Work for The Technology Source is done partially in HTML files stored on the HORIZON server and partially in an Oracle database which can be accessed through the Horizon server. Understanding how the database is set up and how it operates is vital to understanding the operations of TS. To that end, we have prepared this guide to the database.
This section of the manual is divided into two main parts: I. Installing the Oracle database on your home computer, and II. Working with the database.
I. Installing the Oracle database on your home computer
Before you can use the database, you will need to install Microsoft Access to your computer if you don't have it already. Dr. Morrison has a copy of the Microsoft Office suite on CD that you can use to install Microsoft Access.
Once you have Microsoft Access, you will need to install the Oracle database to your computer. This is not the database itself, but rather a "client" configuration that will allow your computer to interface with the Oracle database through your Microsoft Access program. You can either ask Dr. Morrison for the CD with the Oracle client, or you can use option 1B below if you have a high speed Internet connection.
Installing the Oracle client:
1 A) If you obtained the Oracle client CD from Dr. Morrison, insert CD into drive bay.
1 B) If you have a high speed Internet connection, you can connect directly to the Horizon server to get the Oracle client installation.
a. Open up a new "Windows Explorer" (NOT Internet Explorer). You can do this by right-clicking the
"My Computer" icon on the desktop and choosing "Explore" or by using the key combination
b. In the Address line at the top, type in "\\horizon.unc.edu\oracle_client" (no quotes).
c. From here proceed to step #2.
2) Run setup.exe.
3) On the Welcome page, click "Next."
4) On the File Locations page, decide where you wish to install the Oracle client ("Destination").
5) On the Installation Types page, choose "Application User."
6) On the Summary page, click "Install."
7) Once the main installation finishes, the installation program the Net8 Configuration Assistant will fire. Follow these steps:
1) Open up the Windows Control Panel (START > Settings > Control Panel)
2) Select "Data Sources (ODBC)" (or just "ODBC" depending on your version of Windows. In Windows 2000, the "Data Sources" selection is under "Administrative Tools."
3) Choose the "System DSN" tab and click "Add."
4) Under "Create New Data Source" do the following:
a. Select "Microsoft ODBC for Oracle" and click "Finish."
b. For the Data Source Name, type "HORIZON_ORACLE" (no quotes!).
c. For Description, you may type a description or leave it blank.
d. For User Name, type "fiser_horizon2" (no quotes).
e. For Server, type in "HORIZON_ORACLE" (no quotes).
f. Click "OK."
5) You are finished. Click "OK."
Download and run the database:
1) FTP to the Horizon server (see procedures manual for further instructions).
2) CD (change directory) to /horizon/databases.
3) Download the ts_home.mdb file.
4) At this point you should be able to double-click on the database and it should open up with no problems. Try opening a table. If you see data, you're successfully connected; if you don't, review your prior steps. If that fails, contact Noel Fiser (email@example.com) to see if he can help.
NOTE: From time to time, Noel may re-configure the database to give it new features. When this happens, you will have to FTP-download the new version of the ts_home.mdb file to your local directory so that your client is consistent with the newest form of the database.
II. Working with the database
To access the Oracle database, we use Microsoft Access. You must be connected to the Internet to use the database. Open Access and then open the ts_home.mdb file you have downloaded to your computer. A window will appear with the various tables of the database, which are explained below. If you open a table and see data, you are connected to the server and ready to work in the database. Many of these tables are related, for example information entered in one database may appear in a drop-down menu in another database.
The database, like so many other elements of TS, has its own quirks. This manual describes some of the known quirks, although you may discover more as you go along. Please add to this information as you learn! A few of the commonly noted quirks are:
The Articles table is where basic information about the article is entered. The fields are as follows:
This table lists articles that appear in the bullpen and link them to their appropriate section. It also will eventually be used to generate the bullpen itself. Fields include:
This table is where figures, tables, papers, images, and exhibits are linked to articles. All of the files themselves are saved in /resource in the appropriate directory, but the information about the files is stored in this table.
This table matches articles up with the issue in which they are to appear, and places the articles in the order they will appear in on the contents page.
This table connects articles to keywords which describe them. These words are used to connect articles for readers who are interested in finding other related articles. Articles with the same keywords will show up in a "read related" search.
**This table is not used.
This table connects new articles with articles that have already been published, again to create "read related" links. This is particularly useful if an article refers to, replies to, or continues an earlier article.
**Again, this table is not used.
Authors who publish in The Technology Source also participate in real-time Webchat sessions moderated by Dr. Morrison; these Webchats allow the authors to speak with our readers and other interested parties about the contents of their article. When Dr. Morrison contacts the authors regarding final revisions of their articles, he also asks them to provide a particular 45-minute time slot for their Webchat.
When these time slots are provided by the authors, they are then entered into this table of the database. Enter the title of the corresponding article first in the "AID" field; note that this field has a drop-down menu just like the "Author-Article" table. Then enter the scheduled time of the Webchat in the "Date_R" field, and the duration of the Webchat in the "Duration" field (if the "Date_R" field is left blank, the scheduled time of the Webchat will automatically be listed as "TBA"; if the "Duration" field is left blank, the Webchat duration will automatically show the starting time of the Webchat ). At this point, the "URL" field can be left blank. Once a Webchat has already been conducted, the technical support staff of HorizonLive will provide customized url addresses for the completed Webchats of each article. These url addresses are then entered into the "URL" field of the "Articles-Webchats" table so that archived Webchats will be available to Technology Source readers.
This table links authors with the articles they have written and also determines the order in which authors' names appear (if there are multiple authors for one article).
This table stores biographical information on all authors. All authors must submit bios before their articles are published, and this information is entered into this table. Typically we create an entry in the authors table (if one does not already exist) as soon as we have accepted an article for consideration in the bullpen. The information may not be complete, but at least a record is created.
Board Members Table
This table lists all of the members of the TS editorial board and when they joined TS.
**This table sets out the different categories (sections, like "Case Studies") of TS. It is generally only used by the webmaster, who determines the graphics used to represent each section. It could also be used to add a new section to the journal should that need arise.
There is a section of the HORIZON Web site that features information on upcoming conferences related to technology and education. The information used to generate this site is stored in this table. To view any changes you make to this site, go to http://horizon.unc.edu/conferences/.
**This table archives messages posted using the "discuss" option at the end of all TS articles.
**This table contains information on those people signed up to use our discussion feature.
FrontDisplay-Categories, FrontDisplay-Categories-Images, FrontDisplay-Images, and FrontDisplay-Images-Orientations
This table generates the list of possible keywords, which are then used in the articles-keywords table (above). New keywords should be added as needed, but only if there is not a similar word already in the list. The purpose of keywords is to connect related articles, so it is important to use words that will fit multiple articles.
This table contains the contact information (generally names and email addresses) for everyone on the TS mailing list. Detailed information on how to manage this list is found in its own section of the Procedures Manual. The editor may sometimes ask you to add to this list or to remove names, especially when email to an address bounces. There is a directory on the server (/Office/delete addresses) in which the editor places bounced mail. When there is time after other tasks, you should go through these messages and delete the addresses if possible.
Mailing Type Table
This table sets the possible choices for the mailing types used in the Mailing table. Generally these settings do not need to be changed.
On-Ramp and Related Tables
**This is not used.
Review State Table
**This table generates the options that appear in the articles table (published, submitted, etc.). Right now most of these settings are not used, and this table does not generally need to be updated.
Section Editors Table
This table determines the list of section editors whose names will appear on the TS site and the order in which they appear.
**These are the sections of the HORIZON Web site. These also do not need to be edited regularly.
This table creates new issues of TS. This is what allows you to create a mock-up of a new issue. Once an issue has been entered here, articles can be placed into the contents page for that issue using the articles-issues table.
**This table contains information on TS sponsors. It generates images and links on the main TS page for these sponsors.
This information generates the section of the masthead in which the names of the hard-working, talented, and all-around wonderful TS staff appears. Before a staff member can be listed here, s/he must be listed in the author's table.
Tasks and Tasks-Staff Tables
**These tables track site usage statistics and do not need to be edited by staff.