This is “Database Integration”, section 6.3 from the book Designing Business Information Systems: Apps, Websites, and More (v. 1.0). For details on it (including licensing), click here.
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Even our simple store must collect and display data from a database. We collect data about each app—what it is called, its description, and the link to the student page. We also collect data about each sale—who purchased what and when.
Every time you register on a website, your registration information is stored in a database. Similarly, when you make an online purchase the information is stored in a database. If you play online games, your scores are stored in a database. Websites constantly capture customer data in order to improve their services.
A databaseA collection of one or more related tables of data stored in rows and columns. is a collection of one or more related tables of data stored in rows and columns. By this definition even a spreadsheet is a simple database. However, many business databases consist of multiple files that are interrelated. Databases may be searched, sorted, and summarized to display information. Most businesses would not function without databases of information. For example, imagine a bank trying to function without its database of customer and account information.
Information is usually entered into a database using a formA user-friendly way to get information into a database.. Each form normally corresponds to a single record or row in the database. Each field in the form normally corresponds to a single column or cell in that record. The form helps ensure that correct information is entered. Drop down menus in particular help ensure that users do not type in gibberish.
Just a short time ago, only professional programmers could save website information to a database. There are now tools that make this functionality easily accessible. The simplest example of database integrationThe ability to capture and store information gathered from a form into a database. Database integration also refers to the ability to extract and display information from a database on a website. is to save information to a one table database. The simplest one table database is a spreadsheet.
Information is extracted from databases in the form of reports. The simplest report is a listing of all the records in the database. However, most reports summarize the information in a way that is helpful to business managers so that they can make data driven decisions. For example, a report might show total sales by product allowing managers to adjust inventory to meet demand.
One very interesting use of database information is to create custom web pages. For example, imagine you have purchased multiple items from Amazon.com. Amazon keeps track of your purchases and those of millions of other customers. By looking for patterns of buying behavior in its database, Amazon is able to suggest products you might like based on the buying behavior of customers who match your purchase profile.
While the site registration and sale forms are created by the professor, we would like you to have some experience with data integration. Therefore, you will make a form whereby users can register with your site to receive product update information even without making a purchase.
Because the form includes the customer’s email address, the information is a valuable resource for future mass mailings. If used judiciously, such mass mailings are appreciated by customers; if overused they are considered spam.
Google Docs lets you create a form to accept customer information and then stores the information in a spreadsheet. In other words, when you create a form, you get both a form and a spreadsheet automatically.
Start Google Docs
Create New > Form
Complete the form so that it looks similar to the form below. After completing each field you need to click Done. The first two fields are already on the form. To get the third field, check Add item. Then save the form.
Add the form to your web page from the same menu that you use to insert gadgets, calendars, and so forth. Then exit edit mode and practice filling in the form.
Return to Google Docs. You will see a spreadsheet listed with the same name as your form. Open the spreadsheet to view the captured data.
Google Docs allows you to develop an input form, which you can then embed in a page of your website. Data entered into the form by users is automatically saved in a Google spreadsheet. Each user record becomes a new row in the spreadsheet.
The following techniques, found in the Google section of the Cloud Computing software reference, may be useful in completing the assignments for this chapter: Overview Map of Interface • Share a Document • Create a Form • Background Color • Copyright in Sidebar • Page Layout • Content-Delete “Comments and Attachments” and the Default Page • Title • Page-Create New • Gadgets-Insert • Logo-Insert
In this assignment you create a working website prototype to help market your app. Your site will become part of the class app store.
Sign on to your Gmail account. Select Sites from the More menu.
Content and Style
Extra Credit (if you make it work)
Electronic submission: Post a WORKING link to your website. Paper submission: Create a printout of each screen of your site.
After everyone’s site is posted the professor will open the store for shopping. At that point you need to buy 10 apps of your choice.