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it depends on your webhosting. quite often if you're hosted on apache/linux, mysql will be available to you. if that is the case take a look at [mysql.com ] you'll find everything you need there.
I am also quite new to databases, from what I can gather it all depends on your hosting company and what they can offer you.
I have gone for a MYSQL database and I am presenting the information from it in PHP.
I asked a very similar question and the help I got was spot on
I purchased this book
Dreamweaver MX: PHP Web Development
It was very helpfull
[Please just give book name and let users shop themselves, saves alot of hassle :) thanks - JamesR, mod]
[edited by: JamesR at 6:48 pm (utc) on Jan. 8, 2003]
The tutorials are excellent, and once you build a few pages you can study their code, do a little bit of SQL study on your own, and you'll never need DW again.
But it's the best way to get started without having to buy anything.