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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 sources.

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.

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