A data driven website is a website that uses a database to store
information that is captured during an Internet session or a site that uses
data from a database to dynamically assemble web pages using live data from
a database. Most, but not all data driven websites are "authenticated"
sites. An authenticated site requires that the visitors identify
themselves using a login ID and password. Examples of data driven
sites include Amazon, Hotmail, and web banking websites. An example of
a simple data driven application is Newspaper-World.com.
It is much more complex to build a data driven website than a "brochure
ware" website or a web-application that doesn't require a database (e.g. an
application to display amortization schedules). Fortunately, there are
web authoring tools now available that can help you generate simple data
driven sites using data from Access databases, spreadsheets, and XML data
There are many different types of database management systems (DBMS) that
can be used in a data driven website. The most widely used DBMS for
data driven sites is MySQL, a relatively simple one that runs on computers
that use Unix and Linux operating systems. On server computers that
use Windows based operating systems, SQL Server, MS Access and XML data
sources are popular.
When a request for a data driven web page is made by a web browser to a
web server, the web server calls an application system (or server-side
script) that in turn makes a request for data from the database. If the
request is successful, the data is formatted and passed back to the web
server which integrates it with other website content. The resulting
web page and related files (e.g. graphics) are then sent back to the web
browser using the standard http communication protocol.