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Web Database Developer's Guide with Visual Basic 5

World Wide Web Database Developer's Guide with Visual Basic 5


Online WWW Database Development Resource

The World Wide Web abounds with numerous (and growing) wonderful sites full of great examples, technical information, and product summaries pertinent to Web applications development in general and Web database applications development specifically. Many of these resources can be located easily by using your favorite Net search engines, whereas others are less prominent. This appendix lists some of the sites we came across while writing this book. These sites contain a wealth of valuable information and links to other resources as well. They are well worth a look, especially if you are just getting started with Web database development.

OReilly Developers Corner

On the O'Reilly Developers Corner site, you will find

Web Developers Virtual Library: Database

The Web Developer's Virtual Library site contains numerous links to a variety of sites pertaining to Web database development.

Here are some of the topics for which you'll find links:

This site also includes a form that encourages visitors who have their own Web DB-related sites to submit information to have their sites listed as links from this page. Therefore, the volume and scope of this page are updated continually and reflect the latest happenings in Web database development.

Web Developers Series Overview

The Web Developer's Series site, operated by Interface Technologies Corporation, contains a nice series of articles and tutorials written by Marshall Brain.

This series covers a broad spectrum of Web development topics, including the following:

How To Do a Searchable Database

The How To Do a Searchable Database site includes samples that use search engines, interfaces to relational databases, and other tools. It also contains links to numerous other sites of information for Web database development.

Database Demos

The Database Demos site, operated by Bristol Database Resources Inc., provides access to demos of Web database applications using Oracle, Oraperl, and C.

The DBI (Database Independence) Site

The Database Independence Site contains a wealth of information and links to sites about Dbperl, a Perl language database access API.

The site includes information, documentation, examples, tutorials, and access to drivers for databases such as these:

Accessing a Database Server Via the World Wide Web

The Accessing a Database Server Via the World Wide Web site contains information and links about a multitude of commercial and freely available Web database gateway products. It also offers links to a Web database discussion forum, where you can ask questions and exchange ideas with others involved in Web database development.

Free Databases and Tools

The Free Databases and Tools site is maintained by David Muir Sharnoff. It is an attempt to maintain a listing of all known freely available databases, and it contains an abundance of information about where you can find freely available databases and tools. It also provides links to enumerated lists of free compilers and languages.

This site is an excellent reference and starting point, and it provides information on the following:

Databases and tools listed at this site follow:


Here are a few links to vendor sites for information about desktop database systems. Many of these sites provide examples, case studies, information on Internet database applications, evaluation software downloads, and free software add-ons.

dBASE 5.0 for Windows


Microsoft Access

Microsoft Visual FoxPro

Paradox 7 for Windows 95 and Windows NT


Large database systems can be defined in many ways. This book generally refers to large database systems as commercially available relational databases that often are several gigabytes in size and operate in multiuser environments. This section presents brief descriptions and URLs to Websites containing information on several of the more popular large relational systems used today.

DB2 World Wide Web Connection

The DB2 World Wide Web Connection site contains information on a gateway product that enables you to use HTML and SQL to access DB2 and other databases. This site contains product information, information about existing installations, and links to enable you to download evaluation software.

The Illustra site includes information on Illustra's object-oriented database products, including the Web DataBlade Module, which offers tools and functions designed to support the development of interactive Web database applications.

Informix Software, Inc.

The Informix site includes information on object-oriented database products, including the Web DataBlade Module (acquired from Illustra), which offers tools and functions designed to support the development of interactive Web database applications.

Microsoft SQL Server Home Page

The Microsoft SQL Server home page is a good starting point to obtain information about SQL Server. It contains numerous links to product information, Internet resources, software downloads, and so on.

Sybase Website

The Sybase site includes information on Sybase products, including links to information about the new web.sql product that enables you to integrate Web servers and Sybase SQL Server database applications by using techniques such as embedding SQL in HTML pages.

Welcome to Oracle

The Welcome to Oracle site includes information about the Oracle product line, including links to information about the recently released Oracle Web Server and Oracle Power Browser products.


This section provides URLs to sites for information about many of the more popular, freely available shareware database systems. Most of these sites provide information about the product, its capabilities, and how it can be obtained. Many sites also contain examples, case studies, information on Internet database applications, and links to a variety of other related sources of information.

Postgres95 Home Page


Web-Database Gateways

A growing number of Web database gateway products is available freely or commercially. Most of these products are designed to abstract the details about the actual database access. Instead, you can access a database by creating high-level form definition files that describe viewing the database; embedding SQL queries within HTML documents so that data can be retrieved on-the-fly; or using gateway functions that automatically create HTML forms on-the-fly, based on query constraints defined by the end user. Most of these products also enable you to specify how database results should be formatted for presentation to the user; this often is accomplished through some form of report template file.

The ease and speed with which systems using these products can be developed makes them very attractive for prototyping and developing systems that don't require complex querying capabilities. This section provides URLs to sites for numerous gateways available today.

About Web/Genera

Web/Genera is a software toolset that enables you to integrate Sybase databases with the Web.

Web/Genera developers simply write high-level descriptions of the Sybase database and how to present the database contents to the user. Web/Genera then uses these descriptions to perform the following tasks:

DB Gateway System (Computer Systems Development Corporation)

The DB Gateway System site contains information about a Web database gateway product developed by CSDC while working for the United States Army.

The product enables you to embed statements within HTML forms used by the gateway to pass queries to the database. Additionally, you can specify report template files so that database query results can be returned in a customized manner. The gateway application is a Visual Basic application and currently supports access to Microsoft Access and FoxPro databases.

The site includes a fair amount of information and examples of how the gateway works. It also offers online demos that you can try to get a sense of how the gateway works. This software is available at no cost from this site. Links to required software on the Microsoft FTP site also are provided.

GSQLA Mosaic-SQL Gateway

GSQL is a gateway that enables forms rendered on a Mosaic browser to access SQL databases. Like other gateway programs, GSQL uses definition files, called proc files, to determine how forms should be created and how the user input is assembled into SQL queries for the database to process. The site includes numerous links to sites using GSQL, as well as instructions on downloading and usage.

OraPlex General Info

StormCloud WebDBC

StormCloud is the developer of WebDBC--a highly capable Web database application development tool that enables you to rapidly develop database applications using virtually any ODBC-compliant database and most common Web servers in use today. WebDBC provides support for ISAPI, NSAPI, CGI, JDBC, ODBC, and HTML 3.0. Additionally, WebDBC provides the unique capability to embed VBScript in results files that are used to process database results.

This site contains several working demos of the product; white papers; a short FAQ on Web database development; and links to download a full-fledged, single-user copy of the product.

WDBA Web Interface to SQL Databases

WDB is a software toolset (a cgi-bin program written in Perl) that enables you to integrate SQL databases (currently, Sybase, Informix, and mSQL) with the Web. WDB was written for the NCSA HTTP server. It enables developers to describe views of a database via form-definition files (FDFs). Using these FDFs, WDB creates on-the-fly HTML forms that enable users to query a database. The FDFs also enable you to define a template describing how results should be formatted and then presented to the user.

More WWW-DBMS Gateways

The following sites are great starting points to gather information on a variety of freely available and commercial database gateway products and tools. The information is amply supplemented with links to more in-depth and alternative sources of information.

Miscellaneous Sites

Numerous additional WWW development resources abound at various sites. Virtually any topic or problem you can think of has been addressed or experienced by others willing to share what they've learned through experience. In fact, many of these sites contain brief examples that illustrate key fundamental usage of various databases (such as Sybase and Oracle), Perl language extensions (such as Sybperl), and information on CGI programming in general.

This section presents URLs to several sites we found useful while developing this book. We encourage you to explore these sites and the many links they contain. These are excellent starting points if you're undertaking WWW database applications development or are interested in learning more about WWW applications development in general.

Browser Watch

This site provides a one-stop update on the latest happenings (and rumors) in browsers, ActiveX controls, plug-ins, and everything else related to Web applications development. You'll find links to browser listings, galleries of ActiveX controls, and numerous examples. This is a must-visit site that should be added to your list of favorites.

CGI Information

Follow these four hypertext links:



World Wide Web

CGI--Common Gateway Interface

in succession to find a treasure trove of information about CGI development.

This site on Yahoo! contains a comprehensive list of CGI programming references, including links to sites where you can download libraries for performing CGI programming in C, Perl, and other languages. It is updated frequently.

Integrating Structured Databases into the Web: the MORE System

JWalk & Associates

This site, developed by JWalk & Associates, is simply one of the best sites around when it comes to illustrating many of the amazing things you can do with VBScript and ActiveX. It provides numerous examples that use the following:

This is a must-visit site!


SybPerlFrequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

VB4/Access CGI Programming

World Wide Web Databases and Searching

Follow these four hypertext links:



World Wide Web

Databases and Searching

in succession to find a wealth of information about Web database development and Web searching technologies.

This Yahoo! site contains numerous links to sites dedicated to database topics, many of which contain Web database information. It is updated frequently.