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  1. #1
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    Nov 2011
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    Red face Newbie, need help with apps developing

    Hi I have this project which involves writing a part of an app designed for ios.
    I have no clue about computer programming or database, but am willing to learn, and need helps along the way.

    My part of the app is basically sorting, i have done the algorithm behind the sorting but am not really sure how to put it into database +javascript. My supervisor is doing his database using Filemaker Pro 11, and the database has about 3000 entries (of say, books, with page numbers, editions, publisher, author etc.). For my part, the app user is going to answer questions and based on their answers I need to filter + sort the data in the database and "find" the book that the user want.

    The algorithm is basically made up of questions and questions, different answer will lead to different questions (and cross out data in the database that does not fulfill the criteria, thus creating a smaller and smaller database of its own) and finally produce just the book (s) that makes sense to the user.

    The app has to be written in Javascript, and I believe it has to go online in order to access the database as it is going to be ridiculous to put a database of 3000 entries into the app (correct me if i m wrong).

    Javascript can access MySQL, and Filemaker Pro has some links with MySQL (from some books that I read), so I am thinking about getting the database from Filemaker and put into MySQL (i.e. import to MySQL?), where all the sorting + filtering is going to take place, and Javascript will be commanding MySQL about what to filter (after the user answered certain questions).

    App(Javascript) -> MySQL ->Filemaker, and most of the time (when the user is using the app) only connection between Javascript and MySQL is needed, connection between MySQL and Filemaker is one-off (i.e. just at the very start)... Is my understanding correct? I have tried googling for heaps of info and am getting confused and confused, and found this forum where I believe someone could shine me light.

    If the above "mindmap" is correct, I just need to know how to use javascript to filter + sort data in MySQL, and how to "import" database from Filemaker into MySQL is that right?

    ------------

    Do I need a server running 24/7 for this app? I don't quite understand this server/client thing. I can have a computer running 24/7 at the university, but what need to be in the server? the database created by Filemaker? And MySQL? oh and what is the difference between mySQL and SQL server? argh i m confused...
    Last edited by cecilia81; 11-17-11 at 23:49.

  2. #2
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    I suspect you will find better resources elsewhere for developing for iOS and or using javascript.

    if you are using a database (SQLLite may be a better solution if you are targettign iOS) then I'd be surprised if you'd need to write your own sort routines as proper use of indexing should do the sorting for you. but I suppose it depends on what you want to do. if its a central repository then a central server would be a sensible approach. that kind of precludes a file server db like Filemaker

    SQL Server, MySQL server are both examples of client server based databases, there's lots ore out ther. like Filemaker these server databases use SQL to manipulate the data. THe main difference for your project is that MySQL server can be free, SQL Server likewise but on a much more restricted basis.

    if you are suing javascript then you may also want to take advantage of AJAX and similar technologies
    I'd rather be riding on the Tiger 800 or the Norton

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by healdem View Post
    I suspect you will find better resources elsewhere for developing for iOS and or using javascript.
    Thank you for the reply! I really appreciate it. I am just in charge of a small part of the app, the main person is using Appcelerator's Titanium (based on Javascript) to develop the rest of the app. I am all new to these thus am thinking maybe I could write my part using Javascript and merge with his part later...

    Quote Originally Posted by healdem View Post
    if you are using a database (SQLLite may be a better solution if you are targettign iOS) then I'd be surprised if you'd need to write your own sort routines as proper use of indexing should do the sorting for you. but I suppose it depends on what you want to do. if its a central repository then a central server would be a sensible approach. that kind of precludes a file server db like Filemaker
    Do you mind elaborate a bit on why SQLLite is a better solution and what's the main difference of it comparing to MySQL?
    And I don't really understand "proper use of indexing", my plan is to filter the non-related data (or books) everytime the user answer a question. Is there any easier way to do this (indexing?) ? As mentioned earlier for the algorithm I have figured out a way to categorized my data (books), which can cut down the "books" at the optimum rate when a question is answer (by user). Ah my bad, it's not really "sorting", more to "cutting down irrelevant data" I would say...
    I think I missed out something here and appreciate it if you could explain to me

    Quote Originally Posted by healdem View Post
    SQL Server, MySQL server are both examples of client server based databases, there's lots ore out ther. like Filemaker these server databases use SQL to manipulate the data. THe main difference for your project is that MySQL server can be free, SQL Server likewise but on a much more restricted basis.
    So MySQL is a server. Hmm, ok. I downloaded SQL Workbench today and could not get it to connect to my database (which i just created on a free domain today). I now have another question, can I "create" this MySQL server using SQL workbench? I am totally new to these and there are so many SQL out there and I am confused.


    Quote Originally Posted by healdem View Post
    if you are suing javascript then you may also want to take advantage of AJAX and similar technologies
    You are right on this! I just realized the existence of PHP and AJAX, and just started get a hand on PHP today... I managed to create a free domain (which has PHPAdmin & MySQL) and tried to generate a small table. But still, I failed to connect this to SQL workbench
    Last edited by cecilia81; 11-18-11 at 05:12.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by cecilia81 View Post
    Do you mind elaborate a bit on why SQLLite is a better solution and what's the main difference of it comparing to MySQL?
    SQLLite is embedded in iOS so its already installed on the target platform, meaning you coudl make this application totally independant of the outside world. granted you proposed app has the flavour of one the childs guessing games, where answers from one person are used in the next iteration for soemone else so a central db may make sense

    Quote Originally Posted by cecilia81 View Post
    And I don't really understand "proper use of indexing"...
    indexes are defacto a sorted list. so by using appropriate indexes on the data you should / could be able to avoid having to write / develop / test your own sorting code


    Quote Originally Posted by cecilia81 View Post
    So MySQL is a server. Hmm, ok. I downloaded SQL Workbench today and could not get it to connect to my database (which i just created on a free domain today).
    talk to your ISP, however I'd expect most ISP's don't want to allow tools such as workbench to access their MySQL server's. they will probably want you to connect to the db for admin purposes using something PHPMyAdmin. In exceptional circumstances they may permit access using workbench assuming you are on a static IP address. otherwise the security implications can be horrific

    Quote Originally Posted by cecilia81 View Post
    I now have another question, can I "create" this MySQL server using SQL workbench? I am totally new to these and there are so many SQL out there and I am confused.
    Workbench is a 3 part tool
    1) allows you to maintain / administer existing MySQL server(s)
    2) allows you to model a database schema
    3) allows you to develop MySQL queries
    it cannot create an instance of the MySQL server.. to do that you have to download and install a MySQL server. for development purposes thats what a lot of people do, download a MySQL server for their own machine and develop on that. when ready copy the data (the schema (tables, queries, views etc)) to a live server or central server. the advantage is its your playpen, you can do whatever the heck you like, and you dont' have to be connected to the outside world to do your work.

    If you want to install a local MySQL server then consider one of the XAMPP installations. if you haven't installed MySQL it can ease the possible pain of installing MySQL.

    Quote Originally Posted by cecilia81 View Post
    You are right on this! I just realized the existence of PHP and AJAX, and just started get a hand on PHP today...
    AJAX isn't just PHP, it should work with any webpage talking to a server running server scriopts (whether thats ASP, ASP.NET, PERL CGI whatever

    Quote Originally Posted by cecilia81 View Post
    I managed to create a free domain (which has PHPAdmin & MySQL) and tried to generate a small table. But still, I failed to connect this to SQL workbench
    Workbench isn't something you connect to, rather something you connect from. its a powerfull tool but you can only connect to local SQL servers, or servers which you have some degree of adminstration on such as corporate or servers on the same network or VPN. its doubtfull that you will find any / many ISP's allowing workbench access to their servers.

    it can be a great tools to develop your schema, probably ideal for your use as it can generate 'pretty' pictures which help explain your datamodel to others. you cna get Workbench to spit out the stuyff required to set up your tables. it can create them itsefl if it has access to the target MySQL server.
    I'd rather be riding on the Tiger 800 or the Norton

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by healdem View Post
    SQLLite is embedded in iOS so its already installed on the target platform, meaning you coudl make this application totally independant of the outside world. granted you proposed app has the flavour of one the childs guessing games, where answers from one person are used in the next iteration for soemone else so a central db may make sense
    By totally independent of the outside world, do you mean the app can be used even offline?

    Quote Originally Posted by healdem View Post
    indexes are defacto a sorted list. so by using appropriate indexes on the data you should / could be able to avoid having to write / develop / test your own sorting code
    I looked up "index" for db term and kind of understand it, never knew there's this kind of tool, thank you so much! Guess I will need to spend another day to digest how to implement this, it's going to be so cool.

    Quote Originally Posted by healdem View Post
    talk to your ISP, however I'd expect most ISP's don't want to allow tools such as workbench to access their MySQL server's. they will probably want you to connect to the db for admin purposes using something PHPMyAdmin. In exceptional circumstances they may permit access using workbench assuming you are on a static IP address. otherwise the security implications can be horrific
    That clarifies. So if I chose to use PHPMyAdmin I need to connect PHP to db by using the mysql_connect() function am I right? I remember coming across those codes when googling PHP-MySQL tutorial today...

    Quote Originally Posted by healdem View Post
    Workbench is a 3 part tool
    1) allows you to maintain / administer existing MySQL server(s)
    2) allows you to model a database schema
    3) allows you to develop MySQL queries
    it cannot create an instance of the MySQL server.. to do that you have to download and install a MySQL server. for development purposes thats what a lot of people do, download a MySQL server for their own machine and develop on that. when ready copy the data (the schema (tables, queries, views etc)) to a live server or central server. the advantage is its your playpen, you can do whatever the heck you like, and you dont' have to be connected to the outside world to do your work.

    If you want to install a local MySQL server then consider one of the XAMPP installations. if you haven't installed MySQL it can ease the possible pain of installing MySQL.
    Is MySQL Server free? And it sounds like a good idea to have it. I will see if it has a Mac version, (sadly) I'm on a Mac. For the central server, what is it going to be like? As in, what is it going to have in it?

    Quote Originally Posted by healdem View Post
    AJAX isn't just PHP, it should work with any webpage talking to a server running server scriopts (whether thats ASP, ASP.NET, PERL CGI whatever
    After you mention this, I found this "AJAX is a group of technologies that allows web applications to retrieve data from the server asynchronously; PHP is a scripting language designed to produce dynamic web pages." , in your opinion, do i need to learn both for this app?

    Quote Originally Posted by healdem View Post
    Workbench isn't something you connect to, rather something you connect from. its a powerfull tool but you can only connect to local SQL servers, or servers which you have some degree of adminstration on such as corporate or servers on the same network or VPN. its doubtfull that you will find any / many ISP's allowing workbench access to their servers.

    it can be a great tools to develop your schema, probably ideal for your use as it can generate 'pretty' pictures which help explain your datamodel to others. you cna get Workbench to spit out the stuyff required to set up your tables. it can create them itsefl if it has access to the target MySQL server.
    I think I get what you mean there. My data model is a huge mind map (which will only fit into an A3 size paper), created using "Protege", with branches going to smaller branches and smaller smaller branches ... etc. So I guess I have already done that part (generate pretty picture?)

    Currently I just want to try generate a small environment and try to run and see if my algorithm (filtering) works or not. So... any suggestion?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    do you have any recommendations?

    Quote Originally Posted by sierramccann View Post
    Just do a search on Google. You should be able to find websites that allow you to create apps for free.

    Sierra
    Hi Sierra, can you recommend any of the providers, something that you have used before?

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