which database software should i use to build auto parts database i will sell on CDrom?

hello and thanks in advacne.

i run a small business (two employees).  i want to build a "parts and installations instructions" database that i will sell to auto mechanics/shops.  the database will allow for the user to enter in several attributes (year, make, model) and out will spit a picture of a part and instructions on how to install it.

# of attributes:  year (1993-2005)
make: 20 different auto manufacturers
model: 700 different models of autos
picutres: 500 parts
installation instructions: 200 different types

to keep the barriers to buying my product to a minimum, i don't want the customer to have to already have a database program installed (e.g. microsift access) on their machine.  i need a 'portable' database program that will run off the CDrom disc i will sell them.  i hope i'm making myself clear here.......

for security and simplicity, i want the customer to be able run everything off the disc without having to install anything.  is this possible?
i'm on a tight budget here.  what do you recommend i use to build and deploy this?  

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divi2323Connect With a Mentor Commented:
personally, why use any database?  if the db needs no updating, and nothing needs to be done, why not just use flat files, and sub directories, and then run it from a web browser with html pages?  a little javascript on the client side takes care of running your queries, and then it's just a matter of populating dropdowns.

i wouldnt use a database for such a purpose, but if you HAVE to, you dont need access installed to use an access database.  you make the access database into a file, and then ensure that the file can be read using a web interface (see above).  the only obstacle I see here is the ODBC driver, which you can have them install, or use client side java to do everything for them (suggesting the user to have a java compiler installed, which most computers do these days, or package one with your cd.)
Why not use an XML file(s) as the database?  This can be queried easily enough.

You don't say which platform/language you are developing on?
I was looking for a similar solution and I found a very interesting article in how to deploy MS Access 2003 without the need for your clients to have Access installed.

Read it, it may help you with what you need.


SkipFireConnect With a Mentor Commented:
You will have trouble finding a solution for low cost that will run entirely from the CD.  This is because of the fact that most languages require some dependencies to be installed (VB6 has run-times, some versions of C have the MFC, .NET requires the .NET framework, java requires JVM).  You would probably have to go with a pure C++ solution which would be costly for you to have developed.

A web-site is your best bet, but if you do stick with distributable media you should look at XML for storing the data.
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