In the last chapter, we learned about the individual packages of the PL/SQL toolkit. In this chapter, we’ll use these packages to create two realistic web applications. The first application allows us to create and distribute anonymous surveys; the second allows users to communicate over the Web in a threaded discussion forum.
Before looking at these two systems, however, let’s take a quick look at four simple steps that can improve the design process. When you are confronted with any design task, it can greatly help to break the process down into manageable pieces, as follows:
Evaluate your development options; be sure PL/SQL and HTML are really the right tools for the job.
Create a storyboard that will help you visualize the relationship between an application’s various web pages.
Create a data model to help you create the screens.
Use PL/SQL packages to actually structure the code.
The next few sections describe these steps in more detail.
Choosing the right development language is always the critical first step in building any application. While you can use HTML and PL/SQL to create very powerful systems, there are still some things you should think about before you start coding. For example:
Does the proposed application require a lot of sophisticated data entry screens?
Will users accept a new kind of interface?
Do all users have modern browsers?
Is the system brand-new, or is it replacing ...