASP)
- writing VBScript server-side code (modified ADO) to display and update data from the Access database on the internet
- developing VBScript / HTML code locally using Personal Web Server (PWS)
- uploading application and database to an appropriate ASP - capable web server - Internet Information Server (IIS) - using Terrapin FTP
Putting lecture notes on the web
Downloading Word or Powerpoint files from the website to the student's disk doesn't seem like a good idea. First, because of the size of these files, and second because of the time taken to do the download. So we shall store them as HTML files. If you convert from Word to HTML, you lose the line drawings. FrontPage Express doesn't have a line drawing tool. Word can't save a line drawing as a .gif or .jpg, which is what you want for web pages. It is possible to generate line drawings in Word, copy and paste them into PaintShop Pro to turn them into .gifs and then load them into FrontPage. However, we shall try generating the handouts in Powerpoint (which does have a drawing tool and can produce reasonable HTML) and saving the result as HTML.
We are developing more ASP applications. This is our major interest at present.
We're just beginning to realize how nice it is to be able to allow multiple users to update a database from anywhere on earth, using the internet.
Try this one. You can update the database if you like. The password for updating is 'knucklebones'. No rude product names please :-) Remember, this data is available to everyone.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Plans and Notes
Alternatives to ASP on the server side
We are also checking out the Java language, which looks rather 70's-ish in its syntax and it's object oriented, which often makes simple things look less simple (to us). For users on non-ASP-capable web servers you will probably have to use this or C++ or Perl. These programs have to be compiled into CGI scripts and linked into your HTML code each time they are used. We like the ASP / VBScript approach because it's simpler and more advanced. We have heard, however, that one online travel company has switched from NT / ASP / SQL*Server / VBScript to LINUX / DB2 / C++ for better speed and connectivity.
Alternative web application development approaches
A UEL colleague (a good programmer) has developed a set of teaching slides for the web that link up to a database. He used Powerpoint to develop the slides, FrontPage 2000 to link up to his internet Access database, and Terrapin FTP to upload.
Our current approach is to use ASP / VBScript with hand-coded HTML for the server end and FrontPage Express with some HTML customization for the client end. Everything's tested out locally on our PC using PWS as a local ASP server and both IE and Netscape to see how the pages look, and it's then uploaded using Terrapin FTP to our internet server databasedesign.co.uk. Before uploading, we have to change all the DNS-less ADO connection strings.
We are investigating ways to increase productivity and have looked at Visual Interdev and Hot Metal, both of which seem to be little more than HTML generators, much like FrontPage. However, we need more experience using these packages before we can form a solid opinion. There are really two areas in which we seek to increase our productivity:
- Server side. We doubt whether we trust any packages that generate database code for us. This view probably arises out of our experiences with VB (e.g. the data controls and the report writers which often don't do what you want, or what they are supposed to do). It is still our policy to use raw DAO and ADO code in most cases.
Any advice, anecdotes etc. you can offer will be most welcome.
(11th Nov 2000) We have discovered that FrontPage has its limitations when developing ASP pages. It fiddles with the VBScript and introduces errors, including moving End If's. From now on our approach to developing web ASP web pages will be:
- Use FrontPage Express for basic page layout.
- When we get to the stage of ASP (VBScript) coding and subsequently, use humble NotePad - one copy for each page.
- Develop the whole site using PWS (Personal Web Server) for testing.
- Up-load to the internet host site.
Our current (30th Sept 2001) view on the simplest, cheapest and most reliable way to develop ASP applications(3rd June 2001) Our new, further simplified approach to developing ASP pages cuts out even more 'helpful' junk software. This is what we do now:
- Use FrontPage Express for basic page layout (and then manually correct all the hyperlinks that FrontPage screws up), or use straight HTML copied from a website we like and modify it to our requirements, or just, goddammit, type the HTML straight in.
- Do the subsequent HTML and ASP in NotePad. By ASP we mean writing VBScript commands embedded in HTML. Never subsequently use Frontpage for modifications, because it screws with the VBScript - shifting EndIf's about - really!
- Up-load immediately to the internet host site (rather than wasting time using PWS). We test our changes on-line. Phone costs are cheap and an upload takes just seconds.
Our basic tip is: avoid overly-complex 'development environments'. They are hard to understand because the instructions are written by programmers who flunked English; they are packed full of unnecessary 'features' because if you're a novice and you're going to buy a package you will want 'value for money' - you'll probably also think that the more expensive the package is, the easier it will be for you - no; they take a long time to learn because the basic things you want to do are surrounded by loads of unnecessary 'features' - you can't see the wood for the trees; their authors want to make simple tasks sound complex because they think that's hip. It isn't. Hip is doing it right. Don't waste time learning to use the latest clunky Development Environment. Learn English (I'm still working on this myself), HTML, proper database design, SQL, and VBScript (ASP is really just VBScript plus HTML). It's much easier, and you'll replace faith and rules of thumb with knowledge.
Thinking a bit more about this, I suppose another reason commercial software is so 'clunky' is not only that each new version has to have new 'features' to entice you to buy it, it also has to support all the features (however awful they are) of previous versions. Wouldn't it be nice if development software was designed to optimize use rather than to optimize profit and job creation? Discuss.
We intend to set up a newsgroup to handle correspondence regarding the books and to help share programming and database development and internet development experiences.
Experiments in Linking Web Pages to Databases using ASP (old)
See above for more recent developments.
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