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Search form/filter for a database

Posted on 2013-11-12
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Hello, I know this is quite a generic question but I need advice on the best way to undertake a task.

I have a big Excel file with a list of known exposition and fairs all around the world. Each column contains data concerning the expo, like country, product category and so on.

I need to "transform" this into an archive for a wordpress website I'm developing and create a search form which allows you to choose zone, country, start date, end date, categories with subcategories and so on.
Then the results are listed in an order you can also choose, and if you click on an expo you get full details.

So I was wondering, which would be the best way to do this?

For instance, I can convert the Excel file into a Mysql table, then I can add the table to the wordpress database OR I can create a new database altogether. Which would be best?

Or is there a way which avoids Mysql and php?

Don't worry about my knowledge in your suggestions because what I don't know I'll try to learn (or get help about :)), but I'd like to know the fastest way to accomplish this.

Also, if you know of any software/plugin/whatever which can help me in the task, feel free to suggest it.

Thanks in advance.
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Question by:Daniele Brunengo
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Big Monty earned 2000 total points
ID: 39641692
You're def on the right track. One thing to ask yourself is will this application grow? If you envision that it will, then I would suggest building your own DB to keep things organized. But if you think it will only be 1-2 tables, then I don't see any reason not to keep it directly in the WP database.

From there, it's as simple as looking for some online examples on "how to build a form in php" (say, that looks like a good google search to start with!) and coming here to ask specific questions on issues you're stuck on.
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Author Comment

by:Daniele Brunengo
ID: 39641722
Ok, thanks. I was actually watching some videos on those topics.

I am positive there won't be more than 1 table, it may become 2 but that's it.

So I guess I'm gonna keep it inside the WP database.

I think this would make things easier, in that I wouldn't have to access a different database while connected to the WP one.

The search form itself will probably be a little complex though, so I guess I will open a new topic about that if I encounter any problems (which I will).
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by:Big Monty
ID: 39641739
great, good luck!
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Author Comment

by:Daniele Brunengo
ID: 39642264
One doubt, though. Can't it be "dangerous" to add a table to the WP database? I mean, for instance when upgrading to a new WP version, isn't there a risk of some damaged data?
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by:Big Monty
ID: 39642353
no. when upgrading wordpress, it only looks at its own tables, it will not touch any user created tables

http://wordpress.org/support/topic/add-tables-to-wp-database
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Author Comment

by:Daniele Brunengo
ID: 39642427
Great, thanks.
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