To present this information on the Web, these database records must be con-
verted into HTML text and formatted properly as a table so that they can be
viewed in a Web browser.
Look closely at the above code to see how HTML falls short. I turn meaningful
clusters of information into a format that looks good in a browser but isnt
useful for much else. In a database, related fields such as ID, Name, and
Address make up a customer record, but after they have been converted
to HTML, theyre just row and column formatting instructions and their
contents thus, the concept of a customer is gone.
Such a solution would be acceptable if you only want to display information in
a Web browser, but many people are discovering needs that go far beyond that.
For example, searching for information within an HTML document is very lim-
ited. How would I be able to retrieve from my HTML file the names of all of my
customers from Indiana who spend over $1,000 annually? That kind of query is
far beyond the scope of HTML. And, even if I were to develop some convoluted
if I ever wanted to move my information to another non-HTML environment,
such as a Java application, Windows program, or even a cellular phone.
Think of HTML as a sort of information blender: Add a dash of data and a pinch
of formatting instructions into the pitcher, turn the power on high, and out
comes a pureed mixture of the two. Like creating a milkshake by mixing ice
Chapter 1: Introducing the X-Team