Temporary online data storage


Well-known member
Nov 16, 2005
Columbia, SC
Programming Experience
'Need a little advice...
I'm preparing an MVC web site that will accept user input such as Name, E-Mail, Date, Payment Amount and a unique User ID. From my site the user is redirected to PayPal to handle a secure transaction and return all variables back to my site. I began thinking I'd need a small database without a user interface to keep track of these transactions. Since my previous experience with database programming was back in the XP days with SQL CE, I quickly learned how out of touch I had become. So I began looking into Microsoft's SQL Server Express, which mentioned that I'd also need to download SSDT to implement SQL Server. At this point, I'm thinking that this is overkill for the task of simply storing the data returned from PayPal. After all, I could conceivably store this data in a simple text file, download it periodically and add the data to an offline in house database. That option is of course very vulnerable to hackers while the data sits online in a text file, but I'm not too sure that a database would be much more secure. The bright side is that there is no sensitive data being stored but I really can't afford to lose the data either.
From here I stumbled across CRUD as a possible medium which led me to WAMP which would mean that I'd need to become proficient in PHP programming (Not a deal breaker as I'm sure I could handle it, given the time...) I'm just looking for some advice from folks who may have used these methods in the past and point me to the simplest plan. I'm trying to keep this end of my project as light weight as possible. I can't see deploying an omnipotent database that takes a gig of disk space for such a simple task.
Things have clearly got way out of hand. If you have a web site using a commercial host then they will provide the database. The most common option available would be MySQL because the license is free, but many will provide SQL Server as well. You should start by deciding where the site is going to be hosted and what is available as a result. If you're hosting it yourself, SQL Server Express is free and supports databases up to 10 GB.

If you do opt for SQL Server of any flavour, you can install SQL Server Express on your development machine if you need to and then simply change the connection string when deploying. If you end up using MySQL then the code will be pretty much the same as for SQL Server but you will need to use a different ADO.NET provider. You really ought to have your own MySQL server for testing too. Again, that's free but installation may be a bit more involved than SQL Server Express. Not too much though.

If you use SQL Server Express then you could potentially do everything in VS. I'd recommend installing SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) though. Again, free and simple to install. You don't need SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT) because that is for using Integration Services and the like. The SqlClient ADO.NET provider is an integral part of .NET Framework and .NET Core.
Thanks JM; Yes things can get way out of hand when you don't know what you're doing. It's like playing golf with a blindfold. 'No telling where you're going to wind up.
I wasn't aware that the host would provide the database. What are the benefits of using SQL Server Management Studio ?