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Web Hosting - Databases, What Are They and Do You Need One?
'Database' is one of the most commonly used terms that one encounters in web site design. Yet, what they really are and whether they're essential is often not clear to novices.
A database is a collection of organized data, stored in files that have a specific structure. It's that organization and structure that allows for easy and rapid storage and retrieval.
The need for a database generally only arises when you have a certain amount of information and that information needs to have some structure. If you have a half-dozen names and addresses to store, a database is usually overkill. If you have a blob of data with no relationships between any of the items in that blob, maintaining a database is usually more trouble than it's worth.
Maintain a database? Yes, like other complex systems a database, to be effective, needs to be designed properly at the outset then kept 'tuned' for good performance. The alternative is to gradually allow the database to become more and more disorganized. That leads to difficulty in use, poor speed of retrieval and more frequent failures.
With MySQL, Access or MS SQL Server, the three most common choices of database product for web sites today, setting up a database is relatively simple. Even those with limited technical skill can get one up and running just by following some simple instructions. But some thought should be given to how you want the information organized, and to maintaining the system during its lifetime.
Suppose you have a set of names, addresses, email addresses, products purchased, date purchased and amount. If you have only a few dozen records it matters very little how these pieces are arranged and related. A database usually isn't even warranted in this scenario. Once you have several thousand or more records, it matters a lot. Speed, the ease of expanding the set of attributes (like adding, say, product category), and other issues come into play.
Even those with little technical expertise, but a willingness to exert logical thought and invest some time, can build a very robust database. Think about how you would organize a set of data (called 'tables'). Should Name, Address, and Product be in the same table? Or should the personal information be stored in one table and any product information (product, price, ...) in another?
Some experimentation may be needed to get it right, but the choices have an impact on how easy the tables are to maintain. It also affects the speed with which programs can fetch old data and store the new.
Having a database also introduces new maintenance issues for the server administrator, since backups usually need to be done differently. Recovering a failed database is usually more complicated than simply re-copying files from yesterday. Ask your hosting company what tools and skills they have for dealing with any database system you consider.
It's true that introducing a database creates more complexity and the need for additional thought and administrative effort. At a certain level, professional expertise will be needed. But clearly the advantages outweigh the costs in many cases. Companies large and small eventually use databases to store and organize data. At some point, you may be fortunate enough to be one of them.
The Makings of a Magazine: Do They Include You? (writing magazine articles) Magazines are everywhere. They are published on nearly every subject you can imagine, in duplicate and triplicate and more. All that a start-up magazine needs is a niche and an audience. While there may be hundreds of cooking magazines out there, a new one could come up if it should cover cooking for your pets. In fact, there may already be such a magazine in existence. The niche is cooking for pets. The audience is those people who want the healthiest foods for their pets and are willing to put the time and effort into making it for them. If you are interested in writing magazine articles, you?ll be sure to find one that is perfectly suited to your interests and abilities as a writer. Because there are so many magazines, it won?t be difficult to find one that you will enjoy becoming a part of. What You Should Know Magazines survive on advertising. The advertisers pay because the content is good enough that readers will invest in the glossy covers again and again. The best way to find a healthy magazine is to look through the racks for thick publications. They will only be full of content if they are full of advertisements. The big magazines can afford to pay their writers more, but they can also afford to pay only the best writers. Even though there is quite a lot of space to fill with content, you may have a hard time getting published in major magazines at first. Smaller magazines do not have quite the readership and so they also do not have quite the advertisement content. The space will be limited and the pay will be lower, but these magazines will be more open to new writing talent nonetheless. The More You Know, the Better When it comes to a writing career, the more you know the better off you will be. It is not hard to figure out that you will have the best chances for publication if you can write on a variety of topics. You should not limit yourself to a small area of expertise. Work to become an expert in every topic you come across. There is no possible way of course to be an expert in every area of human knowledge, but it will help you in writing magazine articles to learn every new piece of information that you can. For example, if you were to send a query to a health and fitness magazine about writing a short piece about general mountain biking tips they may accept it. They may also then request additional information about the pros and cons of using a road bike on mountain trails. If you only know about mountain bikes, you?ll be stuck. If you have worked on broadening your horizons though, you?ll be able to produce the work that the magazine editor requires. Getting On Staff Querying magazines is a way to get published, but if you need a more stable job, you may be interested in getting on staff with a magazine. Writing magazine articles is a talent. If you can consistently bring an editor what he is looking for, you might have a chance. To improve your chances, in addition to writing effectively, it will help to have some significant education behind you. If you are serious about making it to the masthead of your favorite magazine, it?s time to go to school. A degree will help your credibility as a writer and will help you open doors into the magazine publication world. Writing magazine articles takes a special kind of writer. You have to have a feel for what people are interested in reading about. The magazine content will help you understand how to write for a particular magazine and audience. You can also improve your chances of writing accepted articles by improving your knowledge base. Don?t be picky about what you?re willing to learn and you could go very far in the writing business.
Beautiful Pens are Just the Beginning: Fascinating Gifts for Writers (gifts for writers) Buying gifts is a difficult project in many cases. Sometimes a person seems to already have everything. They may not enjoy the typical gift ideas that come to your mind. To buy the perfect gift, it is essential to actually know a person. A basic understanding of likes and dislikes will help, but passions will guide you to a really great gift. If you cannot come to a conclusion for what to buy for a friend, you can also consult other sources for gift ideas. Following are some ideas for buying gifts for writers. Writers are passionate people. They are passionate about words and about truth. They are also passionate about their subject matter. Is there a writer in your life? By using these guidelines, along with your knowledge about that person, you can come up with an ideal gift that they will treasure. Under Twenty Dollars As suggested by the title, a beautiful pen is almost always an inexpensive and appropriate gift for a writer. Most writers spend much of their time jotting down thoughts and ideas. As they meander through their day, an idea may strike at any time. Give them a quality instrument to facilitate great thoughts. You can also include a personalized pad of paper to hold on to the brainstorms. Another great gift for a writer is a magazine subscription. A good writer needs to keep up with the type of writing that is being published. Sometimes they need a little bit of light reading to keep their creative juices flowing. Choose the magazine based on some interest that you and your friend share. Under One Hundred Dollars If you want to spend a little bit more on gifts for writers, you can start taking your gift buying to a little bit different level. For less than one hundred dollars your options open up. Books are great gifts for writers. You can buy new books in the writer?s area of interest or expertise. He will probably always be ready to expand his own knowledge base. You can also buy reference books. Style manuals are very helpful when a writer has strict guidelines to follow. Your writing friend probably already has a pretty good dictionary, but you can buy them the best one. Thesauruses and literary guides are also interesting gifts to receive. Moving away from words for a bit, a writer would also love to receive an artifact that has to do with their main subject matter. If he is a history buff, try to find an authentic coin from the particular piece of history he finds most fascinating. Under Five Hundred Dollars At the next level of gift buying, your options start expanding into more elaborate forms of previous gifts. Very old and rare books may fall into this price range. Very old or particularly good quality antiques will also be fairly expensive. Gifts for writers also often fall into the category of electronics. Good printers make the writing all that more impressive looking on the page. Software and other hardware for the computer is also a worthwhile gift for a writer that spends most of his day sitting at his computer. A nice digital camera is also a fantastic gift for a writer that wants to remember situations exactly in order to adequately describe them later. Won?t Cost you A Dime Some of the best gifts for writers won?t cost you anything. Many of the more expensive gifts are extremely practical, but the free ones can be that also. The nature of a writing career leads writers to spend a lot of time alone. A good gift is just some company. Take your friend out for dinner with a group of mutual friends. He?ll appreciate the time away from the desk. If he?s been trying to get an interview with someone, you can put the leg work in for him and schedule it. All that will cost you is some time and effort. Not all gifts have to cost money. Good luck finding the perfect one for the writer in your life.
How to Use a Sample Written Proposal (sample written proposal) Writing a proposal is not an easy feat. For many, it is one of the most difficult things they will ever do in their entire lives. However, there is help for those who are confused about the proposal writing process. A sample written proposal can be used as a guide for the confused writer, and can help them with the process of writing their own proposal. Proposals usually have seven components, which include the Table of Contents, Mission Statement, Abstract, Statement of Need, Project Rationale Incorporating Literature Review, Project Narrative, and Attachments. All of these features can be found in sample proposals, which provide writers with an example of how these sections should be organized. A table of contents is used to provide a comprehensive guide to the proposal, so that readers are able to find what they need and find areas of importance within the proposal. A sample written proposal is an excellent guide to writing a mission statement. A mission statement should be 50 words or less, and states the mission of the project. The statement is used to clarify and state the project?s primary goal, and allows the reader to instantly understand what the writer is proposing without reading the entire proposal. The second section of a proposal is the abstract. It is vital to a proposal that an abstract is well-written, and initial proposal reviews or ?first cuts? are often based on the abstract. The abstract of a proposal should be written after the mission statement, and should be changed over time, as the proposal develops further. Most proposal drafters will see that abstracts should be clear and understandable to all readers, including lay readers, and should be suitable for publication. Proposal abstracts should be written in third person, and should include objectives, methods to be employed, and the possible impact of the proposed project. Statement of need is the next part of a proposal. Many writers could benefit from a sample proposal when writing this section, because some drafters tend to write about more than one problem, or present their problem incorrectly. The Statement of need is the section where the drafter presents the problem that must be solved. In this section, drafters should avoid circular logic in the development of their statement of need, as it decrees that the lack of a solution is the problem. It is important to use logical progression in the statement of need, and the proposer must prove that they have an understanding of the problem. The statement should be closed with a discussion of what else is being done to solve the problem, and lead into the narrative with a description of how your idea is different and essentially better than all others. The Project Rationale Incorporating Literature Review is the next section of a proposal. All samples written proposals will have this section, as proposals must incorporate a theoretical basis with a discussion of literature. The rationale for the project should come from evidence found in the relevant literature. A sample written proposal will show drafters how to develop this section and show them how all proposals should incorporate current research into their projects. The project narrative is the sixth section of the proposal, which has six main sections. Some organizations require different proposal narratives, so in this aspect, it may be better to obtain sample proposals from several different organizations. The six sections of the project narrative section of a proposal include goals and objectives, proposed activities, facilities, resources, and project management, evaluation, outreach and dissemination, and sustainability. The final section of a proposal is the attachments? section. Generally, attachments include the bibliography, letters of support/endorsement, and letters of publication. Drafters can also benefit from a sample written proposal when creating this section, as it will provide an example of how the section should be organized and incorporated in the overall proposal. Writing a proposal is an extensive project, and sample proposals can be used to reduce pressure while providing the proper form needed for an excellent proposal.