Connecting Your Database

Before you can build pages that are database driven, you must first establish a connection between your Web server and your database. In the Windows operating system, this process is relatively straightforward, but there are several potential pitfalls that can keep your pages from effectively communicating with your database. This article shows you the step-by-step process of setting up a data source name for your database.

This article was excerpted from Inside Dreamweaver UltraDev, by Sean Nicholson.

Creating a Data Source Name (DSN) Entry

After you have built your database and have it located on your Web server, the first step in building your database-driven site is to create an avenue of communication between your Web server and the database. While this can be accomplished using drivers designed specifically for your flavor of database, it is much easier to use the Open Database Connectivity Driver (ODBC) or the Java Database Connectivity Driver (JDBC) to accomplish the task.

ODBC and JDBC are standards that have been developed for communicating with modern databases. Most of today’s databases, including Access, SQL Server, and DB2, are capable of using the ODBC driver. Other databases are capable of using the JDBC driver. For instance, MySQL can either use the standard JDBC driver or connect through the ODBC driver using an additional program called MyODBC.

How Many Drivers Do You Need?

An ODBC or JDBC driver must be set up for each database that you want to connect to the Web.UltraDev also requires that you have the most recent ODBC drivers available in order to function properly. If you have not already installed the latest Microsoft Data Access Components (MDAC), I highly recommend that you take a moment and download them from MDAC and install them on your workstation.

Article Exercise: Establishing an ODBC Data Source for Your Database

Setting up an ODBC data source on your workstation differs among operating systems. If the machine that you set up as your Web server is a Windows 9x machine, click Start/Settings/Control Panel. In the Control Panel, select ODBC Data Sources (32bit). If you are using Windows NT, select Start/Settings/Control Panel and select the Data Sources (ODBC) icon. If, however, your machine is using Windows 2000, you should select Start/Settings/Control Panel and choose the Administrative Tools icon. Within the Administrative Tools window, choose the Data Sources (ODBC) icon.

setting up a ODBC data source

Choose the System DSN tab from the ODBC Data Source Administrator dialog box, shown in , and click the Add button.The System DSN tab allows you to create a data source that can be shared on the Internet. Using a System DSN

Caution: To make a database available to your Web page visitors, you must create the ODBC source under the System DSN tab.

ODBC Microsoft Access Setup

Select the Microsoft Access driver and click Finish.In the ODBC Microsoft Access Setup dialog box, shown below, type the name you wish to use for your data source name in the Data Source Name field.In the Database panel of the ODBC Microsoft Access Setup dialog box, click the Select button.

Navigate to the location of your database on your Web server and click OK

Click the Options>> button located in the lower-right corner of the ODBC Microsoft Access Setup dialog box. In the Page Timeout field, type 5000.

Changing the Default Page Timeout

Caution: It is especially important that you change the default page timeout setting if you are using Windows 2000 as your Web server and an Access database. Failing to change this value can result in permission problems when accessing database-driven Web pages. For more information on this potential problem, visit Microsoft.

Click OK to close the ODBC Microsoft Access Setup dialog box.

As shown in the screenshot below the ODBC Data Source Administrator dialog box now shows a data source for your database.

ODBC Microsoft Access Setup

A data source has been created for your database.

The ODBC Microsoft Access Setup box.

Before you can build pages that are database driven, you must first establish a connection between your Web server and your database. In the Windows operating system, this process is relatively straightforward, but there are several potential pitfalls that can keep your pages from effectively communicating with your database. This article shows you the step-by-step process of setting up a data source name for your database.

Any suggestions, ideas? Feel free to comment on this article!

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Freeware for Windows

  • Firefox – Most loved browser.
  • Google Earth – Navigate and search through satellite images around the world.
  • Daemon Tools – Virtual CD/DVD drive which supports all popular copy protections.
  • OpenOffice – Office Suite
  • FoxIt Reader– Fast, free PDF viewer.
  • Thunderbird – Mozilla foundation’s open source e-mail client.
  • uTorrent – The lightweight and efficient BitTorrent client
  • VLC – Mediaplayer that plays everything except realmedia files.
  • AVG Antivirus – An Anti-virus Utility
  • IrfanView – IrfanView is a very fast, small, compact graphics viewer
  • Skype – The most popular Voice over IP (VoIP) client.
  • ccleaner – CCleaner is a freeware system optimization and privacy tool.
  • picasa – Find and enjoy the pictures on your computer in seconds.
  • Spybot Search and Destroy – Anti-spyware program
  • DVD Shrink – Free DVD backup utility
  • Ad-Aware – Ad-Aware Personal provides advanced protection from known data-mining, aggressive advertising, Trojans, dialers, malware, browser hijackers, and tracking components.
  • Audacity – The best and simplest open source audio editor out there.
  • Filezilla – Fast FTP client for Windows with SFTP/SSH and SSL/TLS.
  • Opera – An equal alternative to Firefox
  • VirtualDub – VirtualDub is a video capture/processing utility for 32-bit Windows platforms
  • Media Player Classic – This multimedia DirectShow player looks like the old Windows Media Player 6.4, but has a lot more features like switching audio streams in an MP4 file.
  • Unlocker – Unlocker helps delete locked files with error messages like:
  • Filemon – This monitoring tool lets you see all file system activity in real-time.
  • Apache – Open-source HTTP server
  • TweakUI – XP user interface tweaker.
  • Real Alternative – Real player alternative
  • Pidgin – Pidgin is a multi-protocol instant messaging (IM) client for Linux, BSD, MacOS X, and Windows.
  • 7-Zip – 7-Zip is a file archiver with high compression ratio.
  • Google Talk – Talk and IM with your friends for free
  • VMware Player – VMware Player lets you evaluate new or pre-release software contained in virtual machines.
  • Zonelabs Firewall – Free firewall
  • Eraser – Eraser is a secure data removal tool, which allows you to remove sensitive data from your hard drive overwriting it with carefully selected patterns.
  • Notepad++ – Notepad++ is a free source code editor which supports several programming languages running under the MS Windows environment.
  • Inkscape – Scalable vector graphics sofware
  • Autoruns – See what programs are configured to startup automatically when your system boots and you login.
  • nLite – Have you ever wanted to remove some Windows components like Media Player, Internet Explorer, Outlook Express, MSN Explorer, Messenger…
  • wink – Wink allows you to record desktop action or application windows and create smooth, animated Flash demonstrations.
  • SpywareBlaster – SpywareBlaster prevents you computer from becoming infested with spyware by blacklisting known bad ActiveX components.
  • Tor – An anonymous Internet communication system
  • PDFCreator – “PDFCreator easily creates PDFs from any Windows program. Use it like a printer in Word, StarCalc or any other Windows application.”
  • PageDefrag – Defrags the windows page file
  • WinDirStat – View the files in any folder or drive in your computer as a grid of filesize-proportional boxes.
  • TugZip – Great windows integration with lots of support.. Supports ZIP, 7-ZIP, A, ACE, ARC, ARJ, BH, BZ2, CAB, CPIO, DEB, GCA, GZ, IMP, JAR, LHA (LZH), LIB, RAR, RPM, SQX, TAR, TGZ, TBZ, TAZ, YZ1 and ZOO archives.
  • XnView – XnView is a utility for viewing and converting graphic files
  • FreeCommander – freeCommander is an easy-to-use alternative to the standard windows file manager. * Dual-panel technology * Optional tree view for each panel * Built in file viewer * Built in archive handling * Easy access to system folders, control panel, desktop and start menu * Create and verify MD5 checksums * File splitting * File properties and context menu * Calculation of folder size * Folder comparison / synchronization * Modification of file date and attributes * Folder / program favorites * File searching * File filters for display * DOS command line * Multiple language support
  • HijackThis – A general homepage hijackers detector and remover.
  • K-Lite Codec Pack – The K-Lite Codec Pack is a collection of codecs and related tools. Codec is short for Compressor-decompressor. Codecs are needed for encoding and decoding (playing) audio and video.
  • xp-AntiSpy – Prevents XP from auto calling MS
  • TCP Optimizer – The TCP Optimizer is a free, easy Windows program that provides an intuitive interface for tuning and optimizing your Internet connection. There is no installation required, just download and run.
  • MWSnap – Capture selected parts of the screen.
  • ZipGenius – File compression suite
  • Dependency Walker – Dependency Walker is a free utility that scans any 32-bit or 64-bit Windows module (exe, dll, ocx, sys, etc.) and builds a hierarchical tree diagram of all dependent modules. For each module found, it lists all the functions that are exported by that module, and which of those functions are actually being called by other modules. Another view displays the minimum set of required files, along with detailed information about each file including a full path to the file, base address, version numbers, machine type, debug information, and more.
  • Avast AV – Excellent free AV. Protects internet mail, instant messaging, network shield, Outlook/Exchange, P2P shield, standard shield and web shield.
  • Yahoo Widgets – Bring life to your desktop with fun, stylish,and useful
  • FastStone – Image viewers and screen capture utilities
  • TMPGEnc – MPEG tool for Windows
  • Httrack – Download entire websites
  • AbiWord – AbiWord is a free word processing program similar to Microsoft® Word. It is suitable for a wide variety of word processing tasks.
  • KlipFolio – RSS Dashboards & Desktop Alerts
  • Darik’s Boot and Nuke – DBAN will automatically and completely delete the contents of any hard disk that it can detect, which makes it an appropriate utility for bulk or emergency data destruction.
  • Regmon – This monitoring tool lets you see all Registry activity in real-time
  • World Wind – World Wind lets you zoom from satellite altitude into any place on Earth.
  • Outpost Firewall – Basic Firewall Protection Standard packet and application filtering safeguard your computer from unwanted communications.
  • SlickRun – SlickRun is a floating command line that lets you define short aliases for any program or website.
  • FLV Player – FLV Player is a standalone application to play Flash .flv files with.
  • TiddlyWiki – A completely standalone wiki implementation written entirely in a single html page. Uses JavaScript for dynamic page capabilities and allows saving with backups as well as RSS feeds.
  • trillian – Trillian is a multiprotocol instant messaging application for Windows
  • Azureus – Java BitTorrent Client
  • Celestia – The free space simulation that lets you explore our universe in three dimensions
  • Photofiltre – A powerful and easy to use image editor.
  • Copernic Desktop Search – Standard desktop search, does files, emails, history/favorites, will index on the fly. Nice features include the able to index network drives, can set schedule on how often files/emails/favorites/history are to be re-indexed, as well as a index clear/re-index feature and the ability to change where the index is stored on the hard drive.
  • SyncToy for Windows XP – The smart way to copy files
  • Pandora Desktop Player – Pandora Desktop Player allows you to listen to the Pandora jukebox in your system tray ad free
  • Aqua Dock – Aqua Dock is a task bar and a Windows program launcher that looks just like an Apple.
  • ClamWin – Free Antivirus
  • PC INSPECTOR File Recovery – Recovers deleted files from your hard drive.
  • PDFCreator – PDFCreator is a free tool to create PDFs easily from nearly any application.
  • FlyakiteOSX – FlyakiteOSX is a transformation pack. It will transform the look of an ordinary Windows XP+ system to resemble the look of Mac OS X. The installer simply automates the process of replacing critical system files, setting registry tweaks, and installing extras such as cursors, sounds, visual styles, etc.
  • Brico Pack Vista Inspirat – BricoPack Vista Inspirat is a free pack which modifies Windows XP system files in order to change its appearance and make it look
    like Windows Vista.
  • MediaMonkey – Get Your Music Collection in Order!
  • Microsoft Reader – E-book software
  • LinkSync – Sync bookmarks with multiple browsers
  • Advanced Disk Cleaner – Search for temporary and garbage files and delete them to free up space. Very thorough.
  • Driver Cleaner – Removes parts of drivers that are left after uninstalling the old drivers.
  • SimpleOCR – SimpleOCR is a fully-featured, free OCR application.
  • Helix Cameo – Video compression software for REAL MEDIA format.
  • NTREGOPT – Registry Optimization for Windows NT/2000/2003/XP
  • UNDOReg – Use with regshot
  • RegShot – A small registry snapshot and compare utility
  • Dia – Dia is a program to draw diagrams.
  • etuner – Internet Television Client
  • VideoInspector – VideoInspector is a tools designed to provide you with as much information as possible about your video files. With VideoInspector you’ll know why your video files has no sound or refuses to play correctly. VideoInspector will help you installing the required CoDecs (coder/decoder software) for an optimal performance. VideoInspector can also inspect your system to find which codecs are available, and it can also process multiple video files and export its result in HTML or plain text files.
  • psp video – Convert regular PC video files (avi, mpeg, etc) into PSP video files
  • Autostreamer – With this you can create new Windows installtions CD’s with the proper service already installed.
  • Spyware Terminator – Protect your computer with Free Real-Time detection from spyware, adware, and keyloggers.
  • SilentNight Micro CD/DVD/ISO/Audio Burner – No installation is needed, just one single file, and it has its own ASPI layer build in.
  • Satscape – It produces real-time displays of where any Satellite is, and predicts passes for your locale. There are about 8000+ satellites in orbit, a lot of these are just junk and debris such as discarded rocket bodies, but quite a few are working Satellites.
  • QuickReg – QuickReg allows to register or unregister many DLLs in one mouse click. Select all the DLLs to register, drag and drop in QuickReg, save the DLL
    list and register/unregister them as many times as you want
  • Resource Hacker – Resource HackerTM is a freeware utility to view, modify, rename, add, delete and extract resources in 32bit Windows executables and resource files (*.res). It incorporates an internal resource script compiler and decompiler and works on Win95, Win98, WinME, WinNT, Win2000 and WinXP operating systems.
  • IBM – Hitachi Drive Fitness Test – Has your computer ever crashed or failed to boot up, causing you to suspect that your hard drive might be broken?
  • Roadkil’s Undelete – Allows you to undelete files that you have accidentally deleted from your drives.
  • Unstoppable Copier – Recovers files from disks with physical damage. Allows you to copy files from disks with problems such as bad sectors, scratches or that just give errors when reading data. The program will attempt to recover every readable piece of a file and put the pieces together. Using this method most types of files can be made usable even if some parts were not recoverable in the end.
  • LeakTest – Test your firewall
  • WinMorph – WinMorph is a high performance morphing and warping software.
  • SWF2AVI – swf2avi is a freeware tool to convert or batch-convert Flash movies (swf) to bitmaps, bitmap-sequences (bmp, jpg) or videos (avi).
  • GSplit – GSplit is a powerful file splitter
  • IceSword – English version of the famous rootkit finding software made by the Chinese programmer pjf.
  • – Awesome free photoshop-like program.
  • FlashGet – A download manager with the highest amount of users on the internet
  • GIMP – the GNU Image Manipulation Program like photoshop
  • Vista Codec Pack – Use any media player, limited only by the players’ capabilities, to play DVD’s, movies and video clips of almost any filetype.

Any suggestions, ideas? Feel free to comment on this article!

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WP Plugins March 27, 2007

No Directory adds NOODP and NOYDIR meta tags to the header of your theme to force the search engines to use your own description and title for your site, instead of the one that is in DMOZ or the Yahoo directory.

Selig-Stats provides you with a number of filters that can be used directly within your posts / pages in order to display some statistics like post count, comment count etc.

Technorati Rank utilizes the Technorati API to display your blog information (Rank, Links, Blogs Linking) and an Add to Favorites all in simple display.

CodeHighlighter uses GeSHi to highlight syntax for source code.

Book Cover displays the book cover image from ISBN.

WordPress AdSense Deluxe+ Widget is a widgetized version of AdSense Deluxe+ Plugin

Attach Links is a Word Press plugin that allows you to attach one or more external links to each post. They will be shown in a list when calling the function al_display().

TellAFriendPost allows the user to forward the post to there friend.

PromotePost allows the user to Extend the post reach by forwarding it to the 45 sites including, Digg, Flurl, Techorati.

DoubleClick Meaning allows you to doubleclick on a word to know its definition / meaning.

ScaleImage scales images in the post using a slider.

wp-weather widget uses to show forecast information for a city.

Duplicate Content Cure prevents duplicate content in wordpress blogs by adding a noindex meta tag to wordpress pages that don’t contain any unique value, like categories, archives, and paged pages.

wp-publications-archive is a WordPress plugin that allows administrators to upload and manage all sorts of files (i.e., publications). Additionally, end-users are able to navigate, search, and download them in the front-office.

Currency Converter sidebar widget for WordPress that can convert between 148 currency formats from all over the world.

Ajaxified Expand Post NOW uses AJAX to expand the “more…” on your blog.

Ma.gnolia Widget allows you to display your ma.gnolia links in your sidebar similar to the sidebar widget. This widget uses SimpleXML and as such requires PHP5.

Visualize Advanced Features will display the hidden buttons in the WordPress 2.1 WYSIWYG editor.

Meyshan 6 acts as a place holder for any 6 plugins of your choice, in a very beautiful mini tabbed pages.

onAirNow gets information about your currently playing track from a file uploaded via FTP and displays it on your blog.

IWG Extended Author List expands your author-list at the post-page of every user that is allowed to show_in_authorlist.

Any suggestions, ideas? Feel free to comment on this article!

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WP Plugins March 25, 2007

Stat Traq provides detailed statistics in a nice graphical format. It tracks hits, pageviews, sessions, browser details etc.

wordTube will display your own videos, images or sound files on your blog.

WordPress Passwords adds a site-wide password to your posts and pages without the need of .htaccess, users or security levels.

Import New Blogger imports posts and comments from the new Blogger to your WordPress blog.

Top Posts by Category displays your best posts, as determined by the number of visits to the post or number of comments.

FreshTags is a context-sensitive tagging-based navigation system originally for Blogger.

Distributed Social Networking lets you publish hCards, blogrolls as XFN, allow public/private profiles and adds a messaging system.

Category Converter lets you condense categories on your blog into a shorter list. Seems really useful if over time you want an updated category list while maintaining the posts.

Slightbox is a combination of Slimbox and Lightbox.

Simple Yahoo! Sitemap lets you create a Yahoo! compatible sitemap.

Single Bookmark Category List displays links in a bookmark (aka blogroll) category within an unordered list tag.

Simple Tagging Widget is a Widget plugin to show a tag cloud generated by the WordPress plugin ‘Simple Tagging’. Only works with ‘Sidebar Widgets Plugin’ installed.

Post/Comments Time creates a chart that shows the number of posts and comments for the hours of a day.

SL Study Motivation enables you to use your WordPress Blog as an Motivator for your Studies.

Simple Trackback Validation Plugin for WordPress 2.x performs a simple but very effective test on all incoming trackbacks in order to stop trackback spam.

Multi Column Category List generates an alphabetical listing of your WordPress categories in multiple columns. You can choose the number of columns to display, with an option to split up the list of categories by letter.

Yahoo Sidebar Link Badge Widget For WordPress displays the SiteExplorer Badge on your blog.

WP-Amazon will allow you to search Amazon as you compose your post or page entry and add links to the products on Amazon.

PHPlist Helper will render a auto-login link to phplist and can render a subscription input form within a template.

Postalicious is a WordPress plugin that automatically posts your bookmarks to your blog.

WP_Identicon provides a small persistent randomly assembled geometric symbol for each user based on their email or IP address.

Live Sync allows you to synchronize WordPress posts to Live Spaces, facilitating MetaWeblog API.

Any suggestions, ideas? Feel free to comment on this article!

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Web browser Enhancements

Social Bookmarking Sites Part 2

WP Plugins March 24, 2007

Textlink Adder generates your very own textlinks to each single post your wordpress has to offer. Bind as many textlinks as you want to each post.

Raven’s antispam is a smart antispam based on a JS solution of Jakub Vrana.

AnswerTips are small bubbles of information triggered by double-clicking any word on an AnswerTips-enabled page.

SEO-Plugin allows you to add Meta tags for Description and Keywords to your blog. (Site in German)

AddThis Plugin will automatically insert the AddThis widget below each post in your blog.

WordPress Plugin Template includes all the framework necessary for a displayable plugin (Something which will show up in a sidebar, template, or anywhere in a post using a token such as )

SETI Stats shows the current credit, average credit and team stats for a given SETI@Home account.

The StripTease plugin is a simple filter that strips fragment identifiers from WordPress’s default teaser links so that they link to full posts.

Post Notification sends an email to every registered user whenever a new post is made on the blog.

LiveSig is a WordPress plug-in that automatically inserts your MyLiveSignature code after each of your WordPress posts making it seem like each post has been personally signed by you.

Subscribe-Remind will automatically place text at the end of each of your posts inviting your readers to subscribe to your RSS feed.

Comments Waiting Count is a simple plugin that adds the current number of comments in the moderation queue to the WordPress 2.1 admin menu. It will also display the number comments that have been flagged as spam if your using an anti-spam plugin.

Folding@Home Stats is a WordPress plugin that displays your total score, overall rank, number of processes completed in the last 50 days.

Fuzzy Colorpicker adds a color picker to your post pages. This lets you choose the color of your text at will.

wp-page-linker is a WordPress plugin that allows the insertion of links to internal pages while writing a page or a post.

EasyTube allows you to easily embed a youtube player into your website but one simple tag.

Any suggestions, ideas? Feel free to comment on this article!

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