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Web Hosting - Databases, What Are They and Do You Need One?
'Database' is one of the most commonly used terms that one encounters in web site design. Yet, what they really are and whether they're essential is often not clear to novices.
A database is a collection of organized data, stored in files that have a specific structure. It's that organization and structure that allows for easy and rapid storage and retrieval.
The need for a database generally only arises when you have a certain amount of information and that information needs to have some structure. If you have a half-dozen names and addresses to store, a database is usually overkill. If you have a blob of data with no relationships between any of the items in that blob, maintaining a database is usually more trouble than it's worth.
Maintain a database? Yes, like other complex systems a database, to be effective, needs to be designed properly at the outset then kept 'tuned' for good performance. The alternative is to gradually allow the database to become more and more disorganized. That leads to difficulty in use, poor speed of retrieval and more frequent failures.
With MySQL, Access or MS SQL Server, the three most common choices of database product for web sites today, setting up a database is relatively simple. Even those with limited technical skill can get one up and running just by following some simple instructions. But some thought should be given to how you want the information organized, and to maintaining the system during its lifetime.
Suppose you have a set of names, addresses, email addresses, products purchased, date purchased and amount. If you have only a few dozen records it matters very little how these pieces are arranged and related. A database usually isn't even warranted in this scenario. Once you have several thousand or more records, it matters a lot. Speed, the ease of expanding the set of attributes (like adding, say, product category), and other issues come into play.
Even those with little technical expertise, but a willingness to exert logical thought and invest some time, can build a very robust database. Think about how you would organize a set of data (called 'tables'). Should Name, Address, and Product be in the same table? Or should the personal information be stored in one table and any product information (product, price, ...) in another?
Some experimentation may be needed to get it right, but the choices have an impact on how easy the tables are to maintain. It also affects the speed with which programs can fetch old data and store the new.
Having a database also introduces new maintenance issues for the server administrator, since backups usually need to be done differently. Recovering a failed database is usually more complicated than simply re-copying files from yesterday. Ask your hosting company what tools and skills they have for dealing with any database system you consider.
It's true that introducing a database creates more complexity and the need for additional thought and administrative effort. At a certain level, professional expertise will be needed. But clearly the advantages outweigh the costs in many cases. Companies large and small eventually use databases to store and organize data. At some point, you may be fortunate enough to be one of them.
Software copyright act The Software Copyright Act was a Great Step in the Right Direction The software copyright act, which is actually called the Digital Millennium Copyright Act has given software developers a little more power when it comes to protecting their works. If you've bought software in the last few years I'm sure you've noticed some of the changes that have been made in the software buying process. If not, then you really should wake up and take note. Some of the more noteworthy achievements of this act are the following: 1) It is now a crime to go around anti-piracy measures in software. 2) It is no longer legal to make, sale, or give away software or devices that were invented for the purpose of cracking codes enabling the illegal copying of software. 3) Limits the liability that ISPs (as far as copyright infringement violations) when information is transmitted online. The problem isn't the people want to be bad or do something wrong. Most of us by nature want to do the right thing. The problem lies in educating people to the fact that it really is stealing when you bootleg, pirate, illegally download, or otherwise acquire copies of software that you didn't pay for. It's one of those 'white lie' types of crimes for most people and they don't really see how it will hurt anyone for them to copy a game that their brother, cousin, uncle, or friend has. Someone paid for it after all. The problem is that at $50 plus being the average price for computer games and simple software if 10 million people are doing it, the numbers are staggering and they add up quickly. The software copyright act sought to protect businesses from losing money this way. The software copyright act was the worldwide response to a growing problem. This problem was so widespread with illegal downloading of music that lawsuits and massive commercial ad campaigns were initiated in order to curtail illegal downloading activities when it comes to music. It seems to be working to some degree. Fewer people are illegally downloading music; the downside is that these people aren't buying as much music either. The reason is because they are no longer being exposed to the wide variety of music and artists that they were getting freely when downloading music each night at no cost. This equals lower record sales and is becoming a problem of lower movie sales and software sales as well. People aren't trying new games like they could before the software copyright act by going to LAN parties and everyone sharing a copy to play, now everyone has to own a copy before they can play. While this may be great for the companies that make a few (a minimal few at best) extra sales on the games for the sake of a great party but for the most part, it is costing them the extra money that could be made by 10 people finding they liked the game enough to go out and buy it so they could play it whenever (and the next group of 10 they will introduce the game to) Gamers are a funny group and software copyright act or no, they are going to stick with the software and games that serve them best. The software copyright act was created in order to protect the rights of those writing and developing computer software. We want those who fill our lives with fun games, useful tools, and great ways to connect to friends and family to continue providing these great services and to get paid for the ones they've already provided. The software copyright act is one giant step in the right direction as far as I'm concerned.
Grocery Check ? Visit your Neighborhood Grocery Website for a Free Deal Page Are you looking for the best in grocery freebies? If so, get ready to reap the rewards of becoming a dedicated freebies hunter. It is said that there is no such thing as a free lunch, but if you are an avid freebie hunter, you will find that there is such a thing. Getting free groceries is one of the sweetest plumbs. Here are some hints and tips on how to get free groceries. Wouldn't it Be Great to Get Free Groceries? Yes! Of course, wouldn't we all want to get free groceries? Believe it or not, it is totally possible with a bit of creativity, ingenuity and planning. First, you must learn the art of creative couponing. What is creative couponing? It is exactly what it sounds like?you can use coupons to get some sweet grocery freebies. All you have to learn is how and where to use your grocery coupons. Here are some tips on using coupons to get free groceries. Watch Out for New Product Coupons New products are often heavily marketed with free or deeply discounted offers. Sign up for your grocery store's promotional newsletter or discount card program. This way, you will automatically receive discount coupons and freebie offers through the mail. Watch out for new products?these often come paired with new product coupons. You can often use new product coupons in order to match the sale price and get the time for free. You can use new product coupons to purchase food items, but they are often available for hygiene and beauty care products. Toothpaste, toothbrushes, shampoo and deodorant?all of these types of personal care products are constantly being revamped and marketed. Check the Clearance Aisle or Table at Your Local Grocery Store If you are an avid coupon clipper, there is a good chance that you already have a coupon stowed away for an item on the clearance aisle. Believe it or not, deeply discounted or marked down items are still eligible for coupons. Check out the clearance aisle in order to match your coupons with discounted items. There is a chance that you can get an item at a deeply discounted price, or yes, even for free. Seek Out Loss Leaders at Your Local Grocery Store What are loss leaders, and why can they be such good deals? Loss leaders are those items at your local grocery store that are currently selling at a loss. Loss leaders may vary from store to store, even when you are shopping at a chain store. Stores are often ready and willing to get rid of loss leaders. These items are often sold at a deeply discounted price. Be prepared to match these loss leaders with coupons in order to turn these products from cheap loss leaders to freebies. Don't Forget the Double Coupons Double coupons are the bread and butter of any motivated freebie hunter. Most grocery stores still honor double coupons, and some grocery stores even have promotional double coupons days. Search your store's ad circular and items for items that you can possible get for free by using double coupons. You will be amazed at how many grocery items you can get for free, or near-free, simply by taking advantage of double coupons. Don't Forget the Rebate! Rebate offers are another bread and butter strategy that you should employ if you are serious about finding free grocery items. Although you may not get an item for free right away, be patient and follow all the instructions offered by the manufacturer. After a few weeks, you should receive your rebate check in the mail. This is an easy way to make sure that you can get free grocery items.