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Chapter 23. A Database Primer > Installing a Database

Installing a Database

Now that you have a general idea as to what a database is and you understand some of the concepts that drive database functionality, it's time to actually choose and install one. Just like the server-side technology that you picked, the database you choose should coincide with your business practices, budget, scalability needs, feature wants, and more. Dreamweaver supports any ODBC-compliant database; unfortunately, we can't cover them all in this book, so for development purposes, the decision has been made to support the following three databases:

  • Access: Access is Microsoft's database solution for developers and small companies who desire to build and/or house data within a small yet reliable store. Access supports queries, keys, security, and relationship management but falls short of supporting important database features such as stored procedures.

  • MSDE/SQL Server 2000: SQL Server is the enterprise alternative for smaller and/or open source databases such as Access and MySQL. SQL Server 2000 and its successor SQL Server 2005 (coming soon) support important database functionality such as stored procedures, views, keys, security, relationship management via diagrams, and more. The downside is that SQL Server is an enterprise level database and as such costs a lot of money. If your organization plans on buying SQL Server at some point in time, you can always develop using the free, development version of SQL Server in MSDE. Microsoft Desktop Engine or MSDE is a free alternative for SQL Server developers who want to harness the power and flexibility of SQL Server now but plan to upgrade later.


    As of this writing, Microsoft is working on SQL Server 2005. If you want to take a crack at working with the newest database solutions available from Microsoft, you can download the 2005 Express Edition for free at http://lab.msdn.microsoft.com/express/sql/default.aspx.

  • MySQL: Gaining a lot of steam over the years is the free, open source database known as MySQL. MySQL provides a free, robust alternative to costly databases options such as SQL Server. The upside is obvious: its cost. The downside becomes obvious with its use. Tool support, while available, is inconsistent and at times tools overlap their functionality. Furthermore, unless you plan on downloading and working with the beta version of MySQL 5.0, important features such as views and stored procedures are not supported. Additionally, relationship management and referential integrity are not supported in MySQL. It's important to note that the PHP model in Dreamweaver only supports MySQL. As it relates to this book, if you choose the PHP server-side technology, you must use MySQL.



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