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Web Hosting - Databases, What Are They and Do You Need One?
'Database' is one of the most commonly used terms that one encounters in web site design. Yet, what they really are and whether they're essential is often not clear to novices.
A database is a collection of organized data, stored in files that have a specific structure. It's that organization and structure that allows for easy and rapid storage and retrieval.
The need for a database generally only arises when you have a certain amount of information and that information needs to have some structure. If you have a half-dozen names and addresses to store, a database is usually overkill. If you have a blob of data with no relationships between any of the items in that blob, maintaining a database is usually more trouble than it's worth.
Maintain a database? Yes, like other complex systems a database, to be effective, needs to be designed properly at the outset then kept 'tuned' for good performance. The alternative is to gradually allow the database to become more and more disorganized. That leads to difficulty in use, poor speed of retrieval and more frequent failures.
With MySQL, Access or MS SQL Server, the three most common choices of database product for web sites today, setting up a database is relatively simple. Even those with limited technical skill can get one up and running just by following some simple instructions. But some thought should be given to how you want the information organized, and to maintaining the system during its lifetime.
Suppose you have a set of names, addresses, email addresses, products purchased, date purchased and amount. If you have only a few dozen records it matters very little how these pieces are arranged and related. A database usually isn't even warranted in this scenario. Once you have several thousand or more records, it matters a lot. Speed, the ease of expanding the set of attributes (like adding, say, product category), and other issues come into play.
Even those with little technical expertise, but a willingness to exert logical thought and invest some time, can build a very robust database. Think about how you would organize a set of data (called 'tables'). Should Name, Address, and Product be in the same table? Or should the personal information be stored in one table and any product information (product, price, ...) in another?
Some experimentation may be needed to get it right, but the choices have an impact on how easy the tables are to maintain. It also affects the speed with which programs can fetch old data and store the new.
Having a database also introduces new maintenance issues for the server administrator, since backups usually need to be done differently. Recovering a failed database is usually more complicated than simply re-copying files from yesterday. Ask your hosting company what tools and skills they have for dealing with any database system you consider.
It's true that introducing a database creates more complexity and the need for additional thought and administrative effort. At a certain level, professional expertise will be needed. But clearly the advantages outweigh the costs in many cases. Companies large and small eventually use databases to store and organize data. At some point, you may be fortunate enough to be one of them.
Short Trips: Articles are Great Ways to Enter the Writing Market (writing articles) Not everyone who loves to write is destined to become a writer. Most people define a writer as a person who makes a living from their writing. Writers are committed to a career of difficulty and very hard work. Not that every other job doesn?t include work, but writers make up a group of individuals who are less recognized for their contributions. Certainly there are famous writers who are appreciated for their efforts, but they do not represent the majority of those who take up a pen for their livelihood. If you love to write, but you?re not sure about taking the leap into becoming a writer, there may be a perfect option for you to use your skills. Writing articles is a writing job that can be taken up to whatever degree you would like to do so. Types of Articles to Write Because articles are such short pieces, each one can only cover the smallest piece of information that the world contains. Depth and length are limited by each other and so writing articles allows you to focus on just about anything you?d like. If the articles cannot cover the scope of material that you?d like to cover, you can write more. Articles come in all kinds of packages. They are written for magazines. A magazine will always have a general topic that it strives to cover. Within the broad topic though, there are thousands of possibilities for the creation of articles. Newspapers are more directed towards current events rather than interesting tidbits or random information, but they also must buy articles in order to be printed each and every day. There is also the possibility of writing articles for the internet. In that genre, the topics expand exponentially as time goes on. The opportunities are out there, so how do you start writing articles? Getting Hired for the Work To get hired to write articles you mostly need the ability to market your writing skills. There are many, many good writers in the world. To get hired to write, you must be better than good. You must be able to use your words to describe, explain and convince. You must let an editor know why you are the right writer for a particular job. If you can write effectively enough in your resume and cover letter, an editor will know immediately that you have the skills and abilities to write equally convincing and interesting articles. If you are interested in continuing in the process of writing articles, you must know how to construct great content into a great finished product. Writing Great Articles If you can allow your curiosity to drive you, you will never run out of the ability to create great articles. The first rule in writing articles is to be ever ready to learn something new. You never know when you?ll need that piece of information to back up your writing. The idea for writing articles is only half of the battle though. You also have to actually do the engaging writing. This is where you pull out all of your literary tools. Write with enthusiasm so that your reader will be enthusiastic. Write with variety and slight complexity so that your reader will not be bored. Add a little bit of suspense as you are writing articles so that every reader will keep going until the end. Writing articles can be a career, but it doesn?t have to be. The beautiful thing about article writing is the short term nature of each project. You will move from one topic to the next as you continue to learn and expand your writing abilities. Writing articles can take you from your front yard to across the world in as short of trip as you need it to be. If you are considering the possibilities available to you in a writing job, investigate the possibilities of article writing. If you are a writer, you?ll love the work.
Got Java on the Brain? Get Free Coffee Products! There are many wonderful web pages on the Internet that help their users and visitors to free products. Some of the pages hold links to free samples; others offer coupons and advice on how to get free products. If it is Java that is on ones mind and one is looking for free coffee products, there might just the right web page on the Internet for that. Finding pages that offer free java, is as easy as drinking a cup of coffee. Internet savvy persons just need to enter the words free coffee into any of the Internet search engines and a variety of great pages will pop up on the search screen. Coffee pages offer samples, links to samples, coupons and more on their sites. Any coffee lover has the chance to try a great variety of new and fancy coffees. The Internet pages that offer free coffee samples are updated frequently, so that links should not be outdated and new products are listed as soon as they appear on the market. As with so many pages on the Internet, these web sites rely on their users to help out with new sample tips, coupon tips and promotion dates. Users are asked to contact the web page master whenever there is a link that is not working, so that that link can be fixed or removed. Users are also encouraged to send in any data about free samples, links to company pages that offer free coffee and even links to coupons and deals that are unbeatable. Since free coffee is sometimes hard to get too and there are only that many free samples that coffee lovers can get a hold of, many of the free coffee sites also offer other great free deals and links to coupons and samples, so that it is anyways a good idea to visit the free coffee sites. For coffee lovers it is also important to check out their local coffee stores. Many of the stores have promotions, such as an advertisement campaign, where free coffee in connection with other products might be available. Just recently one of the major coffee chains had an ongoing promotion, where coffee lovers bought their friends a coup of coffee and they themselves received their drink of equal or lesser value for free. This might have been a way of the company to lure m ore new customers, but in the end it meant a free coffee for one of the two friends. Sometimes it is a promotion at one of the local festivals, where coupons and vouchers for free coffees are handed out. How about a free coffee with breakfast? Some of the major breakfast places offer a free complimentary coffee, when a breakfast or a breakfast sandwich is bought. For the person that every once in a while or maybe even every morning gets a breakfast sandwich, a bagel or a doughnut at one of the many restaurants this is a good deal. By the way, if coffee is not the desired morning drink, but rather teas, the websites and coffee shops also offer free tea and free tea samples. Even though it is more rare, the pages also offer samples for hot chocolate and new chocolate drink creations that can replace coffee or tea for the ones who rather like it sweet and chocolaty with their breakfast. Whichever one if desired, it is well worth checking out the Internet pages online that offer free samples. Free samples are the way for the customer to try without buying. After all, no one would buy a car before it was not test-driven, so here is the chance to test-drink coffees and more.
Music Copyright Law Are You Violating Music Copyright Law? With the popularity of the Internet, many people are violating music copyright law and do not even know it. Music copyright law can be very tricky. There are multiple music copyrights that you must keep in mind ? lyrics, composition and the recording of the music by an artist. Using someone?s music may involve you acquiring many different licenses such as mechanical, synchronization, performance and publishing licenses. Music copyright law has separate copyrights for the vocal or instrumental recordings of a composition or performance and the copyright of the written lyrics and music. Standard music copyrighting practices usually entail that the writer of the song retains the rights to the right to the music composition which the studio that did the recording of the music holds the rights of the recording. Music copyright law can get very complicated. It can involve negotiations with the writers, producers, agents, heirs and more. Many artists and studios are upset with the decline in music sales. They are attributing this decline to people who are violating music copyright law by downloading music on the Internet. Music files are under the same copyright law as music recordings and the owners of these copyrights are entitled to royalties or compensation for the music that people are illegally downloading on the Internet. The simple fact is you are stealing if you make copies of copyrighted music recordings without authorization to do so. If people were sued for the music they have downloaded illegally, it could result in thousands of dollars. Music copyright law states that it is illegal to duplicate and distribute creative work. If you send someone an email with a song that you have illegally downloaded on the Internet, you could be in for some serious trouble. To put it bluntly and plainly, if you download (or upload) music that is copyrighted without permission to do so, you are breaking the law. Many people violate music copyright law and do not even understand how their actions are criminal. If you purchase a music CD you can make a copy of it for yourself on your MP3. However, if you then use that recording and put it on your website or blog and make it available for everyone to download, you are performing an illegal act. Even if you join a site and pay a fee to download music you are in violation of music copyright law. This may sound like something that would never come back to haunt you. After all, if you were caught, it would be a first time offense, right? Well, you should know that there have been first time offenders who have been fined up to $250,000 and up to five years in jail for violating music copyright law. It is so much easier to go out and pay 20 bucks for a CD. Whether you are uploading music or downloading music, educate yourself on music copyright law. No one wants to ruin their financial future and face jail time. Enjoy music, just do it the right way!