Did You Know? Using Access as a CMS

Content management systems (CMS) are getting a lot of hype these days.  While there are still many websites being created in the traditional sense, utilizing HTML for static pages, more and more websites are utilizing dynamic content driven by a database.  More often than not, these cms based websites utilize an open source database such as MySQL just because of the fact that it is free and relatively easy to set up.  However, a cms can actually use any sort of internet friendly database including SQL Server.

However, there are three parts to a good cms.  There is the database, of course, there is the website that retrieves the information from that database, and then there is the management console.  Usually, this management console is built in a subdirectory of the website using the same computing language as the website itself.  However, all that is really necessary is a way to communicate with the database and add/edit the information present to make the website display the most up to date data.

In essence, Microsoft Access is already set up to do this.  All you need is to connect your Access database to the database being used for your website, and you are all set.  Creating forms and queries will certainly help you find, edit or add information easier, but just utilizing the tables themselves can put the information onto the internet.

This doesn’t have to be for the entirety of the website.  It can be for portions or even a single page.  As long as you know which tables your website is pulling from, you can edit the information whenever you would like.  Some of the other functionality of a cms may be harder to add in, but it is all possible.  Plus, if set up correctly, you could make changes to your website on your desktop while you do not have internet connection and just set the database to send that information up to your server at a later time.

Recently, we did utilized this technique for creating pages that held information about the various services we offer and the clients we have helped.  All of it is stored in a SQL Server database and managed through a local Access interface.

So, in essence, you can use Microsoft Access to control your website.

Did you know that?

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