Putting a Database on a site

Hello folks,

I would like to put a “searchable” database on my website. In other words, I would like visitors to my site to be able to search for specific information I have in a database.

For example, lets say

  1. I have a database on fast food resturants - Name - size - town - type of food - delivery status - payment by credit card.
  2. A site visitor wants to know all the fast food resturants of a certain name which makes pizzas and delivers.

My Questions are these,

  1. Can I make up this type of database using Microsoft Excel, Access and or Wordperfect Quattro Pro 9.

  2. How difficult is it to publish the database to the web.

  3. How do I make up a form that visitors can fill in to find specific information and search the database to get the results they want.

  4. How do I make up a form that visitors can fill in to find specific information and search different databases on a web site to get the results they want.

Now I know I am a newbie. I have read many of the database articles but I feel that the authors think you are in a certain “knowledge” place based on how they write the articles. I go away from them feeling more mixed up than ever about the issue.

If you were a newbie where would you start so you could get to the point I am trying to with this database?

Are there any websites which will start me at the bottom and pull me through to the end??

BTW, I would like anyone’s opinion about
BitLocker http://www.bitlocker.com
especially about their 25MB limit for free services. Do you feel that is enough for a pretty good size database??

Thanks again,


Hi WP,

You could create such a database in Microsoft Access I believe, however you’d then have to use Active Server Pages (ASP)…which is good, but obviously SP has a great tutorial on PHP…so it’s your call.

You’re right; you do need a little bit of experience to fully comprehend Kevin’s series…however a solid knowledge of HTML and HTML forms (especially the latter) should be just fine…you’ll just have to take your time with everything and follow it step by step.

I’m not sure how ASP works, but with PHP you’d setup a form to submit data into an SQL database…

One of the most complete step by step instructions that I have found for publishing a database and creating a form for searches can be found at
Microsoft FP2000 ASP Wizard

The only problem is that you have to have FP2000 to use it. It is not a traditional microsoft windows wizard that asks a few questions and gives you a half baked product. It is a detailed instruction set for deploying an Access Database to the web using ASP and FP2000. You will need an NT host to publish to the web though although it might work on Unix with Chilisoft ASP installed.

Seriously, if you want to learn anything like this, buy a nice big book on it, I recently purchased "Sams teach you MySQL in 21 days and I have learnt so much, it also has heaps of info on PHP.

I also recommend “Professional PHP Programming”…it’s decent as a tutorial, and outstanding as a reference, although a bit fuzzy in its wording at times.

If you want an easy way to put up a database, take a look at the CGI (easy to install) script offered by WebTeacher called WebData. http://www.webteacher.com/webdata. I have used it a couple of years and it works good.

I also have used Webdata but if you are looking for a cgi solution publishing to a flat database then you can’t beat http://www.flattext.com. You can create your own customized CGI script and admin options online with a price that you just can’t beat.


I tested out that Frontpage Database Wizard once, it was very very buggy. I spent like 2 hours editing the code so it would work.

You can also do it with Cold Fusion (which is in my opinion the easiest programming language to learn of the 3)

Cold Fusion is most often found on NT servers and you can easily use it with an Access Database.

I am currently writing an article that tells you how to make a cold fusion front end for an access database. The first installment is done and you can find it at:


That should cover most of what you need, and you could get started with making it, then in a week or so when the second installment is done you’ll already have something to work with.


I wouldn’t recommend Perl for any database solution unless it won’t be handling too much data…even high-quality database scripts in Perl (like DBMan) slow down once they hit a MB worth of text.