Access Metadatabases

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Web Site Databases

The alphabetical list of databases, subject list of databases (for example, Black Studies), and ezProxy configuration file all depend upon a "database of databases." Actually, the records in this database contain fields to support the needs of the scripts which create the above displays and files.

A Note on Scripts

The scripts are written in the Python language preferentially if formatting maintenance is of less concern than functionality or if snappy performance is needed. In most cases efficient performance is preferential to the use of source-level scripting. Python scripts support CGI, and are developed on the server. PHP scripts are much wordier and are embedded within XHTML (HTML) pages maintained with Dreamweaver. Python scripts are maintained in a character-based text editor such as vi or emacs.

Both of these programming languages have support within modules of the Apache web server.

The Database Database and Its Tables

Log in to the graphical user interface

Enter (where xxxxxx is the port for the Webmin® interface. This number is kept with the password list for library resources in the secure area.) This port can be found in the possession of the systems administrator, by choosing "Networking" in Webmin, and in the iptables configuration in /etc.

Current user = root and password=pppppp (where pppppp is the password for the Webmin user. This number is kept with the password list for library resources in the secure area.)

Select the Webmin Function Supporting the Databases

The databases are not fully normalized and must therefore be updated with care for logical relationships among records and fields.

Select "Servers"

Then select "MySQL Database Server"

Select the Library "Database of Databases"

Then select the "librarydatabases" database. This is the "database of databases." You will be presented with a list of tables which comprise the relations of this metadatabase.

Select the Main Data Table

Then select the "linkage" table

linkage is the most important table of the four and contains most information

AssociatedHosts is used to generate extra entries for a host in linkage. These are needed for some databases to support [| ezProxy]. Some databases require multiple hosts to support their own virtual server names. This complex subject is best understood by training oneself in [| ezProxy] and examining the current entries.

subjects is used as a basis for selecting linkage records for subject oriented output. You should add records as needed to match linkage and include a unique subject. If the web page lacks an entry after adding a record to linkage, you should examine this table to make sure an entry has been created for that key field.

types is similar to subjects and should be similarly maintained (add a matching record(s) when linkage is updated)

Choose or add records

Having clicked on and selected the linkage table

Fields in the linkage table

  1. uri ::= almost all uri's are urls (all are as of 2008-07-23)
  2. name ::= this is a primary key field and is the key field to match in the subject and types tables. This is the human readable label for use in web pages and interface files.
  3. domain ::= used by [| ezProxy]. For example for the host, is the domain
  4. subject ::= largely superceded by the subject table, but enter the logical primary subject of the database
  5. text ::= printed as a description of the database. Please remove MS Word additions that are not strictly HTML [you may use HTML tags here too] or they may appear as wretched little diamond shaped question marks. They will be invisible if you cut and paste; replace character entities as needed (eg, "’" for "'")
  6. vendor ::= eg, EBSCO, for documentation
  7. importance ::= enter "C" unless you want the label to appear higher or lower in a list. A bad idea that should never have been used.
  8. altsubject ::= superceded by the subjects table, q.v.
  9. host ::= a host name needed for [| ezProxy] (not retrieved from the URI, so somewhat redundant but needed)
  10. authorization ::= whether an [| ezProxy] entry should be generated
  11. display ::= whether to display on the web pages; used if needed in [| ezProxy] but not in the list
  12. HostOwner ::= Use to trigger the AssociatedHosts table output else blank if unneeded

Maintaining Records

Choose "View Data"

Scroll to the bottom of the screen

Update/change records

Delete records

Select subsets as needed using the search option

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