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We have a dynamic website based on MSSQL and ASP.net. There is a hosted DB, which we have an IP and access credentials for. We do not apparently know where it is hosted. We need to make changes which are not covered by the CMS, and the company which built the site (last December) is no longer functioning.

I'm at best an amateur when it comes to web design and programming, but this has become my responsibility to sort out.

Anything that can be done to point me in the right direction will be appreciated. I can provide more info, if you can tell me what you need to know. By the way, we're based in Dubai, so responses may be oddly timed, or appear slow. Also, there are limited options to go get another local company to look at this, without simply rebuilding the site again.

Thanks again for whatever help you can provide.

The site was built, according to the developer, with the following tools:

TECHNOLOGY

• Framework : Microsoft Dot Net Frame Work 3.0 (2.0) • Programming : Asp.Net • Scripting : C#, JAVA Script • Extended Tool : ASP.NET AJAX Control Toolkit (Microsoft ASP.NET AJAX framework) • Database : Microsoft SQL Server 2008

SOFTWARE USED • Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 • Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio Express • Adobe Dreamweaver CS3 • Adobe Photoshop CS3 • Adobe Flash CS3 • Flash Slide Show Maker • Cute FTP + Mozilla Fire FTP

I have a document from the developer which my employer was originally told would provide all the data needed to make changes to the site. If it does, however, I can't see how. I've also tried to do whois searches on the DB IP, to find the host, but our ISP here blocks direct IP input as "hacking".

Please let me know if I can provide any more information.

As I said I have very minimal experience with these things. I'd like to learn to handle our required changes myself, and so I guess my question has 3 forks. Where can I find a freelancer whom I can trust, and frankly, who is not too aggressively priced? Where can I begin to learn the skills I need so that this doesn't come up again? And how do I find the database host? For all I know this may be a local machine.

Josh

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First question - what do the access credentials give you - FTP access? Some sort of web based control panel access? –  paulmorriss Mar 21 '11 at 10:03
    
I have access credentials for the DB directly, a set for FTP, a separate set for the content management system, and another set for the web host. At the web host, there does not appear to be DB hosting. There is also a set of local and web config strings. –  zenbike Mar 21 '11 at 10:16

1 Answer 1

up vote 1 down vote accepted

It sounds like you've been left with enough access for someone who knows what they are doing to make the changes you need, apart from the question of where the database actually lives. (Sometimes the problems posted here on this site are that people don't have enough access.) If someone can access the site via FTP they can find a bit more about where the database is by looking through the code. So I would look for a freelancer with the appropriate skills. One thing that doesn't tie up though is that you say it's based on PHP, but that doesn't appear in the technology list, you've just got the Windows equivalent asp.net. If that list is correct you need someone with those skills, not PHP. Your question then becomes "how do I find a freelancer?" which is a separate question.

However you still have the problem of not knowing where the hosting is. At some point they are going to bill you so you'd find out then. If you want to send me the IP I can try and do some digging. My email is hosted by a company called iname.com and you can probably guess the bit before the @.

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As I said, I don't have the skills to know if it's ASP.net or PHP. I have some minimal knowledge of Ruby on Rails based on the fact that I'm trying to learn to use it, but that doesn't help me here. –  zenbike Mar 21 '11 at 10:57
    
If you can look at the files - if they end in .php they're php, if they end in .aspx then it's ASP.net. –  paulmorriss Mar 21 '11 at 11:08
    
You are correct, it is ASP.net. As I said I have very minimal experience with these things. I'd like to learn to handle our required changes myself, and so I guess my question has 3 forks. Where can I find a freelancer whom I can trust, and frankly, who is not too aggressively priced? Where can I begin to learn the skills I need so that this doesn't come up again? And how do I find the database host? For all I know this may be a local machine. –  zenbike Mar 21 '11 at 11:08
    
Your email is your user here plus @ plus previous info? –  zenbike Mar 21 '11 at 11:11
    
Can you describe the changes needed, so that I can point you in the right direction. I often have to learn enough to fix something, but don't have the opportunity to pick up a subject properly. (I'm not offering myself as I've only done a bit of asp.net stuff.) As for the freelancer, I've heard of freelancer.com but know nothing about them. In answer to the question about my email - yes. –  paulmorriss Mar 21 '11 at 11:24

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