This powerful database integration software lets you add
interactive features for your site:
- Forums: Threaded discussion groups. You can allow anyone to participate, or restrict it to your own team. Click [ HERE ] for a sample! This example is from a new site we are creating - for a medical organization.
- Database driven pages: You use a control panel to add or change text on the website. It can be set up so only you can change the text, or you can let a group of people each change their own section. Click [ HERE ] for a sample. This example is from a medical information site that we created. The page lists support groups. Each support group leader is assigned a password, and they can go in and create their own listings, and change the text at any time.
For example, some have a new speaker each month, so they announce it here on this website. With the old technology, they would have to email the webmaster to make changes, and the webmaster would have to download the source code for the page, load it up in his/her editor, make the changes (and hope that he doesn't accidentally break something else on the page), fix up any links to the information that changes, and upload the page then test it.
With our method, the support group leader goes to the control panel, enters their username and password, and they get a form that contains the current information. They just edit it in plain English, push a button, and the change is instantly reflected on the website.
This technique has many uses.. We use it to create links to other sites, which can then be sorted and re-arranged in many different ways.. click [HERE] for an example. Here, there are a few categories of links. When you click on the category, you get a list of links that relate to that category. We also allow the visitors to the site to vote on the usefulness of the links - so others can view the most popular or highest rated links!
We also use it to let the website owner make changes to their site by themselves, for example price changes on items, or daily specials. This cuts down monthly support costs tremendously.
- Membership lists and Mailing Lists. Click [HERE] for a sample. A visitor signs up for the newsletter, and when the web site owner wants to send out the newsletter, they go to their password protected administration page, and just fill out a form. They write the newsletter in their word processor, then copy and paste it into the form, push a button and the newsletter gets emailed to all members on the list. We can use the same technique for conducting polls, either by email or directly on the website.
- Presenting News or Stock Quotes. Click [here] for an example. This page is made up of 2 parts. The top half is database driven as described above. The bottom half is automatically updated a few times a day. Cold Fusion is used to visit the Yahoo News WebSite, and a search is done for the particular type of news required. In this case, it is about brain tumors. Cold Fusion automatically downloads the news from Yahoo, and inserts it directly into this page. No human intervention is required. Yahoo allows this for free if you also display their banner ad, as we do on that page. If you do not want Yahoo's banner, there are services that can be used for a fee! Same with stock quotes!
- Full text searching of website content, database content, or mailing list archives (scroll down to the search form). This allows your users to find the desired information quickly. We use a feature of Cold Fusion, called the Verity Engine, which acts like a mini-Yahoo type search engine. Notice the speed of the searches. For example, the mailing list archive mentioned above is huge - about 20 megabytes right now. A full text search using MS SQL server used to take about 40 seconds per search. When we moved up to the Verity Engine, those same searches now take about 2 seconds! And this archive is maintained automatically. Cold Fusion retrieves the messages from the mailing list automatically, enters them into a database and indexes them using Verity - all without a human touching it!
- We can use Cold Fusion to maintain a list of your users and their passwords for password protected sections of your website. Without Cold Fusion, we would have to rely on the User Manager built into Windows NT. The big difference is costs. With Windows NT, you have to have a license for EACH USER. Using Cold Fusion, there are NO additional costs for each user! This can quickly add up to savings of thousands of dollars if you have a lot of users.
- There are many other features that Cold Fusion enables us to add to Websites. Check our Portfolio page and look around at the Websites we created!