In Database 101 you learned never to distribute the sensitive database password along with your program, since all a person has to do is reverse engineer the program, find where you actually need the original password for authentication, then echo/print that line. However when you have multiple remote programs that need to talk to a central database, what do you do?
My hackish solutions used to involve PHP, tons of
GET variables, and JSON. I would make a request to the server with a set mode and parameters, then parse the JSON output. It was buggy, not entirely secure (only slowed an attacker down) since I didn't have any registration mechanism, hard to scale, and made all existing ORM's useless. Besides, it was attempting to reinvent SSH or SSL, not something that's too terribly smart.
What's the alternative though? What other options are out there that can provide security for the database while making it easy on me?