Recommendations on allowing other websites access to mySQL database

jimdgar2
jimdgar2 used Ask the Experts™
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I would like some advice on how to best solve the following issue.

I have a web site which displays data based on search criteria. The data is extracted from a mySQL database on a hosted server. As long as it's my web domain displaying the data there are no problems.

But, I now have clients who want to have this search engine reside on a web page in their domain and extract data from my database. This raises these problems (that I can think of): 1) I would have to provide them a password into the database, 2) they would have to maintain the code and mirror any updates/changes I make.

The best solution for me is to have them put a link on their page which (discreetly) directs users to my page. I display the data and then provide a link back to the client's page. I could then maintain/control everything. The downside is that my web page won't look like theirs and users may be bothered by the discontinuity (if they notice).

Someone suggested using an iframe, but I'm not sure if this would work or be the best solution.

Thanks for any suggestions.
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Commented:
My first thought is to produce a mirror/sacrificial database that updates continuously from your protected database.  It matters little whether someone demolishes the mirror; it is immediately replaced.

Simultaneoulsy, a skeleton instantiation of SQL allows you to hand out passwords like candy and never allow outsiders access the original DB or SQL server.  Keep the accessible sacrificial SQL on a DMZ.  You want a strict one-way inside-to-outside propagation.  

From your diligence, should I assume the outside clients are paying customers?  

There are additional IP (Intellectual Property) issues.  By "my website," do you mean "the company I work for's website?"  

Make absolutely certain that users of your database are required to sign a fair use agreement that indicates quality of service, allowed use and copyright ownership.  

Finally, they are already profiting from your data.  Consider whether your reason to accommodate their request is sound.  

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