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Plugging a website into a national database

How do I integrate an external national database into my own website?

10:19 pm on Sep 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

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joined:Apr 6, 2011
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Hello. I figured Webmaster General was as good a category as any to host this thread as I really have no idea what it would come under otherwise.

Does anyone on here have experience with plugging their own website database into an external, national one? For example, sites that let you check vehicle info based on its registration number. Websites like WeBuyAnyCar.com must connect to the DVLA database to be able to give instant quotes. But how? I imagine that this requires specialist software and a whole ton of licencing money.

I'm really just looking for any information on it all by anyone who knows anything. Is it an enormous task which is way beyond the mortal man? Or is it just a case of buying a licence and connecting to it in a relatively user-friendly way? Surely someone has coded it so that it's easily available to other companies for a price? The same way bank payment gateways are made to be easily added to sites; complicated stuff made as easy as possible.

Does anyone know ANYTHING about all of this? Thanks.
10:40 pm on Sept 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member g1smd is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:July 3, 2002
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Your site accesses their site using an API.

Essentially, your server sends a request in a particular format and their server responds with data in a particular format which you then extract and present on page to your user.

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