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Web Hosting - Databases, What Are They and Do You Need One?
'Database' is one of the most commonly used terms that one encounters in web site design. Yet, what they really are and whether they're essential is often not clear to novices.
A database is a collection of organized data, stored in files that have a specific structure. It's that organization and structure that allows for easy and rapid storage and retrieval.
The need for a database generally only arises when you have a certain amount of information and that information needs to have some structure. If you have a half-dozen names and addresses to store, a database is usually overkill. If you have a blob of data with no relationships between any of the items in that blob, maintaining a database is usually more trouble than it's worth.
Maintain a database? Yes, like other complex systems a database, to be effective, needs to be designed properly at the outset then kept 'tuned' for good performance. The alternative is to gradually allow the database to become more and more disorganized. That leads to difficulty in use, poor speed of retrieval and more frequent failures.
With MySQL, Access or MS SQL Server, the three most common choices of database product for web sites today, setting up a database is relatively simple. Even those with limited technical skill can get one up and running just by following some simple instructions. But some thought should be given to how you want the information organized, and to maintaining the system during its lifetime.
Suppose you have a set of names, addresses, email addresses, products purchased, date purchased and amount. If you have only a few dozen records it matters very little how these pieces are arranged and related. A database usually isn't even warranted in this scenario. Once you have several thousand or more records, it matters a lot. Speed, the ease of expanding the set of attributes (like adding, say, product category), and other issues come into play.
Even those with little technical expertise, but a willingness to exert logical thought and invest some time, can build a very robust database. Think about how you would organize a set of data (called 'tables'). Should Name, Address, and Product be in the same table? Or should the personal information be stored in one table and any product information (product, price, ...) in another?
Some experimentation may be needed to get it right, but the choices have an impact on how easy the tables are to maintain. It also affects the speed with which programs can fetch old data and store the new.
Having a database also introduces new maintenance issues for the server administrator, since backups usually need to be done differently. Recovering a failed database is usually more complicated than simply re-copying files from yesterday. Ask your hosting company what tools and skills they have for dealing with any database system you consider.
It's true that introducing a database creates more complexity and the need for additional thought and administrative effort. At a certain level, professional expertise will be needed. But clearly the advantages outweigh the costs in many cases. Companies large and small eventually use databases to store and organize data. At some point, you may be fortunate enough to be one of them.
Free Baby Stuff Requires a Visit to Babies Online Babies online is the page on the Internet when it comes to free stuff for the baby and new parent. The page offers any parent resources about the growing baby. Anything from personalized weekly calendars, over calculators to articles and information can be found on this web page. All the information offered on the page is freely available to anybody who signs up for their free membership. Under the top pages offered by babies online are pages that contain links to other free baby web sites, fun birthday facts, a weekly pregnancy calendar, due date calculator, baby?s first year, baby photo contest, baby names and meanings, baby freebies and a baby?s online blog. These pages are visited by the most users and are also most frequently used by members of the page. All these pages offer information around pregnancy and the infancy. Some of the pages offer advice on many of the questions that parents have in their first year of parent hood or before during pregnancy. The baby pages section of the website offers anybody to have an online birth announcement for the newborn, to read other peoples birth announcement and even to create or read other women?s pregnancy journals. Anyone can create his or her own and then sent links to all their friends to show off their little one over cyberspace. Not only does this save the writing and buying of all those birth announcement cards, it also saves the stamps and printed pictures that generally are included in birth announcements. The freebies page offers users links to free baby websites, links to free baby product samples, free pregnancy wristbands, free photo prints, free baby coupons and even freebie alerts. The free baby?s web site section lets parents create a web page that is completely centered on their new addition and give the new parents a chance to share their precious with all their friends and family. In the free baby product sample section a parent can find anything from free magazine subscriptions to those famous parenting magazines, to formula samples and children?s books. Due to the ten year anniversary of the page the web site offers pregnant mothers a free pregnancy bracelet. It is not only sleek and fancy, but is also there to alert any doctors or other personnel of the mother?s pregnancy status in any kind of situation, such as fainting, unconsciousness or an accident. A link to a related photo-processing place offers free photos for parents. Shipping as well as the prints is free to anyone that signs up to receive this offer. The online photo page offers any of the services a local photo store or photo lab might offer. Cards, picture prints, enlargements, photo gifts, calendars and more can be bought from this online site additionally to the free prints. On the online babies coupons and sample page users can find links to good deals, links to coupons and links to free samples. This part of the page is sure worth checking out. Some of the deals are for baby gear and baby food, while others also have links to places that offer deals on toddler?s and younger children?s clothing items. Even if it is just the beginning of pregnancy, checking out what is available online; especially on babies online can have great advantages. Some of the links offer new parents and parents to be many samples of different formulas, if this is going to be the choices to feed the baby, parents have a chance to try the different formulas and additionally get coupons for their favorite one. Not just the coupons, but also the free tools and journals on the web page make it worth to check it out. So go ahead and surf the web page to get up to date with newest baby information.
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