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WWW-Sybase gateway



The following is a summary of all the relevant messages I received in
response to my post last week.
The first entry is my post. The responses are separated by the posters 
E-mail addresses.
The last post offers a commercial product. I offer it here because it 
is relevant to the list. This is not an endorsement.

I don't know what we will do, but I'll try to keep you posted.

Thanks to everyone for your help.

Cheers
Ari



From: Ariel Spivakovsky <spiv@wotan.cns.nyu.edu>
Subject: Sybase <-->WWW interface
To: www-rdb@w3.org



First let me humbly ask if there is a FAQ for this group. In the four
months or so that I have lurked here I have heard no mention of one.

I have been asked to look into the possibility of interfacing our Sybase
database to the WWW. From what I can gather the generally accepted way of
doing this is using sybperl to creat CGI scripts.  WDB is a suit of such
scripts ready for use.

Are there other methods of doing this job?  Better | Worse? Why?
Are application development tools available?

Our Sybase DB is not on the same server as our web server. Is this an issue?

What are the security concerns?

Any help is greatly appreciated.

Thanks 
Ari




From BOLLINGER@ringside.arc.nasa.gov  Ukn Aug  7 12:58:57 1995
Return-Path: <BOLLINGER@ringside.arc.nasa.gov>

Hi Ari,

I spent a significant amount of time going through GSQL. Although it 
seems to work fine FOR SIMPLE CASES. I do NOT recommend using it for any 
involved queries. There are limitations on the SELECT and WHERE clauses, 
not to mention how many fields you can display. I don't know PERL or C 
very well yet, but I plan on writing my own code to interface our 
database (we have SYBASE also). The code is surprizingly simple and 
shouldn't be all that difficult. I have modified the code signifiicantly, 
but I finally realized that homegrown code would/will work better. I have 
been in consultation with about 6-7 people on this and we all pretty much 
agree. 

Good Luck,

Ken  


From tapena@aia00.aia.af.mil  Ukn Aug  7 22:45:19 1995
Return-Path: <www-rdb-request@w3.org>
Subject: Re: Sybase <-> WWW Interface
To: www-rdb@w3.org

Ariel writes:

>First let me humbly ask if there is a FAQ for this group. In the four
>months or so that I have lurked here I have heard no mention of one.

I can't answer this, I haven't seen one either in the few months I've been on.

>I have been asked to look into the possibility of interfacing our Sybase
>database to the WWW. From what I can gather the generally accepted way of
>doing this is using sybperl to creat CGI scripts.  WDB is a suit of such
>scripts ready for use.

Thanks.  I haven't heard of WDB, I'll check into it.

>Are there other methods of doing this job?  Better | Worse? Why?
>Are application development tools available?

My office is using Web/Genera as a tool for accessing Sybase DBMS from WWW.  Genera is a suit of sybperl CGIs (actually very few) that make read-only access very easy.  A beta version that provides write capability is still being developed by Dr. Letovsky at Yale (the original developer).  I don't have Genera's URL with me now. 

I really like the way Genera is implemented.  Basically, you write "schemas" using an easy high-level description language to describe the input forms and output format, then the CGIs access the DBMS as any other user would to retrieve the data.  Another CGI formats the data into HTML and the result is a web page of the returned data, along with any links to other objects specified in the schema.

Returning links to other objects in the database provides an easy way to "browse" the database once the initial data is returned.  It also allows your database to link to external data across the web as long as the URLs are stored in the database.  

A disadvantage of Genera is that it can't return a unique record from a table that has a multiple field primary key.   

>Our Sybase DB is not on the same server as our web server. Is this an issue?

No.  In the configuration of the Genera scripts, you set up Genera as a regular user, meaning once you have the interfaces file setup, etc, it can access any (or multiple) remote database servers.

>What are the security concerns?

When using Genera, anyone who uses the query page built by a specific schema will have the same userid to access the database.  Permissions can be set within the database as with any other user.  A single userid may not be a concern as long as the database user has read-only privileges.

-----
I'm surprised I haven't heard more about Genera from the group.  Does anyone else have any inputs?  Like I said, Dr. Stan Letovsky developed the CGIs originally and plans on building in write capability soon.  Does anyone know about current products designed to be used for writing to Sybase or Oracle databases via the web?





From 74601.3545@compuserve.com  Ukn Aug 14 14:23:15 1995
Return-Path: <74601.3545@compuserve.com>

Hi Ari,

Your e-mail was forwarded to me.  Enclosed is some information about a product
that might be of help to you.  By the way, it is not required to have you
database on the same node as you internet interface.  However, The band width of
the connection between your database server and your internet server must be
adequate to handle the routinetraffic as well as the as well as the internet
traffic accessing your db.  Performance of your network is equally as important
as the tuning and performance of your database.

Richard

Following is a note about the SQLweb product:

Hello:  Thank you for interest in SQLweb.

SQLweb Technologies, Inc. offers a comprehensive suite of products and services
designed to facilitate the exchange of information between you and the other
important people in your business world.  

The SQLweb Interactive Server provides an intelligent, adaptive and dynamic
connection between your Relational Database Management System and your World
Wide Web Server.  Many of our clients are using this mechanism to interface to
the internet, selling products and delivering and receiving information from
customers and vendors.  Many are also using it to provide a seamless
communications interaction to share internal information with their employees
and staff.  All have found it to be a significant strategic benefit to achieving
their enterprise goals.

The SQLweb Interactive Server will interface with most of the popular Web
Servers (Open Market, Netscape, CERN, all CGI servers, etc.) and most of the
popular Relational Database Management Systems (Oracle, Sybase, Informix,
Microsoft ODBC) on most of the popular computer operating systems supporting Web
interaction software (Sun OS and Solaris, HPUX, PTX, SCO, NT). 

Our objective is to enable you to achieve your objectives as completely and as
easily as present technology will allow.  To that end, we attempt to make our
products and services fast and easy to use. Should you desire assistance, we
have expert consultants available to assist you. If you need something that you
dont find in our product, we want to hear from you.   We will try to help you
find it, or build it for you, if that is feasible. 

The SQLweb Interactive Server creates a dialog with the user that is truly
conversational and dynamic.  It is DATA DRIVEN.  The data that SQLweb  has
accumulated during the interaction with the person browsing the Web site is used
to select the subsequent  pages, add data to the database, query data from the
database and dynamically compose and return the HTML that will be displayed back
to that person.  This data also includes any historical information accumulated
in your database regarding this specific person or account and other data such
as demographics from census track information. The same SQLweb page, given
different input, will behave differently, depending upon the data and the design
of the page.

The SQLweb Interactive Server provides fully dynamic database interactivity.  It
inserts, updates, deletes, queries and executes triggers and stored procedures
based on your rules stored in the database.  It changes its appearance based on
the data available to it, takes orders, places orders, sends messages and
interacts with legacy systems on your internal network or through Internet
Connections. 

All of this interactivity and the resulting dynamic scenario is achieved by a
SQLweb author,  using three new tags (CURSOR, IF, INCLUDE).  The Author builds
SQLweb pages using the same declarative authoring paradigm and tools used for
static pages (i.e. markup tags with attributes, text, etc.). Then SQLweb easily
creates the database interactions without any complicated programming.  There is
no PERL or C programming required.

All data accumulated during the interaction is automatically available in a
consistent interface for use within:  text, tags, attributes, database
manipulations, and conditional expressions.  The data sources include::
1. all data from the HTTPD server (e.g. REMOTE_HOST,  REMOTE_ADDR, AUTH_TYPE,
REMOTE_USER, etc.), 

2. all data from the SQLweb initialization file (constants supplied by you), 

3. all data obtained from a FORM via the GET or POST method, and 

4. data selected from the database.  

The result -- a truly dynamic and interactive dialog between you and the other
important people in your business world.

Included with the Server is The SQLweb Tool Kit that enables you to
reverse-engineer your existing or newly authored Web pages.  It also provides
tools for the maintenance of your web-pages database.

The price of the SQLweb Interactive Server is from $495.00 to $4,995.00 per
HTTPD Server, based upon the make and model of your computer system. 

The best way for you to experience The SQLweb Interactive Server is to try it.
We offer you a 60 day  evaluation copy of The SQLweb Interactive Server and
SQLweb ToolKit .   If you are not happy with the product, you can return it free
of charge.

To order your evaluation copy or if you have any further questions, suggestions
or comments, please contact Don Schindhelm at dschindh@cst.com , Phone #
410-750-8786, Fax 410-750-0984, or contact me at rreilly@cst.com

Richard Reilly, President and CEO
SQLweb Technologies, Inc.

P.S. Thank you for patience while we remodel our Web Site

==========================================================================

HOW TO ORDER 

To order a 60 day evaluation copy of The SQLweb Interactive Server and SQLweb
ToolKit please reply via e-mail to  
		SQLweb-Orders@cst.com and include the following information:

Organization Name (and Division):
Contact Person:
Title:
Phone Number:
Physical Mailing Address:
Fax Number:
E-Mail Address:
Physical Location where SQLweb will be installed:
Web Site URL:
IP Address:
Equipment: Make and Model (example:  Sun/SPARCstation 5):
Operating System:
Number of Web Authors:
Do you currently own HoTMetaL Pro (Ver 2.0)?:
Specify your RDBMS: Oracle___, Sybase___, Informix___, ODBC___, Other______

Version of RDBMS:

Will you be building Web Pages for your own use or for clients?:

Are you interested in Technical Support for this product?
Are you interested in SQLweb Development Assistance for your Web/RDBMS
applications?

Comments or Questions:

You will receive a copy of the license to be signed and returned.  Then
arrangements will be made to download the product to your site.   You will
receive an invoice due in 60 days.  If you are not satisfied by the end of that
time period, you can remove the software from your system and the invoice can be
canceled.


SEND ORDER TO: SQLweb-Orders@cst.com or Fax# 410-750-0984

 
Don Schindhelm
SQLweb Technologies, Inc.