Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Web & Database

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The College of Engineering here at NC State is big. That is a bit of an understatement when you begin to consider all the faculty, students, buildings, equipment, computers, and all the other odds and ends associated with engineering. The last thing anyone in the department needs is something getting complicated and expensive. Its a daunting job to try and keep the web services here in check.

Personal www4 websites

Engr People websites

Research Websites

<tasks> [ ]Talk about WordPress deployment. Could use some tutorial pages about WP. </tasks>

Infrastructure

Web Lockers are the key to web services here in the College of Engineering. They are provided for various academic departments, student organizations, and research and adminstrative groups. Services are provided free of pop-ups and intrusive ads.

Requests

All requests for new webspace must come through the department webmaster. Websites need to be configured under a specific department domain, or vhost. This funnels everything through to the webmaster so that he or she can coordinate locker locations, locker names, and URL address throughout the site.

Databases

There's nothing quite like a database for shuffling around large and disparate chunks of data. We offer ready-to-go database services based on MySQL: suddenly your data is managable.

Databases - many people cringe at the very sound of the word. Thoughts of tediously inputting line after line of data creep into your head. But, these behemoths of data seem to be creeping into almost every aspect of computing now-a-days, including the World Wide Web. A web designer's passion for databases and how they can impact a webpage can seem limitless.

Many of the webpages you visit on a daily basis make use of a database - this one does. In fact, they make storing information on the Internet much easier. Instead of having hundreds of individual webpages, you have a single page accessing a number of databases dynamically presenting individual requests. This takes much of the strain off of web authors and allows for a uniform presentation of information to a variety of audiences.

MySQL/PHP

That's all and well, but how exactly does it do all of this? That, my friends, is where the fun begins. Here at WolfTech, the database of choice is the MySQL database. Four million people, and counting, use MySQL databases. And its popularity is steadily growing. PHP scripts are the prefered way to dish out all this information your users. These two technologies provide the heartbeat for many webpages here at NCSU.

phpMyAdmin

Once you have had a database created for your use, we provide phpMyAdmin for your use. This handy creation is a PHP-based web management application for a MySQL database. This application takes away the tediousness of inputting via a command line and translates everything into a simple, easy to use, graphical interface. This point and click interface should lessen the load of any data-entry.

If you are interested in finding out more information about MySQL and PHP, visit their respective homepages. If you wish to discover more about these technologies and how they are being used at NC State, you can contact our webteam at ece-webteam@ncsu.edu. To request a MySQL database, please see the WolfTech Requests page. Also, all College of Engineering websites are PHP compatible - all that is needed is the .php extension on the webpage.

Site Statistics

Accessing your statistics

To access statistics for your web site, append your site's base URL (without the 'http://' method identifier) to the WebStats URL. For example, if your site's URL is

http://www.ece.ncsu.edu/

enter

http://webstats.engr.ncsu.edu/www.ece.ncsu.edu/

into your browser's address field.

Access control

Web site traffic statistics are visible only to web locker owners and admin, editor, and read-only group members. Locker owners and admins can alter web locker group memberships using the on-line pts management utility at the ITECS Locker Portal. Add only people you trust to your site locker groups, as members also have privileged access via the filesystem to your site files.

WebTest Sites

Student Organizations

Student organizations are provided with their own vhost, located at students.engr.ncsu.edu. Just like regular lockers, however, they must be owned by a faculty sponser. Most are, however, maintained by various students. This domain is managed by the Engineers Council, and is used to encourage communication through various students and orgainizations.

For more detailed information on Engineering Web Lockers here at NC State, please visit the Web Services and Support page of the College of Engineering. You can also feel free to contact us at ecehelp@ncsu.edu. All websistes must be on the COE servers. Exceptions may be made in special cases.

Web Accessibilty

Brief intro, then link to primary pages -- Web Accessibility

Podcasting

Podcasting is in its infancy at NC State but there are a few sources online. A pilot project can be found at the Wolfcast site. To hone our skills, the WolfTech WebTeam is currently seeking faculty and graduate students interested in creating a 10-20 minute audio offering of their current research for a weekly experimental podcast. For more information, contact wolftech-webmaster@ncsu.edu. NC state is currently in negotiation to become an "iTune University" similar to Stanford's pilot program.

The WolfTech WebTeam recommends Audacity as a free, open source software for Windows, MacOS and Linux. Please note that you will need to get the LAME encoder in order to export your finished files from Audacity to MP3 format.

External Web Designers / Developers

Please see regulations regarding the use of External Webservices here: Policies:_NC_State#External_Web_Services_Policy

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