Web-based information delivers real-time or near-real-time data to clientele and other stakeholders. Although proprietary methods are available for interactively searching and updating databases through web interfaces, these methods generally require varying costs to maintain licensing agreements. The availability of publicly available software that require minimal or flexible licensing costs provide a cost-effective alternative to institutions that are considering access to databases via a web-accessible interface. For example, if a current web server is already configured to support hypertext preprocessor (PHP) scripts and MySQL databases, all that needs to be installed is a form script to allow the searching, inserting, and deleting of records. We describe procedures, software, and other applications that we used to develop a publicly accessible web interface to an experimental database of representative sweetpotato accessions in Kenya. The web address of this database is http://www.viazivitamu.org. This site also contains links to sweetpotato collection sites in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda graphically shown using a public domain GIS viewer. This demonstrates that public domain web-based tools can be configured not only to support collaborative activities among researchers in various locations, but also to provide relevant data to clients and other stakeholders.
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