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Dynamically Generated Pages Using Database To Web Technologies : Enhancing Library Services And Operations

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Innovations in Web Site Design

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.455.1 - 8.455.13

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Paper Authors

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Amy Van Epps

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2241

Dynamically generated pages using database-to-web technologies: Enhancing library services and operations

Amy S. Van Epps Purdue University, West Lafayette


Much of the information used in libraries is handled and processed through databases. Often an individual has primary responsibility for data entry of information from many people. If the database has restricted access or is stored on a local machine, then the data entry person may also have the responsibility for retrieving information. Database-to-web technologies can be used to allow individuals throughout the libraries to enter information directly to a central database and retrieve information, removing the additional step performed by a data entry person.

Applications for web interactions with databases can be as diverse as an instruction reporting form, a list of books on approval for faculty review and a subject list of databases.

This paper will provide a brief overview of some of the technologies available to create database-to-web applications, describe three projects which use this approach and mention how those applications can enhance library services and operations. The ability to generate low- maintenance pages and incorporate advanced information technolo gies enhances services to patrons while freeing staff for other more innovative tasks.


A process that has been growing in popularity with libraries over the last several years is using databases to create web pages via database-to-web techno logies. This process creates pages “on the fly” or dynamically when requested from the server, as opposed to the traditional static HTML page most of us are accustomed to seeing. Database-to-web technologies have been available in one form or another since the inception of the web and some libraries took advantage of these capabilities years ago. Businesses have been leveraging this technology to create online catalogs and e-commerce features. As software has become available which enables non- computer programmers to develop these type applications, their use in libraries has been increasing.

Database-to-web capabilities have been employed in libraries for several years. This is the process used to create web accessible public catalogs or OPACs. In the last several years these capabilities have become more accessible to non-programmers and thus more widely available for local adaptation by libraries. The article by Antelman provides a good overview of the technologies available for creating dynamic pages.1 While the article was written several years ago, the options discussed for database-to-web have not changed significantly in that time.

Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education

Van Epps, A. (2003, June), Dynamically Generated Pages Using Database To Web Technologies : Enhancing Library Services And Operations Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee.

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