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Interfacing microcontroller to a database.

Posted on 2004-11-02
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Last Modified: 2008-03-06
I wasn't sure what section to put this question in cos it deals with software, hardware and databases but here goes.
   I am doing a final year project in college. The project is a security system in which a database will control the access rights of individuals. The project involves reading an 64-bit number from what is called an ibutton ( www.ibutton.com). Each person will have there own ibutton with a unique number. The number will be read by an 8051 microprocessor and stored. I then have to send the number to a computer to verify that the number is in the database to check if the person has access rights. I am just a bit confused about this part. Should i use an ethernet connection or an RS232 to communicate with the microcontroller. If so how would i set it up that access is automatically executed when the computer recieves a number from the microcontroller, that the number is passed in to access and that a signal is sent back to the microprocessor to open the door. It's just all a bit confusing for me and i don't even know where to start so any help would be appreciated.
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Question by:screach
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6 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:Physicistm
ID: 12475366
Well if you're using a Network controller in this case you have to build up a whole small microcomputer / microcontroller which will have it's own IP address, and on the compute rpart build a small application which will monitor the device over the network and communicate with the database.
Dissadvantage is that if using a Network access is in complexity of the micorcontroller, but there are many advantages.
like:
- you can use multiple devices ... for controlling (255 and even more)
- very simple network application
- you'er not boud to the cable length much as with the RS-232

on the other hand the RS-232 acces is more simple - direct communication and you can controll it with a aapplication simmilar to a mouse driver ...

Hope this helps a bit ...
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Jaime Olivares earned 375 total points
ID: 12477768
I recommend you to use a network enabled microcontroller/board, and make queries to a web page, this way you will handle all database management at server side. You just send a string like:

http://10.1.2.3/checkdoor.php?id=574847383412

You will get a web page as result where you can analyze response.

You can use any board of EDTP electronics or Rabbit semiconductors
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Author Comment

by:screach
ID: 12482042
Yes my project supervisor had mentioned something like that. I think that Rabbit semiconductors is a bit out of my budget but the EDTP electronics looks good. What to you think of this one:

 http://www.siteplayer.com/

Sorry for the stupid questions but would this just involve writing the database and a bit of SQL for the queries or would i still need a C program to communicate with the microcontroller and pass the number to access. What do you mean by send a string from the microcontroller to the computer is it?

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Expert Comment

by:Jaime Olivares
ID: 12487726
It appears to be the inverse of what you want.

To access the web page you don't need a C program, just assembler, but C will be more clear.
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Author Comment

by:screach
ID: 12491663
Do you know of any good sites that i could get information about these microcontrollers that would help me with the project.

Thanks,
Jonathan
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LVL 55

Expert Comment

by:Jaime Olivares
ID: 12507041
Web enabled microcontrollers and related books and articles:
http://www.edtp.com/   
http://www.rabbitsemiconductor.com
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