Internet Databases...PLEASE HELP!

  skoolboyhuneedshelp 15:20 18 Feb 2004

I am running a website into which people have to put in their details to sign upo for products. Is there any way I can create a database in Microsoft Access XP so that records can be put in from the website straight inta a databse. I am hosted by fasthosts (click here) and have signed up to their Starter account. Also if it is helpful I created the site in Microsoft Frontpage XP and uploaded via ftp to my site.

  Taran 16:23 18 Feb 2004

Look in the FrontPage help files for the word 'database' and see what you get. There are tutorials and examples in there which show you how to create forms that send their results to an Access database.

FrontPage creates the database for you in a locked down folder and obligingly also creates the ASP and Global.asa pages for it all to work properly.

The database will be created in Access 2000 format but that shouldn't be a problem since that's the default database format that Access 2002 [or XP] uses with the option of updrading 2000 databases to 2002 format if required. This is normally only necessary for very large and/or comlex databases and it can help performance.

Anyway, I digress. Check out those helpfiles then come back here with specific questions. Look for the database results wizard as well, and take a look at this site click here

Your web host will need to support an Access database and FrontPage generated ASP pages - not the same as .NET, so be warned.

  skoolboyhuneedshelp 16:33 18 Feb 2004

You say "your web host will need to support an Access database and FrontPage generated ASP pages - not the same as .NET, so be warned". Does that mean I need Front Page extentions enabled?

  Taran 16:57 18 Feb 2004

You only need FrontPage extensions for those FrontPage functions that require them.

Before you roll your eyes at me for such an ambiguous reply, most of the extension requirements are for things like hit counters, hover buttons and similar widgets.

However, the built in form handler for ordinary FrontPage forms to forward form details onto you rely on the extensions being installed.

We are talking here about FrontPage Active Server Pages and an Access database though, so to a degree I'd say you should be on safe ground. It all depends on just how many of the features of FrontPage you call upon, which makes it almost impossible to answer with any real hope of being 100% correct, since I don't know the structure of the web you are making or how you have put it all together.

Drop your web host an email asking them if your account supports FrontPage ASP pages and a FrontPage generated Access database.

  skoolboyhuneedshelp 19:02 18 Feb 2004

Thanks again for helping me. However my account does not support Front Page Extentions so do I have to upgrade my account?

  Forum Editor 19:08 18 Feb 2004

because unless your server account has the FrontPage extensions installed and enabled you won't be able to use any of the enhanced FrontPage features. Most web hosts will install the extensions (which are free to download) for a modest fee.

  Forum Editor 19:13 18 Feb 2004

and it looks as if you'll need to upgrade your account to their Home Pro package before you get FP extensions. At that account level you can choose between a Microsoft and a Linux server.

The starter package is automatically on a Linux server.

  skoolboyhuneedshelp 13:08 19 Feb 2004

the thing is that I dont want to upgrade to a home pro package. The only feature I want from the homepro package is the frontpage extensions.

  Taran 14:03 19 Feb 2004

You have two choices:

1. Use your current hosting account and operate within its feature limitations.

2. Upgrade your account to one that has everything you need built in to do whatever you want to do.

There are other ways of implementing form to database web pages, but not one of them compares to the overall ease of use that FrontPage offers.

You can get PHP scripts, Perl scripts that run in your CGI bin [always assuming that your hosting package allows you to run custom CGI scripts] and other widgets that can write form content to database files.

This is how it works:

You host has to provide database support of one form or another, and the most common are MySQL and Access running with PHP and ASP respectively.

FrontPage can deliver your form content into a fully blown Access database or it can write to a flat file database in text of CSV format. You can then download and import that flat file at a regular interval into a "proper" database made in any application you like - most people use Access, but you could easily use Excel, FileMaker Pro, Alpha 5, Lotus Approach and similar.

Now, to do this, you need a web host that supports FrontPage extensions since the FrontPage form handler relies on the extensions being present and correct on your web host account.

No FrontPage extensions = no form to database.

It's that simple.

You either need an account with the FrontPage extensions or you need to pay even more for a fully blown Windows account that features Access database and ASP page support, then you need to get your head around the ASP to Access options within FrontPage, and compared to a simple form with default write to textfile as a built in option you'll be taking on a very steep learning curve that requires a far more expensive hosting option.

If you create a form on a FrontPage web page and right click to select the form properties, you will see that by default it is set to save all form feedback to a comma delimited text file - that's a flat file database for those not familiar with data storage. But without the FrontPage extensions installed you don't get the built in form handling, so you don't get the flat file database written to and you don't get your form details submitted by email.

it's all down to choices, but believe me, wrestling with Perl scripts or even PHP to write to a database is no picnic when you can point and click in FrontPage to get the same overall effect, just as long as you have those cruial FrontPage extensions available...


  skoolboyhuneedshelp 14:09 19 Feb 2004

i appreciate your help. Thanks Taran :-)

  PurplePenny 21:34 21 Feb 2004

"as I don't think I should use the forum to promote a book"

If you don't have a financial interest in the book you aren't promoting it - you are recommending it; we do it all the time on here! :-)


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