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So you want to use a database in your site?

By Jess Castagnetto
on July 30, 2000

Chances are that at some point in the life of a web site you will need
to be creating content on request. Fortunately (yeah, right…),
I had to tackle this early in the development of our
Metalloprotein Database site at
There are several ways of going about this. You can purchase an expensive
all-in-one packaged solution (with the kitchen sink and all the chrome), or if
you are like me (e.g. someone with not much dough to spend around, and a taste
for tinkering) you will just roll your own. After all kitchen sinks are
overrated and chrome is passe.
You will have to invest some time reading documentation
and debugging, but that is the fun part of it: getting it to work.

What you need

You will need to have a correctly installed web server with PHP support, and a
database. I use Apache with mod_php, and MiniSQL as a back-end database, but
the same will apply if you were using any other server, with PHP running as a
stand-alone CGI and other back-end database engine.