I am trying to create a website that will offer surplus materials for sale and would like visitors to be able to type in the specs of what they are looking for and get a real-time response confirming whether or not we have product that matches their request. Very new to web publishing just now finishing up an html class. Plan on moving to css next but would appreciate any input on what programs I should also look into that would do an immediate cross check of our inventory list and provide real-time results to the visitor.
MySQL and PHP are free and are most likely already on your server. Also, MySQL is faster and more stable then most commercial database vendors. Most scripting languges can interact with it very easily as well, i think PHP would be your best bet since it's easy to get started with, and powerful enough to do things on all levels..