In the previous data basics column, we showed you how to retrieve data from an access table over the Web using ASP scripts. Retrieving and viewing data are just two of the tasks that you will need in an interactive database application. Now we are going to venture into making database changes online, using HTML forms and ASP scripts to insert new data and modify and delete existing information. We will assume that you have gone through the steps in the prior lesson and have installed a server, created a shared directory \inetpub\wwwroot\sample containing the Northwind database, and established a DSN connection to it.

The examples that follow will use seven more sample files. As in the previous lesson, you should create each one by copying and pasting the code into Notepad and saving it with the indicated filename in your \inetpub\wwwroot\sample directory.

  1. insert_from.html
  2. insert.asp
  3. amend_select.asp
  4. amend_change.asp
  5. amend.asp
  6. delete_select.asp
  7. delete.asp

Form function

Most of these samples operate by sending HTML forms to the browser. Formscollect data from the user to send to programs on the server, in this case our ASP scripts. The <form></form>element’s action attribute indicates the URL of the server program that will receive the data. How the data is sent depends on the method attribute: post passes the data invisibly, while get appends the data in the server program’s URL. After the data is processed, the server program sends a result page back to the browser.

A collection of controls (also called fields or inputs) contains the form’s data. Control elements include <input />, <select>, <textarea> and others. Depending on the type of control, a user may freely enter its data or select a value from limited options. Some inputs even have fixed values and are present just to pass information from one server program to the next. Each control has a name attribute used to label its data when sent to the server.

Click Next for inserting-data