Need to Integrate Databases Into Your Web Page?

Need a product to act as a go-between for ODBC database (Access, Oracle, etc.) and a Web server so you can deliver "live" data to your Web pages? Adobe ColdFusion lets you develop applications that periodically input data to and output data from a database via the Internet and the Web. PHP is another, cheaper way to go.

ColdFusion is the leading application development tool. It enables you to create interactive, dynamic Web sites. Using ColdFusion, you can create CF files by simply extending your HTML files with ColdFusion Mark-up Language and Structured Query Language. The CF server processes these pages and sends them back to the Web server as an HTML page. This, in turn, is passed on to the browser.

ColdFusion lets you: search databases for specific data; design queries with more liberal and personalized data retrieval; execute conditional code as needed to customize responses for developing situations; enhance the standard HTML form capabilities; populate form elements dynamically; use formatting functions to customize dates and currency values; and simplify data entry.

Most reputable Web hosting firms offer ColdFusion on the NT platform from. Managed and dedicated platforms have the most effective ColdFusion deployments. Though ColdFusion is available on the UNIX platform, it is not widely available.

If you have a UNIX platform, an inexpensive option is the use of the Hypertext Pre-processor (PHP). PHP is a server-side, cross-platform, HTML embedded scripting language that extends HTML so that database information can be queried without ColdFusion. Because of it is cheap and speedy, PHP is quite popular amongst open-source developers.

Since PHP plugs directly into the Apache Web server, the most popular server software in use, you can utilize PHP code in your own Web pages to query SQL relational databases.

The cost for individual deployments of "mySQL" is free. This makes PHP and mySQL a huge value for many. Most hosts offer mySQL and PHP. However, performance may vary considering how many shared hosts currently inhabit the server. This caveat extends to ColdFusion applications as well.

Both ColdFusion and PHP integrate dynamic database content into your Web presence. Both are viable options.