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Learning Path for Beginners


See_Red_Run
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Hello :) I have been helping out a non-profit group by using my limited skills to make a couple of MS Access databases for them. They have asked me if I could transform what we have created into a web application. I informed them it could be done but probably not with Access. (I would rather learn to use Open Source stuff anyway.)So I guess what I need to know is, what is the learning path or in what order should I be studying the various subjects to get me to the place where I can create web applications that call on the data from something like a MySql database?Thank you. :)

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Actually, you've lied to them a bit.If they have their own server, or a host that would allow has the "ODBC" feature, you can use the ODBC features of any Server Side Scripting Language (S3L) to fetch the data from the Access database with SQL statements.To do this application, you're going to need to know HTML, CSS and any S3L of your choise. It could be ASP(.NET), ColdFusion, PHP, or any other.W3Schools has tutorials on all of those (except ColdFusion), so the choise would really depend on the server they have. If they can make anything, your best bet will be PHP, since it's free and works on UNIX hosts too (whereas ASP.NET requires a Windows server).Once you learn the SQL syntax, you can reuse it in either Access or MySQL. You can learn SQL after you've learned the basics of the S3L of your choise.

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Actually, you've lied to them a bit.If they have their own server, or a host that would allow has the "ODBC" feature, you can use the ODBC features of any Server Side Scripting Language (S3L) to fetch the data from the Access database with SQL statements.To do this application, you're going to need to know HTML, CSS and any S3L of your choise. It could be ASP(.NET), ColdFusion, PHP, or any other.W3Schools has tutorials on all of those (except ColdFusion), so the choise would really depend on the server they have. If they can make anything, your best bet will be PHP, since it's free and works on UNIX hosts too (whereas ASP.NET requires a Windows server).Once you learn the SQL syntax, you can reuse it in either Access or MySQL. You can learn SQL after you've learned the basics of the S3L of your choise.
We don't currently have a server because the members (think search & rescue type of unit) are all over. So we basically have one person who acts like a dispatcher of sorts updating information as it comes in and text messaging the updates to the members as necessary.This is the main reason we would like to transform our setup into a web based app so that our members can access the information on their own and free up the guy who is dispatching everybody.
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We don't currently have a server because the members (think search & rescue type of unit) are all over. So we basically have one person who acts like a dispatcher of sorts updating information as it comes in and text messaging the updates to the members as necessary.This is the main reason we would like to transform our setup into a web based app so that our members can access the information on their own and free up the guy who is dispatching everybody.
The problem with this plan is that building this application takes the cooperation of everybody currently involved, so they'll all have to be gathered at some point to discuss the details (and you, as the developer, should organize it, and record it).By "details" I mean also major stuff like the hosting itself.If they trust your opinion on choosing a host, you still have to ask them the price range and paying methods they're comfortable with, as well as giving them some initial offers (for that part, see the Host & DNS Discussion topic) so that they can more easily imagine what they're involving in. If they're willing to search for a host themselves, you'll have to adapt to whatever they have chosen. There's always a way...If they can make a server of their own, suggest they buy one with as much CPU and (especially!) RAM as possible. Ideally, look for some server motherboards you could show them, suggesting some initial offers. Needless to say they'll need to have an ISP as well.There's no way this can be done without them giving you such details AND with you making them happy at the same time.
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The problem with this plan is that building this application takes the cooperation of everybody currently involved, so they'll all have to be gathered at some point to discuss the details (and you, as the developer, should organize it, and record it).By "details" I mean also major stuff like the hosting itself.
Understood... when I first got involved most of them didn't really realize the benefit of using a database. So I developed one and after a couple of months of working the bugs out and making sure it could produce the information each team needed we implemented it.Once they saw it and realized what some of the possiblities were, the idea of making it into a web application came up. And they asked me if I could do it. I informed them at that time that I didn't really have the knowledge or experience to make it happen but that I was willing to learn and would see what I could do.So for the time being, the "detials" you spoke about are entirely up to me including the cost lol. One of the reasons I am asking about the learning path is because I figured I'd start from scratch and actually learn how to develop a functional website and do it right. :) Obviously I will need to learn HTML & CSS, but when you started talking about scripting languages you lost me... how does the beginner know which ones to learn or figure out how to pick one over the others? :)
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