web and databases

web and databases

Post by Franco Scarsell » Wed, 03 Jul 1996 04:00:00



Hi,

I am going to restructure the informatic organization of an association.
A part of the work requires the introduction of a Windows NT server that
should contain administration and medical data. I think to use a DBMS
among Microsoft SQL server, Oracle SQL server and Sybase SQL server.

I have to rewrite all the (few) existing applications. I thought about a
common interface to use. What about writing interfaces by HTML documents
? That is, I would use a WEB server to produce interfaces for ALL the
applications  that use  the database, that is for ALL the applications
that are used in the association.

Which are pros and cons of  such a solution ? Are there security
problems ? Are there examples of this approach ?

I thank in advance anybody who can help me.

Franco

 
 
 

web and databases

Post by Russ Hensle » Wed, 03 Jul 1996 04:00:00



> Hi,

> I am going to restructure the informatic organization of an association.
> A part of the work requires the introduction of a Windows NT server that
> should contain administration and medical data. I think to use a DBMS
> among Microsoft SQL server, Oracle SQL server and Sybase SQL server.

> I have to rewrite all the (few) existing applications. I thought about a
> common interface to use. What about writing interfaces by HTML documents
> ? That is, I would use a WEB server to produce interfaces for ALL the
> applications  that use  the database, that is for ALL the applications
> that are used in the association.

> Which are pros and cons of  such a solution ? Are there security
> problems ? Are there examples of this approach ?

> I thank in advance anybody who can help me.

> Franco

Franco,

   You should look into Microsoft SQL Server 6.5 that is due for release
really soon.  It has built in functions to receive SQL query parameters from
the internet via a HTML interface to the SQL Server.  The Server builds the
HTML interface for the return data and KAPOW instant internet access.  Even
though I have not implemented this software I have been to a Microsoft
seminar where they demonstrated the piece and it seemed to be a good
solution.

later

 
 
 

web and databases

Post by Paul Pierr » Fri, 05 Jul 1996 04:00:00




> > Hi,

> > I am going to restructure the informatic organization of an association.
> > A part of the work requires the introduction of a Windows NT server that
> > should contain administration and medical data. I think to use a DBMS
> > among Microsoft SQL server, Oracle SQL server and Sybase SQL server.

> > I have to rewrite all the (few) existing applications. I thought about a
> > common interface to use. What about writing interfaces by HTML documents
> > ? That is, I would use a WEB server to produce interfaces for ALL the
> > applications  that use  the database, that is for ALL the applications
> > that are used in the association.

> > Which are pros and cons of  such a solution ? Are there security
> > problems ? Are there examples of this approach ?

> > I thank in advance anybody who can help me.

> > Franco

> Franco,

>    You should look into Microsoft SQL Server 6.5 that is due for release
> really soon.  It has built in functions to receive SQL query parameters from
> the internet via a HTML interface to the SQL Server.  The Server builds the
> HTML interface for the return data and KAPOW instant internet access.  Even
> though I have not implemented this software I have been to a Microsoft
> seminar where they demonstrated the piece and it seemed to be a good
> solution.

> laterBe careful betting your application on web technology.  Pay

careful attention to user interface details, determine how
complex the dialogue should be.  Web pages - even with forms and
JAVA trinkets - are still very simple interfaces.
 
 
 

web and databases

Post by Edward Branl » Sat, 06 Jul 1996 04:00:00



says...

Quote:> Hi,

Hi.  

Quote:> should contain administration and medical data. I think to use a DBMS
> among Microsoft SQL server, Oracle SQL server and Sybase SQL server.

Is there a specific reason you're going to use all three of these?  On
face value, that looks like triple trouble.  :-)

Quote:> Which are pros and cons of  such a solution ? Are there security
> problems ? Are there examples of this approach ?

The biggest advantage of using HTML as a user interface for a database
application is that it's fairly easy to use.  Take a look at Cold Fusion
by Allaire (http://www.allaire.com).  It's a product that lets you do
HTML-like code to issue SQL queries to your database server(s) via ODBC.  
If you are definitely going to have to mix server types, this would be
the simplest interface you could develop, since everything is ODBC.

The downside to using HTML is that all of the processing of SQL queries
and such are done on the server side.  This could cause performance
problems, and doing something in Access or VB would definitely be an
improvement.  This is a judgement call you'll have to make.

Good luck.

Cheers,
Ed.

--

Yatcom Communications, New Orleans, LA +1.504.455.5087
Visit Virtually New Orleans:  http://www.yatcom.com/~vno

 
 
 

web and databases

Post by Matthew D. Hea » Tue, 09 Jul 1996 04:00:00



: Hi,
:
: I am going to restructure the informatic organization of an association.
: A part of the work requires the introduction of a Windows NT server that
: should contain administration and medical data. I think to use a DBMS
: among Microsoft SQL server, Oracle SQL server and Sybase SQL server.
:
: I have to rewrite all the (few) existing applications. I thought about a
: common interface to use. What about writing interfaces by HTML documents
: ? That is, I would use a WEB server to produce interfaces for ALL the
: applications  that use  the database, that is for ALL the applications
: that are used in the association.
:
: Which are pros and cons of  such a solution ? Are there security
: problems ? Are there examples of this approach ?
:
: I thank in advance anybody who can help me.
:

I wrote the chapter on CGI interfaces to relational databases in a
recent book on CGI programming, in which I said quite a bit about
these issues.

Another excellent reference is a recent book by Jeff Rowe, {Building
Internet Database Servers with CGI}.  Jeff's WWW site also has
a tremendous amount of useful information about database/CGI work.

Take a look at the following URLs for more information:

http://www.mcp.com/que/et/se_cgi/Cgi13fi.htm
http://www.mcp.com/que/et/se_cgi/Toc.htm
http://www.mcp.com/que/et/se_cgi/frontmat.htm#about

http://cscsun1.larc.nasa.gov/~beowulf/db/existing_products.html

The short answer is: a CGI interface can do quite a lot in the
way of providing cross-platform database access over the Net.
However, at the present state of the art it still has some
limitations:

   o development tools are still rather primitive, and whatever
     tools you end up using, you'll probably end up doing at least
     some hand-hacking of SQL/HTML/PERL/C/WHATEVER code.

   o unless you include some JAVA applets (and I won't go into
     the issues there, since I've limited JAVA knowledge), you're
     stuck with the somewhat limited set of GUI widgets provided
     by HTML.

   o http uses a stateless server design.  This is the biggest
     limitation of http for database work, because it means:

       + no concept of current connection state

       + no concept of logging-in and logging-out

       + concurrent updates are a _mess_ because you
         can't lock rows while a user is editing a local
         copy of the data

       + client-side caching of passwords presents a big
         security hole if the browser is in a public place
         like a kiosk -- with most browsers, it caches the
         password until the user quits the browser; if they
         just walk away anybody else can use the cached
         passwords

       + for data entry, the entire form is submitted when
         the user hits the "submit" button -- there's no
         provision for field-level validation unless you
         use a client-side scripting language like JAVA

Overall, I'd say CGI is quite good for searching, and acceptable
for submitting new data provided you have a decent validation
scheme -- though I'd advise holding all submitted data somewhere
for human review before including it in the searchable database.

For updating, I don't think it's there yet.

And for any application, it will take more work than an equivalent
application with a conventional C/S package.  However, and here's
the big win, once you get it working for any standard WWW browser
it should work for any other popular browser (assuming you avoid
using browser-specific HTML tags!).

--------

http://paella.med.yale.edu/~healy/matt_healy.html
Center for Medical Informatics, Yale School of Medicine

Any content-based regulation of the Internet, no matter how benign
the purpose, could burn the global village to roast the pig.

--Judge Dalzell in ACLU v. Reno, No. 96-963 (E.D. Pa.)

 
 
 

web and databases

Post by AJ Musgro » Wed, 10 Jul 1996 04:00:00


: Hi,

: I am going to restructure the informatic organization of an association.
: A part of the work requires the introduction of a Windows NT server that
: should contain administration and medical data. I think to use a DBMS
: among Microsoft SQL server, Oracle SQL server and Sybase SQL server.

: I have to rewrite all the (few) existing applications. I thought about a
: common interface to use. What about writing interfaces by HTML documents
: ? That is, I would use a WEB server to produce interfaces for ALL the
: applications  that use  the database, that is for ALL the applications
: that are used in the association.

: Which are pros and cons of  such a solution ? Are there security
: problems ? Are there examples of this approach ?

: I thank in advance anybody who can help me.

: Franco
Sorry about you having to use Windows NT AS. That is going to limit some of
your options about using web/dbms technologies. If that is the solution you
are going to use, I suggest trying to use a UNIX box so you can have all the
software availible.

Anyways, I suggest Sybase. Sybase has a product called web.sql that is for
web integration. Also, as a web server, I suggest Netscape Commerce Server,
as it has all the security and encryption it appears you desire built in.

HTML with CGI would provide you with a common interface. Another option for
utilizing web technologies would be Java applets. Does anyone know if Sybase
has come out with JDBC drivers yet? Java, however, is new, while CGI is a
proven technology. The problem you might have with CGI is that it is server
based technology, and you are using an NT server, which will limit what you
can do. Remember that all of these technologies were designed in UNIX
enviroments, and anything else is a port (minus a few features).
--
AJ Musgrove

----------------------------------------------------------------
My opinions do not necessarily reflect those of MFS, or anyone
else for that matter. O-
----------------------------------------------------------------

 
 
 

web and databases

Post by dan Bra » Thu, 11 Jul 1996 04:00:00




> : Hi,
> :  
> : I am going to restructure the informatic organization of an association.
> : A part of the work requires the introduction of a Windows NT server that
> : should contain administration and medical data. I think to use a DBMS
> : among Microsoft SQL server, Oracle SQL server and Sybase SQL server.
> :  
> : I have to rewrite all the (few) existing applications. I thought about a
> : common interface to use. What about writing interfaces by HTML documents
> : ? That is, I would use a WEB server to produce interfaces for ALL the
> : applications  that use  the database, that is for ALL the applications
> : that are used in the association.
> :  
> : Which are pros and cons of  such a solution ? Are there security
> : problems ? Are there examples of this approach ?
> :  
> : I thank in advance anybody who can help me.
> :  

> I wrote the chapter on CGI interfaces to relational databases in a
> recent book on CGI programming, in which I said quite a bit about
> these issues.

> Another excellent reference is a recent book by Jeff Rowe, {Building
> Internet Database Servers with CGI}.  Jeff's WWW site also has
> a tremendous amount of useful information about database/CGI work.

> Take a look at the following URLs for more information:

> http://www.mcp.com/que/et/se_cgi/Cgi13fi.htm
> http://www.mcp.com/que/et/se_cgi/Toc.htm
> http://www.mcp.com/que/et/se_cgi/frontmat.htm#about

> http://cscsun1.larc.nasa.gov/~beowulf/db/existing_products.html

> The short answer is: a CGI interface can do quite a lot in the
> way of providing cross-platform database access over the Net.
> However, at the present state of the art it still has some
> limitations:

>    o development tools are still rather primitive, and whatever
>      tools you end up using, you'll probably end up doing at least
>      some hand-hacking of SQL/HTML/PERL/C/WHATEVER code.

>    o unless you include some JAVA applets (and I won't go into
>      the issues there, since I've limited JAVA knowledge), you're
>      stuck with the somewhat limited set of GUI widgets provided
>      by HTML.

>    o http uses a stateless server design.  This is the biggest
>      limitation of http for database work, because it means:

>        + no concept of current connection state

>        + no concept of logging-in and logging-out

>        + concurrent updates are a _mess_ because you
>          can't lock rows while a user is editing a local
>          copy of the data

>        + client-side caching of passwords presents a big
>          security hole if the browser is in a public place
>          like a kiosk -- with most browsers, it caches the
>          password until the user quits the browser; if they
>          just walk away anybody else can use the cached
>          passwords

>        + for data entry, the entire form is submitted when
>          the user hits the "submit" button -- there's no
>          provision for field-level validation unless you
>          use a client-side scripting language like JAVA

> Overall, I'd say CGI is quite good for searching, and acceptable
> for submitting new data provided you have a decent validation
> scheme -- though I'd advise holding all submitted data somewhere
> for human review before including it in the searchable database.

> For updating, I don't think it's there yet.

> And for any application, it will take more work than an equivalent
> application with a conventional C/S package.  However, and here's
> the big win, once you get it working for any standard WWW browser
> it should work for any other popular browser (assuming you avoid
> using browser-specific HTML tags!).

> --------

> http://paella.med.yale.edu/~healy/matt_healy.html
> Center for Medical Informatics, Yale School of Medicine

> Any content-based regulation of the Internet, no matter how benign
> the purpose, could burn the global village to roast the pig.

> --Judge Dalzell in ACLU v. Reno, No. 96-963 (E.D. Pa.)  

You might also look at the PowerWeb Server from Compusource.  It is currently available on OS/2  
and soon to be available on NT.  It allows you to embed SQL in your HTML for direct database  
access. No CGI overhead.  IT supports Sybase, DB2 and SQL server (I believe).
 
 
 

web and databases

Post by Gary Lawrence Murph » Thu, 11 Jul 1996 04:00:00




> : Hi,

> : I am going to restructure the informatic organization of an association.
> : A part of the work requires the introduction of a Windows NT server that
> : should contain administration and medical data. I think to use a DBMS
> : among Microsoft SQL server, Oracle SQL server and Sybase SQL server.
> : Franco
> Sorry about you having to use Windows NT AS. That is going to limit some of
> your options about using web/dbms technologies. If that is the solution you
> are going to use, I suggest trying to use a UNIX box so you can have all the
> software availible.

> Anyways, I suggest Sybase. Sybase has a product called web.sql that is for
> web integration. Also, as a web server, I suggest Netscape Commerce Server,
> as it has all the security and encryption it appears you desire built in.

I can second that.  WebSQL + the Commerce server makes for a very
well-behaved combination, and has the advantages of being based on
well-known languages (Perl, SQL)

Quote:> Does anyone know if Sybase
> has come out with JDBC drivers yet?> --
> AJ Musgrove

webLogic has the JDBC for Sybase, but so far there is no Irix version
so I haven't tried it.

--
Gary Lawrence Murphy ---------- TeleDynamics:  The Art of Being There

(519) 422-1150 fax:422-2723 -------------------------- Canada N0H 2G0
------------------------------------------------- Test the impossible

 
 
 

web and databases

Post by Andy Tri » Sun, 14 Jul 1996 04:00:00






>> > Hi,

>> > I am going to restructure the informatic organization of an association.
>> > A part of the work requires the introduction of a Windows NT server that
>> > should contain administration and medical data. I think to use a DBMS
>> > among Microsoft SQL server, Oracle SQL server and Sybase SQL server.

>> > I have to rewrite all the (few) existing applications. I thought about a
>> > common interface to use. What about writing interfaces by HTML documents
>> > ? That is, I would use a WEB server to produce interfaces for ALL the
>> > applications  that use  the database, that is for ALL the applications
>> > that are used in the association.

>> > Which are pros and cons of  such a solution ? Are there security
>> > problems ? Are there examples of this approach ?

>> > I thank in advance anybody who can help me.

>> > Franco

>> Franco,

>>    You should look into Microsoft SQL Server 6.5 that is due for release
>> really soon.  It has built in functions to receive SQL query parameters from
>> the internet via a HTML interface to the SQL Server.  The Server builds the
>> HTML interface for the return data and KAPOW instant internet access.  Even
>> though I have not implemented this software I have been to a Microsoft
>> seminar where they demonstrated the piece and it seemed to be a good
>> solution.

>> laterBe careful betting your application on web technology.  Pay
>careful attention to user interface details, determine how
>complex the dialogue should be.  Web pages - even with forms and
>JAVA trinkets - are still very simple interfaces.

Is anybody in this newsgroup aware of VisualAge for Smalltalk and it's Web
Connection module.  This encapsulates database access for DB2, Oracle, and
ODBC.  It will compile to ANY PC platform without modifying code.  And now it
allows you to forget about PC platforms entirely, designing the interface in
HTML (Any, yes, this works well... IBM does not*around).  ALL you have
to do is create a nice screen for your users with the easiest development
environment in the world.

If you are inherently opposed to smalltalk, or if HTML is too limiting as an
interface, VisualAge of Java will be available shortly and will be even more
powerful.

Andy
--------------------------------------------

Prominic Technologies, Inc.

 
 
 

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It doesn't appear to be a Netscape server problem because I tested it
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