What sets a database apart from a mere pile of facts is its ability to selectively retrieve information. After all, when you visit http://Amazon.com, 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 MX 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 page 670 before reading the rest of the chapter.
Since databases can contain lots of information, you need a way to find just the data you need. Even though your company keeps information about its products, customers, suppliers, and so on, in a database, you may only be interested in, say, an alphabetical list of all your customers. After securing that list, you might want to look at a particular customer’s contact information, or perhaps the list of products that person bought.
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 in the Customers table.” It’s the heart of many database ...