Query access to relational databases via the world wide web
At the North Temperate Lakes Long-Term Ecological Research site, our centralized relational database is accessible from the Internet. Initially we used Gopher to serve up flat files of data extracted from database tables to Internet users. These files must be maintained separately as the central database is updated. Such files cannot be queried or linked to provide a subset, summary or join of data files. Search and display capabilities are quite limited. We then investigated low cost methods to access our database directly and dynamically via the World Wide Web (WWW). The freeware Perl5 library called Dbperl was tested to provide HTML CGI access to our Oracle 7 database. The PGPLOT.pm and CGI.pm Perl5 modules were also essential. We contrast flat file access with the Perl5 interface we developed. Now our Dbperl development enables WWW users to do interactive queries on the fly and provides the current version of the data.
Lake Buena Vista, Florida