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Web Interaction with SQL?

By sscarbrough ·
I am familiar with relational databases (Access, FileMakerPro, etc.), but now need to dive deeper into SQL2000. Short of taking a full class, which will have lots of stuff I don't need, would this community have suggestions on how to tap into a small relational db via a web browser?

It turns out that we have hundreds of teachers on Macs emailing spreadsheets of student test results to two users, who must analyze the data. Seems to me that since each of these spreadsheets are roughly the same, that this is a good application for SQL, but how to manage it in a better way? My thought was to create a simple table for each tests, and simply relate it to each student using a unique ID.

But the mac thing - we can't do an Access front-end. And I'd just as well not run IIS, as we don't have the time to babysit it. We normally do apache on Netware, fwiw.

My SQL2000 server was setup by a VAR for biometric time and attendance. I have full access to it, but don't know much beyond that it works.

Input: Can I build a web in Front Page that will send and return pages? I need a book or something to guide me through this. I can get the spreadsheets into SQL. But the rest? I fear a standard SQL admin class won't get close.

Data analysis:
What's the best way to tap into the SQL tables? Perhaps simply with Excel's Pivot tables?

Searching in Storm Lake,
Steve

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by jartisan In reply to Web Interaction with SQL?

you have three issues: data conversion (excel to database), data presentation (platform issues etc) and data entry.

the first one to consider is the database to use. SQL2k is as good as any other I suppose, but unless you have a managment interface you will have a hard time using it. SQL is not easy to think in. I have excellent results using phpmyadmin (on apache web server but will work on any httpd with PHP installed ) as an interface to MySQL. So install Apache httpd on one of your Windows servers as a start. Then see if myphpadmin will work with SQL2k .. it might well do that right out of the box.

Now that the database is up, and you can create the tables etc you can arrange to import data. DO you need to import your existing data? It can be processed out of the sheets into a new database in various ways, have phpmyadmin read CSV files that you dump from the sheets, or import an SQL file dumped from your existing database (assuming you need to move it)

Now you have a database and it is loaded. To add more data you can give your teachers a web interface to the database. THis is where PHP and HTML come in. Again, you need PHP running on a web server and I recommend an Apache httpd. With that and some simple web page programming you will be up and running. You get to completely ignore any platform issues and can make the data entry page look very much like the excel sheet if you need to. Perhaps they will welcome a change if the web I/F is a better design?

For help on PHP you can google or Ask Jeeves, there are a zillion good sites on it. O'Reilly and others have excellent books on it - there are two "PHP Cookbook" titles out there, both good.

And so there you have it - what you want to do is not hard but will involve a big learning curve. If you need a faster solution there are lots of folks offering dynamic web page services (like me :-)

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