Dreamweaver MX 2004 and Database drvien sites...

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by starflyer 59, Oct 8, 2003.

  1. starflyer 59 macrumors newbie

    Oct 12, 2002
    Memphis, TN
    Is there a WYSIWYG that makes creating a database driven site easy? For example, go to http://www.revhq.com and see how their store is set up. Type the name "Converge" in the search box and see how it grabs results. Is this kind of site still out of reach for programs? I would rather spend $400 on Dreamweaver than $2,000 on a person to develop it for me.

    Any info would be greatly appreciated.

  2. sonofslim macrumors 6502a


    Jun 6, 2003
    dreamweaver MX does handle dynamic content, but i wouldn't say it's necessarily "easy." you still have to know how to set up your databases, any staging servers you might be using, and so on, which MX won't do for you. and you won't be able to access most of the dynamic features until you've configured the application to work with your particular setup.

    and in my case, at least, the learning curve for MX's dynamic content controls was steeper than for the rest of the program -- but i'd been using it for some time, so i was used to the pre-MX versions and it took some getting used to.

    i'm not trying to talk you out of it; i'm just cautioning you that unless you have a pretty good idea of what you're doing and a handle on the scope of the project you're taking on (which, of course, you may) you're not going to be happy with ANY program. they'll do the grunt work for you, but you still gotta provide the brains.
  3. Rower_CPU Moderator emeritus


    Oct 5, 2001
    San Diego, CA
    I agree with sonofslim.

    DW has some nice features for connecting to and working with pre-existing database info, but has nothing to do with the DB creation and initial set up. You really need someone with knowhow for that.

    For example, I was working on simple PHP in DW and kept getting parse errors. Turned out DW had added some nonsense characters (tabs, line returns) that didn't display in its code view, but were obvious in BBEdit. In order to troubleshoot problems in DW you have to be familiar with the code already - just like HTML.

    A Visual Quickstart Guide is one way to start learning more about technologies like PHP and MySQL.
  4. areyouwishing macrumors regular

    Feb 19, 2003
    Starflyer 59 and Converge in the same post...an interesting, but good combination. Speaking of Hardcore and Christian music, I just saw Norma Jean 2 weeks ago. :)

    ColdFusion is the easiest databasing technology i have used thus far (with SQL Server/MySQL)

    ....if you are looking for something to run on a mac, that would be PHP/MySQL..i don't think its as easy though.
  5. Rower_CPU Moderator emeritus


    Oct 5, 2001
    San Diego, CA
    True, but that's an extra charge and you still have to have someone with knowledge of DB set up involved somewhere.
  6. mrjamin macrumors 65816


    Feb 6, 2003
    if dynamic sites were easy - i wouldn't be getting paid thousands of pounds to build a dynamic website. The principles may be fairly straight forward, but there are many other factors that come into play, such as security, reliability, durability and efficiency.

    The only way to build a dynamic site is by knowing what you're doing. Dreamweaver provides some time-saving features, but not much more than that. It is not going to tell you what to do, or make it that much easier to build a site. My advice is get a book on php/mysql (the Visual Quickstart Guide by larry ullman is a good start - its on amazon), dedicate a few hours a week to get to grips with the way php works, how it ties in with mysql, then start playing with it. Spend a decent amount of time messing around, writing some simple scripts and finding its weaknesses, and exploiting its bugs. Poorly written code can bring down a server if the wrong person discovers its flaws, so its not advisable to publish "my first php site" if it full of holes!

    Blimey, that all sounded very serious and frightening. php is great, its a nice simple language that's very powerful - have fun!
  7. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    This suggestion may be completely off the mark of what you were looking for, but every time I've wanted to develop a database driven site or section of a site, I've tried searching for an existing general-purpose PHP script package that does what I want. In all but a couple of cases, I've found inexpensive or freeware PHP script packages that do exactly what I want.

    For example, the site you referenced is a relatively basic shopping cart, and it's likely they didn't do the database code themselves; there are many pre-built cart packages available starting in the $100 range, which you can customize using templates to look like just about anything you want.

    That won't provide you with any WISIWYG tools for doing the design, but if you're on a tight budget you can stick with the default template(s) of the package you choose and just adjust the color settings and images to do basic customization. If you have some HTML experience, you can edit the templates yourself to do a little more. Or, you can always hire someone to just work on the display code, which is a lot cheaper than hiring someone to build the whole script from scratch.

    If you're looking for more general content management solutions, not shopping carts, there are dozens of freeware ones available, some of them very good. I find HotScripts ( http://www.hotscripts.com/ ) a good place to start hunting for just about anything of that sort.

    That said...

    Now that I've tried to say you don't need custom code, I'm going to ask a follow-up question contradicting myself: Are there any pieces of software that'll easily generate custom PHP (or Perl) code to interface with a MySQL database?

    I've got a simple web-interfaced database project I'm trying to get going, but although I have no trouble creating the database structure, I have yet to find a general-purpose database interface that'll do quite what I want (I've checked out DaDaBik and Ministry of Truth). The interface I want is very simple, but my PHP skills are too poor and my time to scarce to write it myself from scratch.

    I've tried JaneBuilder, but didn't have a whole lot of luck with it. Maybe I just didn't try hard enough...

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