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  1. #1
    SitePoint Member
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    I have some ideas for how I would like to upgrade my site, but they all involve database work, which is beyond me.

    It seems that I run into alot of web page designers, but not very many actually are fluent in designing databases. Those that have some knowledge only seem interested in doing full designs of big sites.

    Here is what I need. Can anyone give me some ideas on the minimum I would have to pay to get the following done: (I will try to be brief)

    I run a site called www.Chamberjobs.com/
    It posts job listings for Chamber of Commerce Executives. Currently, I actually write all of the new jobs into HTML and post them on seperate pages according to state. There are of course 50 state pages, that are linked to a main HTML table.

    I would like to enter the jobs into a form and have the data pop into the appropriate state pages and be reflected on a table. I would also like to have 2 seperate tables. One that would only show jobs under 30 days old. Another table that would show jobs 31-90 days old.

    Once a job turns 31 days it hits the "older" table. Once it turns 91 days it is deleted.

    The second major feature I want to institute is a resume bank. I want executives to enter data into a form. I then want to post those resumes (manually or automatically) under a password protected area on my site.

    I would then sell access to this area of my site to Chambers in need of an exec. I would need credit card processing hooked up. I would want the Chambers to be able to search for execs based on salary reqs, years of experience, etc. and get corresponding matches.

    Based on all of that long winded info, what are some ball park price ranges for what I described? Also, are there any suggestions of where to seek a developer who would be willing to work on a small account such as this?

    Thanks for any help or ideas.



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  2. #2
    SitePoint Author Kevin Yank's Avatar
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    I'd love to quote you for the job; unfortunately, I've got too much other stuff on my plate right now.

    You might want to keep an eye on SitePoint's upcoming series of articles on PHP/MySQL database-driven Web design. With those skills under your belt, you could actually do the work yourself.


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  3. #3
    SitePoint Guru Vincent Puglia's Avatar
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    Hi Paul,

    Some comments:
    Whether an opening is 1 day or 120 days old should not matter. A dateSubmitted column should decide where and if a record gets displayed.
    Also, you should consider redesigning your states page so that they are in a selection list; scrolling down to find the link for, say, Oregon is a bit more tedious than typing the letter "O".
    Insofar as dbms itself, you neglected to mention what facilities you have -- server, cgi, dbms, etc.

    Vinny

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  4. #4
    SitePoint Wizard TWTCommish's Avatar
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    Paul,

    I would recommend DBMan from Gossamer Threads. Their site, however (http://www.gossamer-threads.com), is in the middle of being revamped. Expect it back up in a day or two.

    DBMan is Perl based, so it can only handle 1MB worth of text, which is quite a lot. After 1MB it slows down and could become a problem.

    It sounds like, however, it would be perfect for what you're talking about. Their support forums are loaded with VERY helpful people, the best support I've ever seen...look for Carol ("JPDeni"), Eliot ("AnthroRules") and Lois ("LoisC").

    There are tons of add ons...there's a modification available to delete records after a certain number of days, and I'm sure Carol could help you write a mod to create two columns depending on how old the record is.

    You could also (fairly easily, I might add) have a short description of each job, which is a link to a new page with more info on that job. Then on that page, you can even have a link to "Send this job to a friend"...a new page comes up with a form, you enter their email, your name, and a message to go with the job.

    The script is $100 for a license. With that license you can use it an unlimited number of times (as long as its all on the same site). You get free upgrades for a year.

    There's an SQL version coming out soon for $450.

    I don't work for these guys or anything, I just love their script! Carol, Eliot and Lois don't seem to require any compensation for their generous help (its weird, none of them are employed by the makers), but personally, I plan to get Carol something nice after all she's helped me with!



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  5. #5
    Serial Publisher silver trophy aspen's Avatar
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    my actual title right now is "Website Database Engineer" so I guess I could tell you how much it would cost.

    Well we often charge how much the person is willing to spend. For car dealerships the total website package is aimed at $20,000 because they have alot of money to spend the since the site is selling cars it pays for itself very fast. And the database is the largest chunk of that cost. I can tell you that $140 an hour is something you might have to pay. It all depends on experience.

    If I undertook your project I would probably would charge 5 grand at a minumum. Its quite a bit of work to do everything you want.

    Just like you said there aren't alot of database people out there and its very in demand right now so its expensive.

    If you are looking to pay less you would hire someone with less experience and maybe try to barter with them. Of course if you learned how to and did it yourself you would save yourself money and have developed a highly marketable set of skills.

    Chris

  6. #6
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    So far I've just been learning how to do HTML. I have never done any database design with the exception of working offline with Microsoft Access.

    How difficult is MySQL to learn. Can I pick up a copy and a book and go to town? My site is remotely hosted on my ISP's server. I know I have a cgi-bin, but after that the technical details get foggy.

    Back to my original question - does anyone have any idea on how much it would cost to contract out database work like this? I really have no idea and I'd like to get some ball park estimates.

    Thanks,
    Paul

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    SuperThinkers - showcasing ingenious websites created by everyday people.

  7. #7
    SitePoint Member
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    Thanks for your reply Aspen. I must have been posting near the same time that you were.

    I think you are right. It is all about supply and demand. Your estimate at least gives me a starting point.

    Thanks,
    Paul


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  8. #8
    SitePoint Wizard TWTCommish's Avatar
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    Paul,

    I might be able to handle the work for you if you were to go with DBMan. I guess I'd tack on an extra $100 to the fee to pay for the script.

    If you'd like to discuss this a bit my email is webmaster@warningtrack.net



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    Chris - TWT Commish
    http://www.warningtrack.net
    "Baseball - Baked Fresh Daily"

  9. #9
    Your Lord and Master, Foamy gold trophy Hierophant's Avatar
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    I was going to say around $less than aspen estimated$ if I was to personally do the site, not sure if I can do that but we can talk some privately. It doesn't seem that difficult to do. I can see it taking 3 tables: jobs posted, resumes, and users (so they can post jobs, their personal resumes or review candidates for higher depending on access level). The front end would be the most difficult part of it.

    Just a gentle reminder if you actually want bids or to post a bid on this project you have to take it outside the forums. If you mention actual money terms make sure they are not interpreted as bids.

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    Wayne Luke - Sitepoint Moderator/Internet Media Developer
    Digital Magician Studios - Making Magic with Web Applications
    wluke@digitalmagician.com

    [This message has been edited by wluke (edited May 16, 2000).]

  10. #10
    SitePoint Guru Vincent Puglia's Avatar
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    Hi Paul,

    If you have some programming knowledge (or at least aren't afraid of it) the O'Reilly (publisher) books cover at least the essentials. SQL (structured query language) is simple to learn and use (the problems, if any, arise in database design). A simple SQL statement is:
    select * from myTableName where SomeConditionIsMet. If I remember right, Access uses some sort of crippled, pseudo sql.
    Make sure that whoever you decide on knows how to design the database tables properly -- you can always modify whatever front end they supply later.

    Vinny


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  11. #11
    Serial Publisher silver trophy aspen's Avatar
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    Just for clarification I was not bidding, just giving him a # of how much I would charge. I wouldn't want to do this project since I have my plate full with nice lucrative car dealerships.

    Since you have some experience with Access if you tried to do it yourself you should use NT and ASP. That way you can keep your same Access back end.

    Access has this export feature where you load up a query and then click file>export you can export to an asp page and Access will generate both the ASP page and an html form to access the query. This is a good starting point but is in no way a finished product. Characteristic of many microsoft "web publishling wizards" it doesn't work. So you need to go back and fix the errors. Also an understanding of how Access and ASP work is required. For quotes and wildcard figures and whatnot. But anycase if you try that and then buy a book on ASP you may be able to figure most things out. It'll take some work but if you have the time doing it yourself is a viable option.

    you could also try a PHP Mysql approach, and that is in my opinion easier to learn than ASP. But since you already are familiar with access it may be easier to try the nt and ASP approach. Of course where your site is hosted at now, either on NT or Unix/linux might dictate this decision for you.

    Chris

  12. #12
    SitePoint Wizard
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    Yep, SQL is very English-like and therefore easy to learn.

    "Access uses some sort of crippled...sql."

    MS Access with ADO2.1 uses the same SQL that SQL_Server7.0 does and that's full SQL...AFAIK

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  13. #13
    Your Lord and Master, Foamy gold trophy Hierophant's Avatar
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    Actually Access uses JET-SQL which is slightly different and less powerful than SQL Server's version. For what he wants to do though Access would be a good place to start if he wants to do the work himself.

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    Wayne Luke - Sitepoint Moderator/Internet Media Developer
    Digital Magician Studios - Making Magic with Web Applications
    wluke@digitalmagician.com


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