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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    2

    Question Unanswered: Not sure if Excel is the db tool I need to use

    Hello:

    I am very new to databases and could use some help. I need to create a database of pdf files that I can upload to my sites server. Once people purchase a certain pdf file and paid for it I need to redirect them back to the database for downloading of the specific pdf they purchased.

    I have a couple of options for creating the db. Mircosoft Excel, FrontPage 2003, MySQL and the database creator that came with my hosting package at 1and1.com.

    Is what I want to do possible with Excel and if so, can someone point me in the direction on how to start?

    Any help is greatly appreciated.

    Sincerely,

    Colleen
    dreamwanderer:

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Posts
    1,091
    Howdy. And welcome to the board.

    I would strongly recommend staying away from Excel for this kind of project. My experience with databases is very limited, but my guess is that of the ones you listed, MySQL will be by far the best option.
    old, slow, and confused
    but at least I'm inconsistent!

    Rich
    (retired Excel 2003 user, 3/28/2008)

    How to ask a question on forums

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    2
    Dear Shades:

    Thanks for posting a reply so quickly. I have been doing some reading and agree with you 100%. I've printed out the manual from my hosting site with regards to databases and am hoping to find the answers there.

    I am still interested in hearing suggestions from anyone regarding this project.

    Alas, sometimes people think I am smart than I am. :0p LOL. I just hate to burst their bubble.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Posts
    1,091
    Quote Originally Posted by dreamwanderer

    Alas, sometimes people think I am smart than I am. :0p LOL. I just hate to burst their bubble.
    I have been in that boat for more than a half century!
    old, slow, and confused
    but at least I'm inconsistent!

    Rich
    (retired Excel 2003 user, 3/28/2008)

    How to ask a question on forums

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    163
    Colleen

    Excel is not a database, it's a spreadsheet.

    You can get it to work somewhat like a database but it takes a lot of work as you basically need to program the 'database' functionality yourself.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    out on a limb
    Posts
    13,692
    Provided Answers: 59
    depends n what you are doing
    if 'all' you are doing is maintaining a list of PDF's, their price, location and a brief description etc then you don't need a db.

    you could store that information in an Excel file, heck you can even store it in a flat file, depending on the complexity (or number) of PDF's you could do it the old fashioned web way and put it as part of the web page, bypassing nay intermediate storage mechanism

    But if you want to offer search capabilities, or grouping, or indexing or brief precis eg a the index of the PDF, or a significant chapter then you are starting to get into the realm where having a db may well be a smarter move.

    norie is correct in saying the Excel is a spreadsheet nto a db, but depeninding on how complex the data is (or more accurately isn't) it may be good enough for your purposes. You don't need a relational db to solve every systems problem

    Not knowing what your data is, and how complex it is I suspect that stroing in Excel is perfectly feasible. Depending ont he number of different PDF's you have (say 20..100) then avoinding exteranl storage may be perfectly acceptable depending on your skills and time available. Like most things in life its a trade off.. if writing data driven websites uisn't your forte it may be quicker and cheaper to do it by what db developers would call the hard way but html.

    I think the potential stumbling block in my mind is using frontpage. I looked at a much earlier version of Frontpage, and though it appalling.

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