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Sharing A Database

Is it possible and OK for two websites to share a database?  If I have two websites on two different hosting servers and services, is it ok for one Website to share/look at a database used by another website?

Website Number One would be implementing, editing, adding data and interacting with the Database.
Website Number Two would be looking at the info on the database, not interacting or editing.

This seems ok but am I missing something?  Are there best practices to consider?  Security issues?

Thanks in advance!
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rgranlund
Asked:
rgranlund
1 Solution
 
Guy Hengel [angelIII / a3]Billing EngineerCommented:
yes, that is perfectly possible. usually you should have 1 central place (webservices for example is a good way) to access the db from "anywhere", and the web sites using those webservices exclusively to make sure that the data is read/updated the same way indeed from any application
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Dave BaldwinFixer of ProblemsCommented:
Some hosting services like Godaddy will not allow you connect to a database server on another outside hosting/server.  Test it before you commit to it.

And some don't allow external access to the database servers.  At all.
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gr8gonzoConsultantCommented:
Just general thoughts:

1. In terms of security, every additional access point to the database can be considered a security issue. That's not a bad thing - just something you have to keep in mind when you design solutions. It's like adding another door onto a house - you have to just make sure all your doors are locked in order to be secure - you can't just lock the front door and leave the others unlocked and expect to be secure.

2. It's good that you can identify that Website #2 will ONLY be reading from the database. That means you can create different credentials that ONLY have reading (SELECT) privileges, and in case that website is compromised, it won't be AS bad as if you lost full admin credentials. It's still bad, though, and information can be as good as gold in terms of gaining additional access, so it's still a priority to make both sites as secure as possible.

3. The database engine you use will make a big difference in how you do things. For example, if you have a lot of visitors on website #2 and expect to be doing a lot of updating/writing to the database on website #1, then you might want to consider using the InnoDB engine in MySQL. A lot of people use the default MyISAM engine, but when you make updates to a table in MyISAM, it locks the entire table, which can impact people who are trying to access the data in that table. Of course, if you don't update the tables often, or if you don't have a lot of traffic, it's not a big deal. If you're a MySQL novice, then you can USUALLY consider InnoDB tables to basically act like MyISAM tables, but with a few advantages.
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rgranlundAuthor Commented:
Well I guess my question is this;
How do I display information from an outside DB on my website?
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gr8gonzoConsultantCommented:
What do you mean "outside DB" - are you talking about the central DB you're referring to in your original post?
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Ray PaseurCommented:
Ask your hosting company how to connect to the databases.  This will do two important things.  First, it will probably get you an answer complete with an example, and second, it will verify that the host intends to be able to support this sort of thing.
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