Help! Database Publishing on the Web

Subject: Help! Database Publishing on the Web
From: "Nyman, Rikki" <Rikki -dot- Nyman -at- ALLIEDSIGNAL -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 3 Mar 1998 17:49:00 -0700

I am working on a Products sub-site on for our corporate intranet. At
the home page, the user can choose from about eight different
categories to generate a list and keyword search specific to that
product category. They can choose a product from the list to generate a
high-level product information page that also serves as a link to
additional pages like reliability reports, applications, and so forth.

The individual pages are basically the same table template in HTML and
the data is dropped into the basic shell. (According to Spool et al,
shell pages are not received particularly well by users, but this is
what I have been working with.)

The programmer is a very clever fellow and he has used InterDev to
create a utility that allows the database to generate its own pages from
two table templates. They are all terribly thrilled with a web site
that is self-generating from such a smart database. It will need
virtually no HTML maintenance at all. To generate new pages, you put
information into a form and the utility loads it into the database. The
next time you view the topic list it includes the new entry. The user
is theoretically two clicks away from his destination. The product page
is one page, as long as all of the information in the database, which
includes text, specifications, applications information, graphics,
photos, cross-sections, etc.. The programmmer tells me the page is
limited to 23 meg (I think he was joking!). He says it will keep people
from getting lost.

Does anyone out there have any experience with this kind of a web site?
I honestly think this is a terrible idea -- it looks like it has the
potential to become a data dump instead of a route on the information


rikki -dot- nyman -at- alliedsignal -dot- com

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