Data-driven Web sitesyou've heard the term thrown about the local Starbucks® a million times, spoken by men and women with really nice shoes and really small laptops. You've heard about the power of Microsoft's® Active Server Pages™, and of the awe and might of Allaire's® Cold Fusion. But you think to yourself, We don't have any more money in the budget; there's no way we can afford one of those commercial databases or application servers. Besides that, who's going to develop it? The developer alone is out of our price range.
Luckily, you can do it yourself using tools that are easier to use and can produce the same results as expensive commercial applications can give you. In this chapter you'll be introduced to the free 1 MySQL database and shown how to use it with PHP to create your own data-driven Web sites.
Integrating your Web site with a database opens up worlds of possible features that you can add to give your users a more interactive and robust experience while visiting your site. It also makes it easier for you, as a developer, to create a site by using modularized pieces of information stored in a database.
If you did the earlier projects (and I know you didyou wouldn't skip ahead would you?), you can easily use PHP to connect to a database and join in on the data-driven Web site frenzy.