eXtropia WebDB Documentation

Introduction to WebDB

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Welcome to WebDB, eXtropia's Web-based Database Management software. WebDB allows you to quickly and easily set up simple databases for the web. It's simple model lends itself well to 90% of databases that are put on the web without customization of the Perl code. This flexibility is demonstrated in this model as we provide sample news application, project tracker, inventory manager, and address book as sample applications based on the WebDB template.

In fact, WebDB is a bit different from most other eXtropia applications. There really is not such thing as a webdb.cgi. Frequently, you, the user, will decide what type of database WebDB should be (eg an addressbook) and then modify the configuration parameters in webdb.cgi to fit your requirements. At this point, you would rename webdb.cgi to reflect your application (eg address_book.cgi).

This guide is meant to walk you through installing, configuring, and customizing WebDB. Most of you will be able to unpack the application and run it on your server after setting the appropriate file permissions.

In addition, since we recognize that all the eXtropia WebWare2 applications follow a similar design, we have also heavily referenced an extremely detailed eXtropia Applications Guide which we describe in the Further References chapter.

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Acknowledgements, Incentives, and Credits

eXtropia applications are open source applications (http://www.extropia.com/open_source_case_study.html). As such, the applications we've written are not just the result of a single group of people at eXtropia -- rather we rely on the entire open source community for feedback on both the code and documentation.

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Where to Find The Credits...

The Further References chapter at the end of this guide acknowledges some of the people who have helped make this guide and the software that it describes possible. Right off the bat, we simply have to acknowledge Stas Bekman's Documentation Creation generator for creating the HTML and PDF version of this documentation from a simple set of POD files!

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How To Get Credit: Documentation

The best way to get your name in there is to offer us suggestions to improve this documentation. Also, we do not intend this to be the only documentation for WebDB. We realize that different people have different ideas of how to approach learning software.

To that end, we would welcome links to any alternative documentation including documentation that may be translations of this or other guides to other languages. We love supporting this stuff *globally* and we love to see alternate language support grow. Over the past six years the eXtropia team has been located in USA, Europe, and as you read this, in Asia's information hub, Singapore.

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How To Get Credit: Programming/Community

As with other open source communities, we also welcome additions, suggestions, and cool hacks (http://www.extropia.com/hacks/) to the software originated at eXtropia. The more we incorporate from you, the better our software will be.

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How To Read This Guide

At first glance, you might think there is a lot to this guide. The PDF version is over 60 pages long. However, we feel that it is currently organized in a way that the most people will benefit.

Basically, we wrote the guide in the most verbose manner possible so that all the information you need could be provided in one place. However, we also realize that you have better things to do than read documentation, so our organization of this guide reflects this.

If you are already familiar with eXtropia applications, you should be able to skim through the the chapter on installation and set up the application pretty quickly. If you are completely new at the process, we suggest that you also pick up a copy of the eXtropia Applications Guide described in Appendix A: Further References.

Chances are good that you may actually fall into more than one of these or in-between, so we'll leave it up to your best judgement about how you should read the guide. To help you decide which sections would be most useful to read, we have abandoned our practice of distributing huge read me text files and instead have fully hyperlinked HTML pages and PDF files which include hyperlinked table of contents. Enjoy!

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What's Included in WebDB

As we stated before, WebDB is not is not an application by itself. Rather it is an enabler that allows you to create applications with it. A WebDB application is nothing without a database behind it; your database is your application!

To demonstrate this, we have distributed four sample configurations of WebDB contained in news.cgi, project_tracker.cgi, inventory_manager.cgi, and address_book.cgi. Note that eXtropia applications are Object-Powered. This means that the WebDB logic is not inside of the CGI script. The CGI script merely sets up configuration variables unique to your environment and requirements and then subsequently calls the WebDB object to configure and run it.

The following describes these sample applications in greater depth:


The eXtropia Team [ TOC ]

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Master Copy URL: http://www.extropia.com/support/docs/webdb/
Copyright © 2000-2001 Extropia. All rights reserved.
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Written by eXtropia.
Last Modified at 11/09/2001