While doing some brainstorming at work today, I came up with a pretty good idea for the company i work for, and I was wondering how to go about developing it. On our company website, I have to constantly badger people for information and then put it on the site myself. I think it would save alot of time if I developed an intranet site that would be a set of forms for people to fill out every week or so, and keep updated, so I could get the correct info.
Then I wanted to take it one step further, and somehow automate the filled out forms to channel directly onto the company's website, so I wouldn't have to do any manual data entry. I am pretty sure I can do the whole forms thing on an intranet, but how do I swing the info from those forms into already existing .html documents?
I only know HTML, CSS, and started on PHP, so I am pretty sure I will have to learn some new language(s) for this little project, but I am willing :D
09-16-2005, 08:50 PM
Is your internet site hosted in-house? Like do you have your own webserver for it?
You could store the data from the forms in a database and then the internet site could just output that data back.
I wish it was in-house, but right now its a really crappy host solution from our DSL ISP. I hate it, but its what I get. I am trying to pitch an in house solution to my bosses, but so far they won't bite on it.
Can you be a little more specific on how I would go about doing that? Like save the forms into a .txt format and then use (PHP? ASP? ETC?) to pull that info and put it on a page? Thanks for at least letting me know its a possibility! Now i really want to do this!
09-16-2005, 09:14 PM
Well, the reason I ask is that if you had your own server, it could pull double duty by hosting both sites and it would make integration between the two sites very easy. Not say that if they were seperate it couldn't be done but it'd be easier the other way.
You could use text files, it really depends on what people are entering in on the forms. If it is a lot of numbers and data and stuff, a database might be a better choice. If you used a database regardless, you could use it to keep a changelog of everything that people change and log who changed what and when if you wanted to. But basically yeah, you'd save the data using the forms on your intranet site and then the internet site would read it back. You'll need your PHP skills there and you'll probably want to use mySQL for your database server since PHP and mySQL go really well together.
I'm sorry I'm not being very specific, like I know what you are going for, I just don't know how to articulate a good explanation on how to do it. The solution would also depend on your configuration, like if you intranet is hosted on one server and if you internet site is hosted some place else out on the net or if they are on the same server, etc.
i think the easiest way would be to use an identical db on both your intranet and internet.
on your intranet, you then write (or use a readymade) kinda CMS that allows your collegeus to update the database. This database contains all the websites content.
your site should then be databasedriven --> the css is just the layout, and all html is dynamically generated (using PHP) from the db.
this is pretty much standard db-drive website stuff. the only 'particular' thing about it is that you have two db's on two seperate machines. To update your site, you just synchronise the internet-db with the intranet-db.
you could also put all your sites files on both the internet and intranet server, so that your collegues can browse the site (without needing webacces) + so that they can preview their changes before they get on the live website.
it's all not that hard. if you need help on PHP or mysql, then just post in their forums overhere and we'll help you along.
Ok, sweet. So here is my crap-tacular server setup now: basicly i do all the webpages in a text editor, and I have to publish with Front Page, because that is the only option my dsl provider will give me. Anyway, all the actual files are on our file-server computer, along with all our mapped network drives and such. Instead of synching the two databases, could I just save the database in the webpage folders directly, and then when I go to publish the site, it will just update everything automaticly?
Needless to say, I need a new host. I need something with way more than the 20 megs that I have now, and something that offers mySQL and PHP support, like we just discussed. Other features that I really need are domain name association (so not that moved.in site, becuase i guess they can't do that), at least 5 email accounts (firstname.lastname@example.org) with plenty of storage, Front Page server extensions enabled (at least until i figure out how to do forms by myself). Does anyone know anything like this? Its really hard for me to find a good host :(. I guess I will get cracking on figuring out more PHP and mySQL coding, just need to know about hosts now :thumbsup:
yopu should definitely get another host. any time you spend in fixes for your currnent situation is a waste of time.
Need a hoste? --> chech the lin at the top os this forum that says "Need a web host? Visit Webhostingmall for a list of web hosts and special deals!"
09-18-2005, 02:16 AM
Maybe I'm just ignorant, but if an Intranet can talk to the Internet, why can't you just run a remote connection to the MySQL server on your Internet site and talk directly to that? None of this synchronizing two databases business.
09-19-2005, 12:17 AM
That is a possibility but the host might not be configured to allow access to MySQL from over the internet. I could see from a security stand point why you wouldn't allow that.
And of course as a minor issue, if the host went down at all or your internet connection, your intranet site wouldn't work if you were able to do it that way.
09-19-2005, 12:52 AM
You can configure remote connections to allow only from a specific domain or IP though, so I'm not sure about the security issue. I suppose someone really clever could spoof it, but even then they'd have to know your MySQL password. Just seems like it'd be worth it to have a single location for all data. Having two probably wouldn't have too many downsides except that it's really not as efficient, but it'd take more work to implement is all.