Embeddable Application with database access and possible automatic signup.
I have a project request from a client, and I am still relatively new to Php and Mysql, so I'm not sure about all of my options. I'm writing this topic in search of feedback regarding the possibilities and direction that I should take in achieving the clients goals. In all honestly, I'm not 100% certain that the project is even possible. I just not that well versed yet.
The client has a website, and it's on a "hosted" CMS. To define the terms of hosted, the best example would be something like "Ning", where the client does not really have root level database access or server access, and all of the back end greatness happens for them automatically. Ultimately that is a great headache for myself and the client, because new features/applications require extra steps to implement. Steps that I'm not even sure really exist. That's where I need the feedback.
The client needs to add the functionality of adding a list of vendors/businesses to the site. Much like "Angie's List", he would like the list of vendors to display on a page for other members of his site to cycle through them, rate them based off of performance, and also search through them based on their category of services offered. The adding of the vendors would be done by the client, and should update a csv file that contains the full list of vendors. The file should be available for download to the client as needed.
The big question
The company that hosts the CSM the client is using does not offer any substantial API. For example, linking databases is not going to be possible. There is no access at all to the back end of coding, or the database.
Is this something that can even be done? My thoughts are that I'd essentially have to create an entirely new website scenario, and then let this whole project be embedded onto another website. Those are only my thoughts however, and I don't have any know how or direction on what to study to know if this can be accomplished, and if so what I need to do to make it happen.
Based on my ramblings here, what is it that I need to do?
Thanks in advance,