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Lesson 4Integrating a database with a Web site
Objective Describe the technologies used to connect databases to the Web.

Integrating Database with Website

To integrate a database with a Web site, you need a mechanism that lets the Web server and the database server communicate.
On the Web server side, this mechanism is in the form of CGI scripts[1], APIs, and custom middleware[2] solutions. These mechanisms are used to talk to the database server. On the database server, database access protocols are used to access the data in a database. You will learn more about the communication process in the following Slide Show.

  1. The client sends a request to the Web Server
  2. The web server sends this request to the database server
  3. The database server queries the database and gets the information
  4. The database server returns this information to the web server
  5. The web server sends information to the client
Communication Process

Common Database Access Protocols

There are some database access protocols that you should be familiar with. The most common is called ODBC (or Open Database Connectivity). Another protocol is JDBC (or Java Database Connectivity). JDBC was developed by Sun Microsystems. OLE-DB is a Microsoft technology that is limited to the Windows NT platform. It provides limited support for databases, but is supported by the most popular databases. It is also possible to write code that directly interfaces with the database. This is referred to as native support. Native support is a way to enhance performance, but the downside is that it provides less portability. In the next lesson, you will learn more about using ODBC and SQL to connect a database to the Web.

Database Integration - Quiz

Click the Quiz link below to test your understanding of the database information you've learned so far.
Database Integration - Quiz

[1]CGI: Common Gateway Interface (CGI) is a specification for writing programs that enables transactions between a Web server and other programs on a server.
[2] Middleware: Software that functions as a translator to enable one application to communicate with another that either runs on a different platform or comes from a different vendor.