This week we made our final design decisions and finished up our database research. This research lead us to order Microsoft SQL with English Query. Patrick spoke with Robin Musato to obtain the software and she approximated that it would take about one week for delivery. We speculate that we will have the software in hand by March 1.
Regarding design, we decided that the index.html page will have a CGI form consisting of a single input text box and a submit button. This will then be received and processed by a Perl script that will format the query to be sent to English Query. English Query apparently does the rest (from what we understand). English Query accesses the database and these results are returned to the Perl script. The remainder of the script formats the results to be presented as an HTML results page.
Overall, this has been a good week. We have decided on a definite direction for the project, using SQL. Also, from what we ascertain of the products, SQL and English Query already contain the functionality that satisfies our projects main tasks. It already implements accessing a database using natural English queries. We feel that should this route be successful, we will be able to finish our project ahead of schedule.