Developers need tools to design web-DBMS interfaces for dynamic use of their site for either e-commerce (Amazon storefront), decision making (National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration weather forecast products), or forgather information (Survey Monkey), etc. ADO.NET and Fusion Middleware are two of many tools and middleware that can be used to develop web-to-database interaction (MUSE, 2015).
ADO.NET (Connolly & Begg, 2014)
Microsoft’s approach to a web-centric middleware for the web-database interface, which provides compatibility with .NET class library, support to XML (used excessively as an industry standard), and connection/disconnection data access. It has two tiers: dataset (data table collection, XML) and .NET Framework Data Provider (connection, command, data reader, data adapter, for the database).
Pros: Built on standards to allow for non-Microsoft products to use it. Automatically creates XML interfaces for the application to be turned into a Web Operable Service. Even the .NET classes conform to XML and other standards. Other development tools for further expanding the GUI set can be added and bound to the Web Service.
Cons: According to the Data Developer Center website (2010), with connected data access, you must explicitly manage all database resources, and not doing so can cause resource mismanagement (connections are never freed up). Other functions in certain classes are missing, like mapping to table-valued functions in the Entity Framework.
Fusion Middleware (Connolly & Begg, 2014):
Oracle’s approach to a web-centric middleware for the web-database interface, which provides development tools, business intelligence, content management, etc. It has three tiers: Web (using Oracle web cache and HTTP Server), Middle Tier (apps, security services, web logic servers, other remote servers, etc.), and data (the database).
Pros: Scalable. It is based on a Java Platform (full Java EE 6 implementation). Allows Apache modules like those that route HTTP Requests, for store procedures on a database server, for transparent single sign-on, SHTTP, etc. Their Business Intelligence function allows you to extract and analyze data to create reports and charts (statically or dynamically) for decision analysis.
Cons: The complexity of their system along with their new approach creates a steep learning curve, and requires skilled developers.
The best approach for me was Microsoft: If you want to connect to many other Microsoft applications, this is one route to consider. It has a nice learning curve (from personal experience). Another aspect, was when I was building apps for the Library at the University of Oklahoma, the DBAs and I didn’t really like the grid view basic functionalities, so we exploited the aforementioned pro of interfacing with third-party codes, to create more interactive table view of our data. What is also nice is that our data was on an Oracle database, and all we had to do was switch the pointer from SQL to Oracle, without needed to change the GUI code.
- Connolly, T., & Begg, C. (2014). Database Systems: A Practical Approach to Design, Implementation, and Management, 6th Edition. [VitalSource Bookshelf version]. Retrieved from http://online.vitalsource.com/books/9781323135761/epubcfi/6/2
- Data Developer Center. (2010). Data Access Practice Using Microsoft .Net: A Nerdly Comparison. Retrieved from https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/data/ff707264.aspx#_Toc261428900.
- My Unique Student Experience (MUSE). (2015). Web Service and DB Connectivity. Retrieved from https://class.ctuonline.edu/_layouts/MUSEViewer/Asset.aspx?MID=1819482&aid=1819486