Choosing a Database for Your Web Site

410 words

Title: Choosing a Database for Your Web Site; John Paul Ashenfelter; John
Wiley & Sons Inc; ISBN: 0-471-29690-2; Paperback; 443 pages; US$34.99,

Reviewer: A.T.Connellan, "Choosing a Database for your Web Site is right
on the mark, and well worth the money."  

In recent years, and while many of us weren't looking, commerce has gone global.
Small companies with only an Internet presence began to out-perform old
established retailers and other players in the economy.

Of the remainder some, unable to compete, or unwilling to go World Wide Web,
strangled by outmoded methods, quietly disappeared. This has produced a
scramble to update, and some remarkable business opportunities.

E-commerce, is the predicted future of business. It has many faces, and the
realization that, to sell products and services in the future, it will be
necessary to utilize the Internet, probably in the form of an inter-active
web site.

The step between this realization and the actual format is a giant leap, a
stretch that intimidates the bravest of us. Author John Paul Ashenfelter has
created a manual to guide the most timid of us onto the optimal path.

Successful selling is pretty basic, whether it is a service or product: state
the fact with the accompanying benefit. The most practical way to accomplish
this is with a database, accessible on a web site. 

Easier said than done. The marketplace is replete with solutions and traps.
Given that the critical objective is to select the right database, some study
is in order. 

This is based on the premise that the user/reader is best equipped to identify
the objective of the database, and with the proper knowledge, best equipped to
design and install, the most workable solution.

Choosing a Database for your Web Site is "targeted at the budding datamaster."
The authors expressed goal is to help us "understand the general ways that web
database products work, and to provide practical performance information on a
large cross-section of the specific software products currently available."

He succeeds admirably by organizing the book in 3 parts Essential: Background;
Tools; and Applications. Readers are encourage to jump here, there, and back
and forth through the independent chapters.

The text is peppered with shaded note panels, relevant websites, forms, and
screen reproductions. Among the worthwhile websites, there is direction to a
free, on-line dictionary.

There are a couple of minor cavils; a glossary would have been helpful, and
there are a surprising number of spelling errors. The guy can design a
database, but he can't operate the spell checker.

That out of the way, John Paul Ashenfelter met his objective, and Choosing a
Database for your Web Site is right on the mark, and well worth the money.

It's a "keeper."

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