The Importance of Web Database Development

Web database development is the process of creating a website whose contents are not sitting on server files, but on columns and tables in the databases. A website that stores data in the files system is a static website; the website that is database driven is most of the time referred to as a dynamic website. More functionality is offered by a dynamic website than by a static one. Some of these functionalities include the following:

  • shopping cart,
  • customized homepage,
  • ability to store vast amount of data about your business – services and products.
  • advanced search functionality with ability for users to filter the results in a given field, such as “date” or “price:,
  • ability for users to register for a newsletter or post their questions to forums, post comments, and update their profiles,
  • ability to integrate with corporate applications, like HR systems, CRM systems,
  • reducing site maintenance,
  • enhance web interactivity
  • ability to easily perform statistical analyses and complex queries,
  • ability to sort and retrieve data efficiently, and more.

If you are a technologically inclined person, you might be able to work on your web database development. However, if you believe you do not possess the necessary skills, you can hire a team of database developers, and there are many of them on the internet. But how can you find the team that is best for you? First of all, the company should have a strong background in website design and database development. They should be able to have the right tools and technologies and have prior experience in implementing these latest software and technologies in the development.

Besides the above requirements, the specific expertise of the programmers and engineers should also be looked into. Make sure that they have many years of experience in developing web databases. The staff of engineers and programmers must be experts. Creating a database driven website does not only need graphic artists and web designers, but a full team of skilled web programmers, web development engineers and application developers.

These experts in web database development should be closely coordinating with you so they will be able to determine the requirements and needs of your website. They should also be able to assess your existing database (if any), and identify the right solution and technologies that they should implement. So before you sign any contract with any database developer, you should have a roster of their skilled team. They should have a design conference with you to ensure that you’ll have a database driven website.

In these days of the advancing internet, database driven websites are getting popular. Users need highly dynamic and interactive web solutions, so websites should be able to address this requirement of web users. If your website is database driven, it is certain that it will always be updated and ready to provide complete information to your online visitors. Repeat visitors will be attracted to your site if it is found useful, highly interactive and productive. The benefits it offers are far superior to what the static websites can do.

PHP: Best Scripting Languages for Excellent Development

Before we proceed to the main topic, added in the PHP development, let’s discuss what exactly is PHP? In general, words, PHP is one of the finest scripting languages that designed for creating an eye-catching website for web development. This scripting language is embedded into an HTML source document and further a Web server interprets it with a PHP processor module for developing web pages. Additionally, this scripting language includes a command-line interface capability that used in standalone graphical applications for free of cost. Previously, PHP was contender of Active Server Pages (ASP) server-side script engine of Microsoft and other languages, but as time passes it is greatly accepted by the millions of web servers and web sites. Joomla, WordPress, Drupal and MediaWiki are some the well-known software uses PHP.

Framework in PHP:
Framework in PHP plays an important role to support the development of Web applications, Web services and Websites. Mostly, developers are using such framework to avoid unnecessary coding. It also helpful for developing safe and steady application and promoting RAD that helps to minimize the amount of monotonous coding. Framework is used by developers for reducing the amount of development. In addition to, it also helps to write less code as a result development can be speedily done.

Types of PHP Framework:

  • CakePHP
  • Symfony
  • Qcodo
  • Zend
  • Akelos
  • AjaxAC
  • Kohana
  • php.MVC
  • Stratos and many more

Essential Components & Tutorials of PHP

Combining the neat functionality of PHP using JavaScript, developers can easily create exceptional outcomes in the development. Here, you will find some important methods that help you to take subsequently move in your development projects. Below you will find some of the necessary and well-popular components and tutorials that help to develop easy to configure website.

  • PHP components: Auto suggest: With auto suggest, developers can easily implement a search form by using MySQL and PHP.
  • Create Password Strength Meter: Looking the popularity of web services, webmasters like add ‘Password strength meters’ in their website, which looks like Google using when creating a new account.
  • Animated Ajax Record Deletion Using MooTools: Using MooTools JavaScript functionality, developers can easily create ‘delete’ option. If webmaster doesn’t like an item, s/he can delete it from the list. While deleting an item becomes red and disappears from the list.
  • Charts: pChart is one type of PHP class oriented framework that designed to develop aliased charts. For creating charts, data can be collected from CSV files, SQL queries or provided manually by developers. This component is greatly accepted by the developers due to candy graphics and aliased algorithm.

Apart from above given, remaining the most important components and tutorials are create first simple CMS, Develop a Login System for a Simple Website, Directory trees with PHP and jquery, Easy Pagination with PHP and Mootools and many more.

Security Concern:
Whether you are writing any application or web page on the actual platform and operating system, security must concern on the primary basis. While writing any PHP applications, it is advisable to consider certain points like insert validate input, confirm form posts, guard your session data, file system, database, Cross-Site Request Forgeries, Cross-Site Scripting vulnerabilities, etc.

So You Want to be a Multiplayer Web Games Developer?

In my first article “So You want to be a Games Developer?” (http://ezinearticles.com/?So-You-Want-to-be-a-Games-Developer&id=70920), I discussed various games genres, including Web/Email games. This is one of the easiest ways to start developing games- you aren’t restricted to one language or platform and the costs are pretty low. In this article, I’ll look at the various technologies that you can use, and give you an idea of what its possible to do and how you get started.

Web games fall into various sub categories- email games, browser games, and multi player games. Email games are by far the simplest- technically they aren’t web games and you don’t even need a computer to moderate them, just to send and receive. Browser games can be implemented in Flash, JavaScript (dhtml), Java and even ActiveX/COM. I’d guess that most single player games are implemented in Flash but I’ll save that for a future article. To start with, though I’ll take you through what is involved in developing Multiplayer Web Games.

Before you start, go and take a look again at the Multi Player Online Games Directory- http://www.mpogd.com. Its an excellent resource and gives you an idea of the type of games out there ranging from small free games to the massive games like Sony’s Everquest.

The big multiplayer games aren’t web based but they do work across the Internet. They tend to have their own custom written clients, with encrypted protocols, fast 3d graphics and large teams of customer support staff. I recommend http://terranova.blogs.com/ as an excellent blog on this- you’ll find articles and quotes from luminaries such as Richard Bartle who produced the first Mud (its short for Multi User Dungeon), and Professor Edward Castranova; an expert on virtual world economics. Muds also tend to use their own clients, usually based on Telnet. Although these are not web games, I recommend you widen your experience as much as possible. Muds in particular although not the most popular genre still do exist and provide a good model for interactive games.

Breaking into computer game design and programming is as easy as becoming a fulltime commercial game programmer- i.e. its not! But there is nothing to stop you developing your own web game, and MPOGD will be happy I’m sure to list it in their directory. If its Open Source you can set it up and find other developers on Soiurceforge.net.

There are two categories of web game: real-time and turn based, and this dictates the type of technology that drives it. Real-time is more complicated- the server has to support multiple connections at the same time and care has to be taken to synchronise actions between clients. If you attack someone and they’ve already moved but your client isn’t keeping up then your game is not going to be popular.

A crossover between multiplayer web games and custom client games is possible with Macromedia’s Flash. It is likely that multiplayer action games based on Flash will become more prolific- there are quite a few around now. Sadly sourceforge has many such ideas that have not got past the planning stage. Also what does exist may not be open source as creating such games takes a lot of work. Googling for flash, multiplayer game returns a couple of million results but add open source and it drops to a few hundred thousand.

Unless you are an excellent Flash developer and can write good server code as well, I suggest you stick to turn based games. The good news is that web based is an area where open source development is prolific. A search on sourceforge.net for ‘game servers’ returned several projects that are mature or beta. Fancy developing an RPG in Java? Use Arianne. Or if C# is more your style, have a look at Ovorp. The most popular languages are C++ and Java (for the server) but C# projects have now started appearing and you’ll find C, Perl, and Python as well. But don’t limit your searches to sourceforge- there are many projects elsewhere as well. An excellent resource for finding games is dmoz.org-= the Open directory Project. Have a look at http://dmoz.org/Computers/Open_Source/Software/Games/ and http://dmoz.org/Games/Video_Games/Roleplaying/Massive_Multiplayer_Online/Independent_Developers/

E.g. Black nova Traders, which is located on sourceforge at http://sourceforge.net/projects/blacknova and has its own url http://www.blacknova.net/ BlackNova Traders is a web-based, multi-player space exploration game inspired by the popular BBS game of TradeWars. It is classified as a turn based mud. It is coded using PHP, SQL, and Javascript. BNT is officially at Beta but is a pretty complete game that is just not finished. In fact it may never be as long as developers keep tweaking it!

If you are going to develop a web game you need a server. Yes you could do it online but thats slow. Best to setup your own server.

A good starting point with the most popular technology is the Open Source L.A.M.P. family. That is Linux, Apache, MySql and Php. If you are replacing your windows pc with a new pc, wipe the hard disk on the old pc and install a Linux distribution and hook the two up with a crossover network cable. What was a relatively sluggish Windows PC is now a good development server running Apache, Php and Mysql. Linux Guis are pretty friendly these days but if you are unsure of administering Linux, download webmin from webmin.com and install it. It makes all the Linux administration stuff like configuring Samba (if you want to share drives), adding virtual sites to Apache etc very easy. Or easier still is the W.A.M.P route with everything installed on your Windows box. For pros and cons of this have a look here. http://ezinearticles.com/?Windows-vs-Linux–Hosting&id=21972

One word of caution. You might consider exposing your web server to the internet down your dsl connection. Nothing wrong with that though it limits you to having two or three users at once. If you have a static IP its pretty easy to map a domain to it. It can also be done with a dynamic Ip connection as well. Search for dynamic dns to find out how to make that work. Be sure in either case that you have enough firewall protection. An unprotected Windows pc will likely be taken over in under 15 minutes. I strongly recommend that you buy a firewall router or invest in a professional software firewall at the least.

In future articles I’ll discuss the nuts and bolts of game software development and start developing an open source game.