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Novice server advice for creating Web portal site

I am going to attempt put together a Web portal site and would like your recommendation as to going with Oracle server software, Microsoft server software, or other backend software, based on the fact that I am a complete novice. I will have to figure it all out for myself, so I need the easiest and the cheapest yet the most functional.

This is highly subjective. Ask three different professionals, and you'll probably get three different answers.

In my opinion, the Microsoft products are the easiest for the novice to get working quickly. That doesn't mean that I'd recommend that a complete novice try to set things up single-handedly! While it will cost you quite a bit to get someone to help you get started, it will be money well spent.

A reasonably talented professional can create a Web site in hours that would likely take months for a novice to create. This allows you to devote your time to creating content, which is what makes a Web site valuable to its users.

Assuming that you decide to go with a professional, let them use their tools of choice. Any of the major database products (Microsoft, IBM, Oracle, etc) will do most jobs without breaking a sweat. Whichever Web layout tool they are comfortable using will produce the results you need in less time than forcing them to use another tool.

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