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Dreamweaver CS5.5: The Missing Manual by David Sawyer McFarland

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Chapter 25. Adding Dynamic Data to Your Pages

A database is different from a mere pile of facts because it can selectively retrieve information. After all, when you visit Amazon.com, you don’t want to see every single book and product they sell. You probably just want to see 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 this chapter.

Retrieving Information

Since databases can contain lots of information, you need a way to find just the data 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 want to see only, say, an alphabetical list of your customers. After grabbing 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 you send to a database asking for particular information: “Hey Database, show me all the customers listed in the Customers table.” Executing commands ...

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