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Q1:If my database software isn't supported by ColdFusion, can I still use it?
A1: Yes, if you have the ability to export database files in one of the many formats ColdFusion recognizes. Most modern database packages support exporting to at least a few other file formats. At the very least, you can always export your data to a tab-delimited text file. It's a much less efficient method than using an actual database file, but it will work.
Q2:Are there other database-to-Web gateway applications?
A2: Yes, other popular development applications include PHP, Microsoft's Active Server Pages, Microsoft SQL Server, and mini-SQL. These represent a pretty wide range of price and features.
Q3:Are there other programs that use ODBC? Can I use these with databases I've created for use with ColdFusion?
A3: Yes, and yes. ODBC-compatible programs are great ways to read and write information to databases. As an example, let's say that I'm designing the layout of an article in a magazine. Using an ODBC design application, I can pull the content of my article from a database. The content might have been entered in the database by another ODBC application such as a word processor used by the article's author.
Q4:Does it help to look at other people's data maps when I'm designing my own?
A4: Yes. Observing the ways experienced database designers structure their files is a great way to gain insight for your own design. Many database models exist on the Web. Try performing a search in a comprehensive engine such as AltaVista or HotBot. Use keywords such as "database," "structure," "model," and "schema."
Q5:I see now that relating and sharing data across tables is my ticket to the big time. Where can I find more information?
A5: Your database software's help file is the best place to begin. Programs like Microsoft Access offer a detailed look at data relationships and use real-world examples to illustrate. Their stuffy examples won't be as exciting as TV Cop Pasta, but you'll gain ideas on how to use relationships in your tables.
Q6:I'm confused by the Access Query Builder. Should I be worried?
A6: No. Stick around for tomorrow's introduction to SQL, and all will be revealed.



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