Newbie database question

Discussion in 'Mac Programming' started by MadDoc, May 19, 2005.

  1. macrumors 6502


    Apr 25, 2005

    I'm a hobbist programmer and I have been coding with RealBasic for a couple of years now. I have a project in mind that is somewhat more ambitious than anything I have attempted before.

    I am intending to write a patient management system for my father's GP practice. The trouble is, although I feel I am (reasonably) proficient in RB, I have never used any form of database software before.

    I understand that (if I upgrade to the Pro version) RB can interface with many popular database softwares (such as various flavours of SQL, Oracle, Valentina, etc) and can be used to write a "front end" for the database.

    My question is that the first port of call is obviously to build the database that will house my data (i.e. all the data about the patients in my dad's practice) but where on Earth do I start? Firstly, I do not know which database format to use (e.g. MySQL, postgreSQL, etc). Even if I had decided on the format, how do you actually build the database? Does the database building all have to be done in code? Is there no software that allows you to create tables, records and entries in a GUI format and then I can write the access to this database and add to it via RealBasic?

    Sorry if these questions are really simple but I had never even heard of SQL until yesterday :eek:

    Thanks in advance,

  2. macrumors 68000


    Oct 26, 2003
    Cardiff, Wales
    Hey MadDoc.

    RealBasic can create its own databases, I dont know anything about "how powerful they are" but I doubt this matters for your, probably, simple database. You must remember, however, that Patient records have to be encrypted (and I think its law). I have no clue about that.

    However to make a RB Database goto File Menu -> ADD Data Source -> New REAL Database.

    Have a tinker with that. I've always found it quite easy to use and I'm by no means a "proficient" RB user.
  3. thread starter macrumors 6502


    Apr 25, 2005
    Thanks for the advice SpaceMagic.

    You're right about the encryption - it's something that I will implement. The trouble with the RB database that I have read about it that it is single-user only :( No good for a practice with about 15 employees :(
  4. macrumors 6502a


    Nov 13, 2004
    Cincinnati, OH
    If you don't know any SQL, then use access. I assume for a business that the platform of choice would be windows.

    1) You know basic and access has VB functionality
    2) You can build a frontend in it, so it's basically a mini-application
    3) It's simple
    4) You don't need to know SQL
    5) You can probally download a customer management access file and be 90% there.
    6) Don't have to mess with a server
    7) If you leave your dad can probally still work with it
    8) You might already have it
    9) It looks good on your resume even over real database, because it is very common (unless of course you were applying for a database job)
    10) Backing up is easy for everyone (copy -> paste)

    1) Not a true database (although for such a small userbase, this point doesnt matter)
    2) Not powerful (although you won't need power since all you are doing is keeping records)
    3) I believe only one person can use it at a time (or at least change data at a time)
    4) Access is stupid (but easy)

    For this project I recommend access, since its for a small practice. It's easy to use, I'm sure you'll build what you want in a day.

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