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  1. #1
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    Online booking system

    I was thinking about Online Booking Systems, that you get on hotel and theatre sites.

    I was wondering what methods are used, especially when you can make bookings online and at the venue. I'm guessing that there's a central database which is accessed, but I can't think how it would work.

    Is the database hosted on a server, and then the browsers and computers access the database? And if so what software does the hotel itself use to access the database? Would it require a 'web' interface? Or could MS Access be used? And if so does this require the database to be an Access database?

    Also what language would be best used for the website? I'm very familiar with PHP, but would I need to learn another language to implement the booking system? And if so which language?

    If anyone could explain a few of the details, of the system, it would be much appreciated.

    (Sorry if this is in the wrong section, I wasn't exactly sure where to post it )
    Rich

    "An expert is a person who has made all the mistakes that can be made in a very narrow field."

  • #2
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    Hey Rich,

    An Access database on a server would work, but if there was any amount of traffic there would be noticeable slow down. Some better alternatives:

    Definitions:
    BU - Base User - Someone at a hotel front desk
    RU - Remote User - Someone online

    1. SQL Server database/Access Frontend. BU could access the database through ODBC on a local or remote server using MS Access as a font-end, and the RU could access the database through a website using PHP, ASP, of JSP.

    2. Universal Internet Portal - All transactions would go through the website, so even BU's would simply open a browser to make reservations.

    3. SQL Server / Local Java or C++ app - You write a custom local app that interfaces with the database for BU. RU's use the website.

    I'm personally a big PHP/MySQL fan, but transactions are a bit hairy with MySQL (you need InnoDB) so depending on the scope you might wanna use an Oracle DB.

    -Hawkmoon

  • #3
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    Thanks for the reply.

    I'd be a bit concerned about having the database outside of the BU's network, as if the internet goes down, the receptionists would have problems making bookings and accessing the guests' details etc.

    Because of this I'm thinking of hosting the database on a local machine and then set use the php to access it from the web.

    I've done some reading into the different databases available but I'm not entirely sure which is the best solution.

    I know how to use MySQL, so I'm assuming that it's not much more difficult to use SQL. However I'm not sure what Oracle is like.

    The database would most probably be used for more than bookings, as it'll probably store the guests' details and other details (for which I can't think of examples ).

    You mentioned that I could use access and the ODBC connections to use the SQL database. Is there anything similiar for the Oracle db? Because I'd prefer not to create my own interface program, as I only know a little C (not C++) and some VB.NET.

    Saying that, I could always create a web interface for the BU to use, but have much functionality in the interface to accomodate the other information.

    As you can see I've a lot of questions but not sure what the best options are.

    Thanks again
    Rich

    "An expert is a person who has made all the mistakes that can be made in a very narrow field."

  • #4
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    If you do put the machine on the BU's local network be SURE to isolate it from other machines as that can be a HUGE security risk if it is connected to confidential information.

    SQL and MySQL are similiar enough to find your way around with a little help from various websites. Oracle also utilizes standard SQL that you can get around with, however it also contains MUCH more advanced capacities that traditional SQL won't do you any good.

    An Access front-end can access any ODBC or JDBC compliant data so Oracle would work fine.

    Another possibility (and I think a good one for your situaion) is to build a web interface in PHP that runs on the BU's local server. Basically an intrAnet. That way if their ISP goes down they can still take reservations locally across their LAN, yet you don't have to spend a lot of time building a C++ interface. You can also have this server handle web requests for RU's. Just a thought.

    -Hawk


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