In this module, you were introduced to the following terms:
- Database: A collection of data within defined parameters (a data model) that makes the data elements predictable.
- Hierarchical database: Database based on top-down relationships among data elements. Hierarchical databases are used for core business applications such as payroll and accounts receivable.
- Relational database: Database based on the metaphor of a basic table with rows and columns. Data elements stored in these tables share a relationship defined by a common element called a key.
- Middleware: Software that functions as a translator to enable one application to communicate with another that either runs on a different platform or comes from a different vendor.
- ODBC: Open Database Connectivity (ODBC) is a database access protocol based on the Windows NT platform.
- SQL: Structured Query Language (SQL) is a standardized database language that lets you access data in relational database management systems by describing the data you want to see.
In the following module, you will learn about the different media available on Web sites and the formats associated with each.
ecommerce databases support interactive catalogs of products and services which include
- customer profiles,
- transaction history,
- shipping, and
- inventory management.
ecommerce is only one environment delivering database information and conducting transactions over the Internet. Others include nonprofit organizations such as libraries, universities, service organizations,
government agencies, clubs, and other organizations that have a need to provide information and data interactions
to customers, the public, constituents, students, members, and the like. These noncommercial applications are
no less important than EC, and the principles of database access over the Internet are the same.
Database-driven Web sites run the gamut from huge, technically complex systems running on many servers to
small sites using one or two servers. In addition to the usual functions of shopping, billing, payment services,
and information dissemination, some sites maintain customer relationship management services, personalization
features, and statistical analysis. Many are not so complex. Regardless of size and complexity, they all face the
same problems of limited bandwidth, problems delivering images, and slow database connectivity but these problems are being addressed as the
Internet evolves and database vendors add features to make their databases more web compliant.