Updating access database from web. How to Build a Database Website by Using Access.



Updating access database from web

Updating access database from web

A previous client of mine had an Access database of products they sell, which they had been using offline. But increasingly this working arrangement had proven to be limited. Of course, but how? Simple — put it online. In addition, having their product database online opens the door to using it as the basis of a website for their business.

And all as a result of moving an existing Access database file from an offline to an online location. To make the transition to online databases easier, the existing Access database can be kept unchanged and simply uploaded to a suitable Windows host.

The hosting is not enough in itself, though, because you also need to build an interface allowing them to read and write to the database. These are essential for the use of Access from PHP. With the database online, however, they will be opening the database in a browser.

How can a browser be used to open, view, and edit an Access database? Well, think of the MS Access application as a user interface. As a UI, it has been designed to be used within Windows to read and write an Access database file. Remember, an Access database file is completely separate from the MS Access application software.

Thus it is possible to build an alternative UI to read and write to an Access database file. This one just happens to be run using a web browser. Before getting into the nuts and bolts of the UI, it is important to keep in mind that the data and the user interface are distinct aspects of a system. When using MS Access on a PC to use an Access database that is, offline , the application software is the front-end and the database file.

Similarly, when going online, the browser is the front-end and the database file is the back-end. The front-end connects to the back-end, and the back-end stores the data. The Microsoft Access database contains all the data and table definitions that are relevant to this article.

As per best practice, the data is separated into distinct tables. For example, the list of products is stored in the product table, and the list of categories is stored in the category table. The Access database is self-contained, with no links to external tables. Many products can be of any given category, and any given product can belong to more than one category.

For example, if the database purpose is to store details of silver antiques, a pair of 19th-Century silver cuff-links can be categorised as both 19th-Century and Gifts for Men.

That is, there is a many-to-many relationship between products and categories. Hence the need for the link table. Connection to Database Before reading or writing a database, a connection must be made to it. Windows hosts have a similar folder hierarchy to a Windows PC, so the location of the files on a Windows server will likely have a path of the form C: The code needed to connect to the Access database then would be similar to: Use the phpinfo function to check your installation for references to PDO.

With the driver installed, the output from phpinfo should include information like this: Thus, the following SQL examples should be easy to follow. This is readily achieved using the id of the product to select a single field from the product table. This ensures that Access knows it is to be stored as an apostrophe and not as the apostrophe that delimits the string.

Thus, the details would be retained for future reference. I hope it shows how little PHP is needed for the essential nitty-gritty of reading and writing an Access database, and how easy it is to understand these basic elements of database interaction using PHP. Of course, this is the bare minimum.

Comments on this article are closed. Have a question about PHP? Why not ask it on our forums? Meet the author David Francis David is a web developer based in England. He is an experienced programmer having developed software for various platforms including 8-bit CPUs, corporate mainframes, and most recently the Web. His preference is for simplicity and efficiency, avoiding where possible software that's complex, bloated, or closed.

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Updating access database from web

A previous client of mine had an Access database of products they sell, which they had been using offline. But increasingly this working arrangement had proven to be limited.

Of course, but how? Simple — put it online. In addition, having their product database online opens the door to using it as the basis of a website for their business. And all as a result of moving an existing Access database file from an offline to an online location.

To make the transition to online databases easier, the existing Access database can be kept unchanged and simply uploaded to a suitable Windows host. The hosting is not enough in itself, though, because you also need to build an interface allowing them to read and write to the database. These are essential for the use of Access from PHP. With the database online, however, they will be opening the database in a browser. How can a browser be used to open, view, and edit an Access database?

Well, think of the MS Access application as a user interface. As a UI, it has been designed to be used within Windows to read and write an Access database file. Remember, an Access database file is completely separate from the MS Access application software. Thus it is possible to build an alternative UI to read and write to an Access database file. This one just happens to be run using a web browser. Before getting into the nuts and bolts of the UI, it is important to keep in mind that the data and the user interface are distinct aspects of a system.

When using MS Access on a PC to use an Access database that is, offline , the application software is the front-end and the database file. Similarly, when going online, the browser is the front-end and the database file is the back-end. The front-end connects to the back-end, and the back-end stores the data. The Microsoft Access database contains all the data and table definitions that are relevant to this article.

As per best practice, the data is separated into distinct tables. For example, the list of products is stored in the product table, and the list of categories is stored in the category table. The Access database is self-contained, with no links to external tables. Many products can be of any given category, and any given product can belong to more than one category.

For example, if the database purpose is to store details of silver antiques, a pair of 19th-Century silver cuff-links can be categorised as both 19th-Century and Gifts for Men. That is, there is a many-to-many relationship between products and categories. Hence the need for the link table. Connection to Database Before reading or writing a database, a connection must be made to it. Windows hosts have a similar folder hierarchy to a Windows PC, so the location of the files on a Windows server will likely have a path of the form C: The code needed to connect to the Access database then would be similar to: Use the phpinfo function to check your installation for references to PDO.

With the driver installed, the output from phpinfo should include information like this: Thus, the following SQL examples should be easy to follow. This is readily achieved using the id of the product to select a single field from the product table. This ensures that Access knows it is to be stored as an apostrophe and not as the apostrophe that delimits the string.

Thus, the details would be retained for future reference. I hope it shows how little PHP is needed for the essential nitty-gritty of reading and writing an Access database, and how easy it is to understand these basic elements of database interaction using PHP.

Of course, this is the bare minimum. Comments on this article are closed. Have a question about PHP? Why not ask it on our forums?

Meet the author David Francis David is a web developer based in England. He is an experienced programmer having developed software for various platforms including 8-bit CPUs, corporate mainframes, and most recently the Web.

His preference is for simplicity and efficiency, avoiding where possible software that's complex, bloated, or closed.

Updating access database from web

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