Most interactive websites nowadays require data to be presented dynamically and interactively based on input from the user. For example, a customer may need to log into a retail website to check his purchasing history. In this instance, the website would have stored two types of data in order for the customer to perform the check – the customer’s personal login details; and the customer’s purchased items. This data can be stored in two types of storage – flat files or databases
Flat files are only feasible in very low to low volume websites as flat files have 3 inherent weaknesses:
1. The inability to index the data. This makes it necessary to potentially read ALL the data sequentially. This is a major problem if there are a lot of records in the flat file because the time required to read the flat file is proportionate to the number of records in the flat file.
2. The inability to efficiently control access by users to the data
3. The inefficient storage of the data. In most cases, the data would not be encrypted or compressed as this would exacerbate the problem no. 1 above
Continue Reading The Tutorial