From the Ground Up: Open-Source System Design Using HTML, PHP, and MySQL
The need for information sharing is growing daily, along with the costs related to software licensing, training, and system maintenance. A niche has developed in which organizations on tight budgets - such as colleges - require low or no cost alternatives to pricey name brand interfaces. Open-source, freeware languages have resulted. They provide users with the means for implementing and maintaining highly functional data systems from the ground up and are quickly establishing an edge in the world ofdata communications for both amateur and professional system designers. This Honors project focuses on the melding of three relatively dissimilar topics contained within the field of computer science: web design using hyper-text markup language (HTML); database structures created in the language, MySQL; and object-oriented programming via hyper-text pre-processor (PHP). Together, these three components form a powerful tool with literally boundless applications in the area of data management, involving few to numerous participating users. A system utilizing HTML, MySQL, and PHP has been designed from the ground up with the intent of demonstrating practical, as well as numerous powerful uses for this specific programming combination, including web-driven database searches, variable passing, and data modification, to name a few. The primary goals of this project are as follows: explain and breakdown the three components previously mentioned in terms of their history and technical specifications; present the system and accompanying interface based on these programming structures and concepts; and to discuss any findings, including strengths, weaknesses, difficulties, and all other pertinent information related to this project.