Flat database with online forms and reports

I need to create a simple form that will appear in blank when a visitor goes to a passworded WebDAV address; the data will then have to be part of a relatively simple (flat) database; and the database will have to be available for visitors to search and then to return a report on the search.

  1. My machines at home and office are Windows. Can I design this thing in Windows–or perhaps with the OpenOffice.org database–and have it work on DreamHost’s Apache servers?

  2. If not, do I need to find a VM or Apache emulator, and the appropriate db design tools? (Or, more likely, a database designer who already has this stuff…)

  3. Is there an app of choice for Apache that can do what I want without my having to learn the intricacies of something like MySQL?

Or should I just stop thinking about all this now and just find someone who already knows how to do it?

  1. The short answer is that you can’t design it in Windows to work on Apache. You’d need to serve it up via MySQL or some other database server (Apache is a webserver).

  2. You can google for some DB design tools. I’m not much help here. I think it’s possible that MS Access or other desktop DB tools might be able to export to MySQL or other DB serverware.

  3. Don’t know.

I think you should hire a professional. I do this DB stuff for a living and it’s not clear, from your post, exactly what you’re trying to accomplish:

Do you want a form that appears in a browser for people to fill out?
Do you want them to interact with a DB file (like FileMakerPro) off of your WebDAV access point? There’s enough technical gaps that it may be easier just to outsource this one.