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Web Hosting - Databases, What Are They and Do You Need One?
'Database' is one of the most commonly used terms that one encounters in web site design. Yet, what they really are and whether they're essential is often not clear to novices.
A database is a collection of organized data, stored in files that have a specific structure. It's that organization and structure that allows for easy and rapid storage and retrieval.
The need for a database generally only arises when you have a certain amount of information and that information needs to have some structure. If you have a half-dozen names and addresses to store, a database is usually overkill. If you have a blob of data with no relationships between any of the items in that blob, maintaining a database is usually more trouble than it's worth.
Maintain a database? Yes, like other complex systems a database, to be effective, needs to be designed properly at the outset then kept 'tuned' for good performance. The alternative is to gradually allow the database to become more and more disorganized. That leads to difficulty in use, poor speed of retrieval and more frequent failures.
With MySQL, Access or MS SQL Server, the three most common choices of database product for web sites today, setting up a database is relatively simple. Even those with limited technical skill can get one up and running just by following some simple instructions. But some thought should be given to how you want the information organized, and to maintaining the system during its lifetime.
Suppose you have a set of names, addresses, email addresses, products purchased, date purchased and amount. If you have only a few dozen records it matters very little how these pieces are arranged and related. A database usually isn't even warranted in this scenario. Once you have several thousand or more records, it matters a lot. Speed, the ease of expanding the set of attributes (like adding, say, product category), and other issues come into play.
Even those with little technical expertise, but a willingness to exert logical thought and invest some time, can build a very robust database. Think about how you would organize a set of data (called 'tables'). Should Name, Address, and Product be in the same table? Or should the personal information be stored in one table and any product information (product, price, ...) in another?
Some experimentation may be needed to get it right, but the choices have an impact on how easy the tables are to maintain. It also affects the speed with which programs can fetch old data and store the new.
Having a database also introduces new maintenance issues for the server administrator, since backups usually need to be done differently. Recovering a failed database is usually more complicated than simply re-copying files from yesterday. Ask your hosting company what tools and skills they have for dealing with any database system you consider.
It's true that introducing a database creates more complexity and the need for additional thought and administrative effort. At a certain level, professional expertise will be needed. But clearly the advantages outweigh the costs in many cases. Companies large and small eventually use databases to store and organize data. At some point, you may be fortunate enough to be one of them.
Start Sampling for Free with the Start Sampling Website If you are looking for the best in online sampling, there is one Web destination that you should know about. The websites is known simply as StartSampling.com, and it can do wonders for your cache of freebies. If you are an avid freebie hunter, this is a website that you will definitely want to keep at your freebies by placing it on your active bookmark list. You will find that this is a fun and active community that you can consult on a regular basis for the best in online freebie sampling. How Can You Become a Member of StartSampling? If you are a newbie to the world of online sampling and freebies, here is a brief primer on becoming a member of this active community. First, StartSampling is a free service?never sign up for a freebie service that asks for monetary compensation or that requires a yearly membership sign-up. All you need in order to become a member of the StartSampling community is the ability to willingly sample many fine products from some of the company's leading manufacturers. As a member of StartSampling, you will receive samples as well as participate in the site's own Frequent Tryer Miles program. The Frequent Tryer Milers program allows you to collect points. You collect these points from participating in a variety of sampling programs and taking advantage of special offers and promotions. As a reward for participating in these programs, you will receive pints and gifts for free. This is your reward for being an active member of the StartSampling community. How to Contact the StartSampling Company Directly If you find that you have questions and concerns about using StartSampling, you can contact the company directly by selecting the 'contact us' button that is located at the bottom of the StartSampling home page. However, you will probably find that most of your questions can be answered directly simply by perusing the FAQ section of the website carefully. The FAQ provides you with an extensive list of questions and answers that have been addressed and compiled by the company. What Exactly Does StartSampling Do? Many newcomers to the StartSampling community wonder if the company is a web research enterprise. In reality, StartSampling is a promotions and marketing company. They have recently managed to establish themselves as a leader in online sampling. They do this by connecting consumers directly with the right kinds of companies. As an active participant of the StartSampling community, you will have the opportunity to receive samples from companies that you did not previously recognize. Sampling also allows you to inform marketers about your specific desires and interests. This way, you will receive product and service offers that are tailored specifically to your interests. In effect, think of StartSampling as a way to make your voice heard as a consumer. Where Do the Product Samples Come From? With so many online samples coming your way, perhaps you are wondering where all the samples provided by this community come from. All the samples provided to you by StartSampling are furnished directly by the small and large companies that are working with StartSampling. These samples are provided to StartSampling because these companies believe in their products and want consumers to try them and express an honest opinion. Most companies are looking to receive consumer feedback from members of their targeted consumer group. Who is Behind the World of StartSampling? Many newcomers are curious about who is behind the scenes at StartSampling. StartSampling is a leading online company managed by small group of energetic individuals. It is a privately held organization that is growing at a rapid pace.
International Copyright Law Surprise! There Is No International Copyright Law Many people are surprised to learn that there is no international copyright law. Yes, that is right. There is not an international copyright law that will protect your work on the other side of the world. However, it is important to note that most countries do offer some form of protection to what is deemed as ?foreign? works. International conventions and treaties have done much to protect owners of copyrights around the world. With the world seemingly becoming smaller every day the United States took a look at its stance on the European copyright treaty known as the Berne Convention. Basically, the Berne Convention of 1886 involved European nations coming together to seek a uniform copyright law to keep their copyright owners from having to register for copyrights in individuals European countries. The United States signed on to the Berne Convention introduced made it into a U.S. law known as the Berne Implementation Act of 1988. If you are seeking to have your work protected in a particular country you need to find out what kind of protection foreign authors have in that country. Some countries offer little or not protection to foreign authors. It should be noted that the U.S. Copyright Office is not allowed to give authors recommendations or the names of attorneys or agents that could help them understand foreign copyright laws. However, with a little investigation it is not hard to find someone who is an expert on foreign copyright law. These individuals can help you learn more about copyright protection and how your work is deemed in a foreign country. Someone who works in international copyright law will tell you that it is different than most other sectors of law. It involves knowing the copyright law of two or more countries. Every country has their own way of granting and protecting someone?s copyright. The individual criteria of each country must be taken into consideration when you are dealing with international copyright law. It is important to note that some countries do not have any intellectual property rights and some countries even grant more copyright protections than even the United States. International copyright laws involve understanding international treaties and conventions, like the Berne Treaty and WIPO Copyright Treaty listed above. If you are interested in pursuing a degree in law, you may want to explore the international copyright law sector. With the world becoming one big neighborhood, you will probably not lack for work. People that have copyrighted works need to be aware that there are differences in the copyright laws in some nations. While it is true that the United States has signed treaties with some nations, your work will not be protected in every country of the world. As stated, the United States is a member of the Berne treaty. In addition, the United States is a member of the WIPO Copyright Treaty. This treaty works in conjunction with the Berne treaty yet it also covers and gives protection to databases and computer programs. If you would like more information on international copyright law you should check with an attorney who specializes in international copyright law.
Do and Don?ts of the Interview Process No one likes job interviews. From the moment you schedule the interview you are under a microscope. Your potential employers waiting for you to make the move that make you stand out or eliminates you from being a candidate for the job. This necessary dance that just about everyone, has to go through can be mastered. Learn the key things to do to become a high-ranking candidate for a job. First of all, before you go to the interview be prepared. Having copies of your resume and pens are only half the battle. Where exactly is the office located? Do not leave the location or the interview site up to chance. The only way to know exactly where your interview is and how much travel time you should allow is to go there. Even if you are interviewing out of town, find out how long the drive is to the interview. Nothing disqualifies you, in most cases, faster than being late for your interview. Before you are sitting across from the interviewer, accumulate some knowledge about the company. Knowing about the position is not enough. Everyone that interviews will have read the advertisement for the position. You need to be armed with information about the company. Have they won any service awards? Are they ranked as one of the best companies in America to work for? Find out and impress the interviewer. Another way to impress the interviewer is to have intelligent, thoughtful questions to ask. Ask about productivity, benefits or training procedures. Show that you have done your homework and are truly extend about the position. Be attentive and bring the interviewer as much information as possible about yourself. If you have a portfolio or reference letters, be sure you take them to the interview. Also be prepared with complete work history and information as well as past residency information. Be ready to answer a few probing questions. Why do you want the job you have applied for? What makes this a good time for a job or career change? Have some intelligent answers for these questions. Interviews will know if you are nervous. No matter how badly you need the job, do not appear desperate. Show that you believe in yourself and are confident about your ability to do the job. Speak in terms of when you get the job opposed to it. While this is a bold move it is a way to reinforce the idea of you being chosen for the job. This is a trick for both you and the interviewer. No matter how true this may be, never tell the interviewer that you ?really need a job?. If this is what you tell the interviewer they will think that you are willing to take any job. Also, never talk negatively about your current boss or co-workers. Give as objective view as possible if you are asked about your current job relationship. Inquire about the next interviewing steps. This will not only show the interviewer that you are interested in the position it will also give you some time to prepare if you are called for the next interviewing step. Be sure to keep a notebook in your car so you can jot down notes immediately after you leave the interview. This is the best way to keep track of important facts about the position. In a day or so, mail a thank you card to your interviewer. This could be the added interest they are waiting to see from you in order to eliminate the other candidates.