hello people.
I am extremely new to web design, I have read html quite alot I need yo help however to design a database for an inventory that is accessible over the internet. Can I use MS Excel or Access for the inventory database? Which scripting language of php and ASP.NET would be better to use.
Thanx

MySQL is what you would want to use for your database. I would suggest you use PHP to access the MySQL, as is it really use to connect with that.

I have read alot about MySQL being "open source", does this mean it is free?

Yes, is it is free, although that does not automatically mean "open-source". Open-source means that you make your source code available for public viewing. So you can be free but not open-source (although I don't think you can be open source but not free).

You might try a Database-as-a-Service offering such as www.HostedDatabase.com or others which allows you to implement a simple inventory database without the need for server-side programming. You only need a simple HTML interface to your database.

I have some of the data already in MS Excel. Is it not possible to use Excel for the database? Cant php communicate with Excel? What would be the disadvantages of using Excel?

You definitely DON'T want to use Excel as the database, even though you could create a System ODBC DSN pointing to it. Excel is not meant to be a database, and performance would suffer on an active website. With a web-hosted database solution like www.HostedDatabase.com you easily upload a .csv file from Excel into the web database. It takes like 2 minutes. Once there, the data can quickly be accessed using simple HTML.

I have some of the data already in MS Excel. Is it not possible to use Excel for the database? Cant php communicate with Excel? What would be the disadvantages of using Excel?

It's true that you usually don't want to use Excel as a database since it is not optimized for fast transactions ... but it is not uncommon to use a flat file database (plain text or xml files) when the amount of data to be stored is a small amount. I plan on using Excel csv files for a database on a site I'm developing for three reasons. It provides an immediate administrative interface for managing the inventory data (Excel) for my client; there is only a relatively small amount of inventory to be managed; and it is very portable, I only need PHP running on the server and all of my data is in file-format, not binary DB format .... In this case I feel I won't get a significant performance hit using Excel csv as a database.

If you're in that same boat you can see what I came up with over on this post:
http://www.daniweb.com/forums/post663864.html#post663864

Best of luck

To address some of your other questions ...

If you are going to use a database you probably do want to use MySql or PostrgeSql since they are the most commonly supported on web servers. MySql did recently get purchased and there are some licensing restrictions if I understand correctly, but probably nothing to worry about for a simple project.

You can probably find an database inventory management utility written in PHP for free, if you're willing to search around a bit. If you're willing to learn you can save a lot of money over a hosted database option -- my web hosting service has great database support for much less money than the hosted database suggested above. But if you have more money than time, that could be a good solution too.

PHP is a very handy language for communicating with databases (and xml and other formats), but if you already know .NET to any degree or if your hosting your data on a IIS server you might consider ASP.NET instead (I wouldn't rule it out). I once learned how to interact with a database using Perl, and find PHP much more user friendly.

Okay, good luck

If you are going to use a database you probably do want to use MySql or PostrgeSql since they are the most commonly supported on web servers.

It is true that PostgreSql and MySql are both open source, but as much as I prefer Postgres over Mysql, for some reason many shared hosts to provide Postgres. So you might want to just stick with Mysql.

It is true that PostgreSql and MySql are both open source, but as much as I prefer Postgres over Mysql, for some reason many shared hosts to provide Postgres. So you might want to just stick with Mysql.

What R0bb0b says is true ... stick to MySql

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