Author Topic: Paging database pros  (Read 123 times)

Hawkmoon

  • friend
  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 25,903
Paging database pros
« on: January 18, 2023, 06:39:53 PM »
I asked a similar question some time ago, but now I'm back from a new slant. I'm working on a book about setting up a home office on a small budget, so I discuss everything from the desk to the computer to software from the perspective of cheaper is better, and free is best.

Most home office workers probably won't ever need an actual database beyond some pre-fab address book or contact manager. For those who might need something more, there's Access (if they have Microsoft Office Professional or Microsoft 365) and there's LibreOffice Base. Are there any other freeware database programs that a rookie might be able to use without a massive learning curve?
- - - - - - - - - - - - -
100% Politically Incorrect by Design

fifth_column

  • friend
  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1,660
Re: Paging database pros
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2023, 06:44:34 PM »
For contact management, I've been using Hubspot.com. It's an online tool and the free version does everything I need for managing business leads. Admittedly, my needs are pretty basic.
Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will... The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress. ― Frederick Douglass

No American citizen should be willing to accept a government that uses its power against its own people.  -  Catherine Engelbrecht

Hawkmoon

  • friend
  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 25,903
Re: Paging database pros
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2023, 08:40:47 PM »
I'm looking for free database software that will do more than contact management.
- - - - - - - - - - - - -
100% Politically Incorrect by Design

Hawkmoon

  • friend
  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 25,903
Re: Paging database pros
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2023, 10:26:02 PM »
Hmmm ... I found two candidates, neither of which I encountered when I was on a similar quest two years ago.

Kexi

NSBase (apparently from France)

Has anyone heard of either of them? Know anything about them?
- - - - - - - - - - - - -
100% Politically Incorrect by Design

AZRedhawk44

  • friends
  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 13,438
Re: Paging database pros
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2023, 09:17:51 AM »
Honestly, about 23 years ago I dove into LAMP (Linux/Apache/MySQL/PHP) and it was the best thing I could have ever done for myself, career-wise.

As one of those basket-weaving "Asian Studies" graduates with an unmarketable degree (but a pronounced underdeveloped skillset in electronics and computing) I taught myself relational database theory by accident while learning MySQL and PHP in order to build a mileage reimbursement database and program.  Built the whole damn thing with bash, vi, and the mysql CLI.  I turned it into a career where I'm in the top of my field in the Phoenix market, specializing in Microsoft SQL Server and performance oriented database design.

One doesn't have to go to such extremes though.  MySQL is an open source database engine and it can be administered or accessed via Toad or PHPMyAdmin rather than its default CLI. 

To that point, MS SQL Express Edition is a reasonably featured and free version of the latest version of Microsoft SQL Server.  It can be administered with SQL Server Management Studio, which is a free download from Microsoft.  It allows databases up to 10GB in size and up to 10 simultaneous connections before throttling itself and attempting to compel you to move to SQL Standard Edition.

There's really no point working with any RDBMS that doesn't have a dedicated processing engine.  Access and Base are ugly tools, IMO.

There are dozens of people at my company that aren't former DBA's or software devs that know T-SQL.  It's a very marketable skill.  It has slight variations from Oracle to MySQL to MS-SQL, but the core language remains cross platform compatible for the most part.  The hard part of learning databases isn't the T-SQL, it's the relational database theory and understanding normalization.
"But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain - that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case, it is unfit to exist."
--Lysander Spooner

I reject your authoritah!

Bogie

  • friend
  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 9,585
  • Hunkered in South St. Louis, right by Route 66
    • Third Rate Pundit
Re: Paging database pros
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2023, 09:54:25 AM »
Back when I was running Synergicare, and data mining for contact info for nursing homes, etc., my data miners basically just copied stuff into Microsoft Word, because it was simple... I then did some cleanup macros, and parsed it to import into Excel where I did a little bit of extra cleanup, and from there exported to a file that my mailmerge stuff could deal with.
 
I didn't use a real database program for the initial data entry because that would have been a LOT slower...
 
I ended up with about 15,000 contacts in a dozen states...
Blog under construction

Nick1911

  • Administrator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8,246
Re: Paging database pros
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2023, 10:05:17 AM »
I use MariaDB for personal projects, which is a FOSS fork of MySQL.  Fair amount of Oracle stuff at work.  But, that's probably not what you're looking for.  These DB's have CLI interfaces and are generally intended to be interacted with via API's.

AZRedhawk44

  • friends
  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 13,438
Re: Paging database pros
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2023, 05:30:59 PM »
Bogie and Nick make good points that data entry is slow with any RDBMS.  It's probably faster with Access, but you're still typing by hand in that.

MS-SQL is exceedingly easy to do individual record entry by hand without having to know how to code an actual T-SQL insert statement, through SQL Server Management Studio.  SSMS also grants access to simple excel-to-SQL import tools to allow you to import entire spreadsheets into tables if you already have the data.  However, with any database system you will have to learn the logic of join relationships and apply them somehow to make any meaningful work from your data.
"But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain - that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case, it is unfit to exist."
--Lysander Spooner

I reject your authoritah!