A web database is a system for storing and displaying information that is accessible from the Internet / web. The database might be used for any of a wide range of functions, such as a membership database, client list, or inventory database. A web database is a type of Web Application.
A Web database is a database application designed to be managed and accessed through the Internet. Website operators can manage this collection of data and present analytical results based on the data in the Web database application. Databases first appeared in the 1990s, and have been an asset for businesses, allowing the collection of seemingly infinite amounts of data from infinite amounts of customers.
A web database is ideal for situations when the information should be shared, or when it must be accessed from various locations. It is especially beneficial when the system is to be shared between locations or different devices (like tablets, computers and cell phones).
A web database can be used for a range of different purposes. Each field in a table has to have a defined data type. For example, numbers, strings, and dates can all be inserted into a web database. Proper database design involves choosing the correct data type for each field in order to reduce memory consumption and increase the speed of access. Although for small databases this often isn’t so important, big web databases can grow to millions of entries and need to be well designed to work effectively.
Content management systems commonly use web databases to store information such as posts, usernames, and comments. Using a database allows the website to be updated easily and without the need to edit the HTML code for each individual page. Not only is this a much more efficient way of creating and updating a website, but it also makes the process more accessible to people who aren’t fluent in the programming languages of the Internet.
An example of where a web database may be used is for an online forum. Forum software often creates a database with a number of tables, including one for users, posts, and settings. It is important for the relationships between the database tables to be properly set and defined so that posts and users can be linked together easily.
Web Database Software
Web database software programs are found within desktop publishing programs, such as Microsoft Office Access and OpenOffice Base. Other programs include the Webex WebOffice database and FormLogix Web database. The most advanced software applications can set up data collection forms, polls, feedback forms and present data analysis in real time.
Web databases enable collected data to be organized and cataloged thoroughly within hundreds of parameters. The Web database does not require advanced computer skills, and many database software programs provide an easy “click-and-create” style with no complicated coding. Fill in the fields and save each record. Organize the data however you choose, such as chronologically, alphabetically or by a specific set of parameters.
Businesses both large and small can use Web databases to create website polls, feedback forms, client or customer and inventory lists. Personal Web database use can range from storing personal email accounts to a home inventory to personal website analytics. The Web database is entirely customizable to an individual’s or business’s needs.
Often in the world of Web databases, MySQL (structured query language) will be mentioned. This is a relational database management system that manages different Web databases. It operates as a server, and is an open source project. MySQL is often included with Web hosting for managing either personal or business website databases. It is a programming language, so is a more difficult to work with than a straight Web database software program.
Benefits that come through the use of web-based DBMS are:
- Provides simplicity
- Web-DBMS is Platform independence
- Provides Graphical User Interface (GUI)
- Provides Cross-platform support
- Facilitates transparent network access