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 General help me questions
 Differences : ODBC, Access and SQL sever
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phayes
Starting Member

Spain
21 Posts

Posted - January 14 2004 :  10:38:32  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Using the vpasp cart, which is the best kind of database access if better. At the moment i'm using just access with vpasp with less than 100 products. Any advice on this or technical disabilities in just using Access.

Kind Regards

jonmadrid
VP-ASP New User

USA
192 Posts

Posted - January 14 2004 :  11:25:54  Show Profile  Visit jonmadrid's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hi there,

There are some that would agrue that you shouldnt even think of using an Access database for a shopping cart system like this... I know because I've argued with them. They have a semi-valid point but I think Access is actually a pretty good solution for things like VP-ASP.

One of the main things they complain about is that Access is really only a single user database that can, in some cases, be used for 10 or so people concurrently. They then argue that if you have 300 people on your site at any one time thats 30 times more users than the max load. Thats where the fault lies: its not really 300 people who have the database open at one time. For the most part, the VP-ASP software (and any well programmed script) open the database somewhere in the script when its needed and then close it right away after the data has been retrieved and the page is rendered. That saves on server resources by closing the connection and recordsets when the script is done using them. When it comes down to it, the total time the database is open amounts to seconds, if not split seconds, by an individual user. Spread that out across a big group of users and you can go pretty far. I've used Access with VP-ASP on sites with hundreds of visitors at a time and its breezed right though without a problem.

Access can carry its own for several thousands of records, and a moderate traffic volume, and can do it quite well. When you get into really high traffic situations you will want to move to SQL server though for sure. There are two main reasons why: 1) More traffic = more calls to the database for product information, etc; and 2) hopefully more traffic will equate to more sales, which will in turn equate to a ever larger number of records in your database. At a certain point Access starts to quiver and the seams start to come loose. SQL is a power hitter that can step up to the plate for those demanding circumstances.

SQL server in general is more reliable and is intended for much larger uses (thousands of records, frequent data access, etc). Thats not to say that it wont work well with small data collections though. You mentioned you have < 100 products... it wouldnt hurt to use SQL server though it may not be entirley necessary. I typically recommend that if you have SQL server available to you, you might as well use it. Given your circumstances though, I'd say Access will meet your needs quite well if you chose to stay with it.

A final consideration is that Access is a much easier to manage for the novice user that SQL server. That would only apply if you need to edit the database itself since VP-ASP allows you to manage the data via the admin panel.

Hope that helps.

All the best,

Jon Madrid
--------------------
Madrid Communications
Web Design, Development, and Hosting
www.madridcom.com
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phayes
Starting Member

Spain
21 Posts

Posted - January 14 2004 :  12:07:11  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
John, thanks for you time effort in responding to the message. No i understand the the difference, but what about normal access and database ODBC, i'm not sure of the terminology or what they are able to do.

Kind Reagrds again.

Paul Hayes
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jonmadrid
VP-ASP New User

USA
192 Posts

Posted - January 14 2004 :  14:39:36  Show Profile  Visit jonmadrid's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Are you asking which type to use or what the different types mean?

All the best,

Jon Madrid
--------------------
Madrid Communications
Web Design, Development, and Hosting
www.madridcom.com
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phayes
Starting Member

Spain
21 Posts

Posted - January 14 2004 :  16:40:36  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
John,
with sounding naive, both things...not entirely sure what's the difference. I live in spain and planning in the next few days to lauch my site with a server that offers database ODBC Access, just need to change a line in the 'shopping cart' code to accept ODBC. Just not sure what the difference is o why I should use one more than the other....I hope this makes sense to you. Thanks for your time and advice.

Paul Hayes MSc, Bsc

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jonmadrid
VP-ASP New User

USA
192 Posts

Posted - January 14 2004 :  17:33:31  Show Profile  Visit jonmadrid's Homepage  Reply with Quote
ODBC is: Open DataBase Connectivity - A Microsoft standard for accessing different database systems from Windows.

If you are familiar with DSN's (Data Source Names), you'll know whats going on. ODBC DNS's basically allow you to access your database without a long, complex connection string, and also allow your database to be outside the webroot for greater security (though thats not the only way). In very basic terms, it assigns a simple name/alias (DSN) to the path that you have specified for the location of your database which you can then reference instead of a complex connections string.

So, in the VP-ASP shop$config.asp file your connection settings might look like this WITH a DSN (ODBC):

const xDatabase="shopping500"
const xdblocation="c:\physicalpath\shopping"
const xdatabasetype="Drive"

or like this WITHOUT a DSN (ODBC):

const xDatabase="DSN=yourdsname"
const xdblocation=""
const xdatabasetype="ODBC"


There are inhering values to each of the options at hand. I think it just comes down to your personal preference.

All the best,

Jon Madrid
--------------------
Madrid Communications
Web Design, Development, and Hosting
www.madridcom.com
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