i have been presented with the task of creating a database-driven website for which all of the data currently resides in MS Access. what i want to know is, how should i go about connecting to the database from the website? do i have to learn asp to do this? or is it possible to somehow use perl (which i already sort of know)? or is it better to put the data into a different database program? i don't really know anything about Access so any help would be massively appreciated.
Access is OK for a (relatively) small amount of users and data. Once your database is over a few 100 MB it may be time look at other platforms. From Access, the upgrade to SQL Server is fairly seamless, and SQL Server will scale right up to huge amounts of traffic and data.
Access is also not great in a replicated environment (where you have databases distributed across a number of servers).
In terms of getting the data out onto a webpage, you could use ASP, ColdFusion, or probably even PHP. PHP would be the most suitable if you're familiar with Perl.
You could also use Perl I guess (Perl can do anything, right?) But I don't know exactly how this might be done.
Create a dsn for your access file (this is done on the webserver.. you may have to contact the host), then it's just a matter of choosing a language. Cold Fusion is probably the easiest way to go... but it costs money. With perl, you'd have to use the dbi functionalities. With php, use the odbc functions.
Sorry about the broad overview, but this is a pretty general subject