In the 1970s, during the dawn of the personal computing era, books about CP/M (the most popular PC operating system of the time) said that there were three major categories of software: word processing, spreadsheets, and databases. While most computer users have come to understand word processing and spreadsheets rather well in the past thirty years, databases have tended to remain a bit of a mystery. But databases underlie a wide range of computing tasks, including a great deal of the work involved in publishing, either in print or online.
The single longest-lasting "standard" for database interface, dating back to the same period, is called SQL (pronounced "sequel"). It's a sort of standardized language for searching. MySQL, the most popular SQL server, is a free, Open-Source implementation of SQL that can be used in a wide range of publishing purposes.
It can be used for project management (it underlies the system we use to organize "to do" tasks and who's assigned to do them, when). It can be used to generate Database-Driven websites, such as web portals that contain long lists of records that need periodic update. And it can be used behind content management systems, websites that generate individual pages from database records, allowing for quick and easy update.
The EServer supports [PHPMyAdmin]?, a web interface that allows even novice users web-based access to MySQL databases. Our MySQL implementation will, of course, also work with any client application our editors might prefer to use for managing MySQL databases.
EServer collection editors who wish to use a SQL database as part of their web publishing process should contact the site administrators to discuss creating the database and setting access permissions.