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pages where you input data

Posted on 2013-11-25
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Last Modified: 2013-12-02
If you manage large websites, do you keep any sort of documentation about which of the various pages send data to a backend database? I have been tasked (albeit I am not a web developer) with checking which pages on a corporate website send data (i.e. contact us type forms) to a backend DB. I am tempted to ask our web development team for a hand in identifying such pages but not sure what or if they would keep such a list of pages.
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Question by:pma111
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Chris Stanyon earned 1000 total points
ID: 39674275
This is definitely a job for a web developer - as a non-developer do you even know what the code would look like to store data in a database.

Depending on how your website is built, this could be a very easy task (in a MVC setup - the Models write to the database - simply search your Application for use of the Models), or it could be an absolute nightmare (digging through 1000s of pages, one by one).

It will also depend on the setup you have for managing your website files. If you have an advanced IDE, then it will be easier. If you use a WYSIWYG package such as DreamWeaver, it will probably be considerably harder.

As a hint, when forms etc are filled in, they usually POST the data to your server (not always). You could start by checking the Apache access logs and see which files are being POSTed to. There's a fair chance that those pages are at least handling user-submitted data. You may have to look at the 'referrer' to see which pages POSTed the data.

Without seeing your application, there's no easy 'quick-fix' to this. To be honest your web-developers should have a good handle on the structure of your site, so they would be the people to speak to.
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by:Big Monty
Big Monty earned 1000 total points
ID: 39675754
great answer above, the only thing I'd like to add is that for me personally, I keep sitemaps of my site (not search engine related sitemaps, but rather visual documents) that I make in either visio or some other type of flow charting software. This provides me with an overall visual structure of my website, with each page labelled with a brief explanation on what it does. From that, i could easily deduce what each page does.

I agree this is a job for a developer, if they're half-way decent, they should have some kind of document related to that of a sitemap.
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