This is a repost because it was brought to my attention that the previous forum I posted in was incorrect.
I'm a fairly accomplished graphics designer who has recently delved into the world of web design. The first thing I did was take a course and to become certified in Flash and Dreamweaver CS6. Now I'm on my third client, and he has the following request.
He is a dentist who wants to make it easier on the patients by having them fill out their forms online and submit them over a SSL. He has already purchased the SSL from GoDaddy, and just needs me to set it up so that a patient fills out the form, submits it somehow, and he gets it in an email.
Seems fairly simple to me, I just have no idea how to begin. I really only know HTML and CSS, so I need some help. Thankfully, my client is extremely flexible and has given me the liberty to do it any way possible, as long as it works and is secure. Does anyone have any idea how I would go about doing this?
Patient information is confidential. Sorry, but e-mail is not secure. If the patient's insurance info, history, etc... falls into the wrong hands, it could be a HUGE problem for everyone.
Given your lack of experience with server-side security and the encryption protocols necessary to protect sensitive data, my advice is to run, run, run away from this project...
To accompolish what you need to do, you need to use a database and a serverside programming language. PHP and Mysql are typically used for this. Although PHP and MySQL are pretty easy to learn, they are significantly more diffuclt to learn than HTML and CSS.
You need to send the data to a database instead of to an email, and this is a great deal more involved.
I do PHP/MySQL programming for a living. Although this is a simple project, it probably isn't worth the bother and expense for your dentist client.
Rob has provided you with the initial set of tasks that you will need to get started with : Learning about how to use databases and a server side programming language. Like Nancy says, it is going to be a uphill task if you don't have sufficient time on your hands.
Maybe you could start with those and then come back with more questions for us.