Chapter 23. Adding Dynamic Data to Your Pages

What sets a database apart from a mere pile of facts is its ability to selectively retrieve information. After all, when you visit, you don’t want to see every piece of information on every single book and product they sell. You probably want to see just a list of books on a certain subject or by a particular author, and then view more detail about the books that pique your interest.

This chapter shows you how to use Dreamweaver to display database information on your Web pages. Because these concepts can be tricky, you may prefer to get some hands-on experience by completing the tutorial on Tutorial: Displaying Database Info before reading the rest of the chapter.

Retrieving Information

Since databases can contain lots of information, you need a way to find just the data that you want to display on a particular Web page. Even though your company keeps information about its products, customers, suppliers, and so on in one database, you may be interested only in, say, an alphabetical list of all your customers. After securing that list, you might want to display a particular customer’s contact information, or perhaps the list of products that person bought.

Understanding Recordsets

To retrieve specific information from a database, you start by creating what’s called a recordset. A recordset—also called a database query—is a command issued to a database asking for particular information: “Hey Database, show me all the customers listed ...

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