IN YOUR BRAIN
> Building a Database Driven Web Site Using JBuilder and InterBase
> By Robert Schieck - MER Systems Inc., Borland Developers Conference 1999.
> Most web sites consist of static html pages that require you to modify each web
> page file in order to change the page. As web sites increase in size, not only
> does the management of their content becomes more complex and difficult, but a
> change in the look and feel of the web site becomes almost impossible.
> For example, Borland had approximately 14,000 static pages on their web site
> when they changed their name from Borland to Inprise. They did a global search
> and replace on Borland for Inprise on their web site. The problems created were
> The purpose of this presentation is to show you how to create a database driven
> web site so that you can easily change the look and feel of your web site.
> With all of the messages from the news groups at forums.borland.com indexed on
> our web site, we have more than 1,000,000 pages on line. We needed a new method
> of administering our web site. We used the following specifications to create
> our web site:
> The web site had to be searchable from the search engines (no frames, ?s,.ddl,
> exe, asp, jsp).
> We wanted the appearance of frames without the use of frames.
> We wanted to be able to change any web page without requiring access to our web
> We wanted to be able to change the look and feel of the site easily.
> We wanted to be able to add new pages by adding data to a database.
> Web Page Basics
> If you look at the Inprise or Borland or InterBase sites, you will find that
> they all have basically the same layout.
> If you look at most sites, there might be 10,000 pages but only 10 or so
> different topmenus, sidemenus, and footers. If we stored all of our web pages in
> a database, then we could store the topmenus, sidemenus, and footers in separate
> tables from the bodies, and join them when the page is sent out. This means that
> all of the pages could share one topmenu, sidemenu and footer. By changing
> these, you can quickly change the look and feel of your web site.
> Why Java Servlets
> Our site was originally built running IIS and Delphi ISAPI DLLs. It worked quite
> nicely, but did have some difficulties. The main problem was portability. The
> ISAPI DLLs limited us to an NT platform only. With more than 50% of the world's
> servers running Apache, and the big web servers running on UNIX, we needed a
> different environment on which to build our technology so that it would be
> portable between the server hardware platforms and web servers themselves.
> We could have done our web site in perl, but we wanted a newer technology. We
> settled on Java Servlets.
> As for portability, we converted our ISAPI DLL implementation to Java on the NT
> platform. We then moved it to Linux where we had to add one line of code to get
> it to work properly. The version from Linux was moved back to NT and ran
> unchanged, so, from a portability perspective it was great.
> Why InterBase
> With 1,000,000 pages plus online on our web site and 1,500 to 2,000 users a day
> hitting it, InterBase is easy to install, easy to use, easy to maintain. The
> main reason we use InterBase is that we can automate all of the database
> administration function (backups) in scripts, set them up as a cron job or an
> "AT" scheduler on NT, and forget about the DBA functions and InterBase.
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