Best database?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by MarkW19, May 13, 2009.

  1. MarkW19 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2002
    Location:
    Surrey, UK
    #1
    I have a small business, and would like to have a simple/small database to enter all my clients' details into, with a category selectable for each (e.g. "new customer", "sole-trader"). At the very least, I'd like to be able to do mail-merge tasks, e.g. send a bulk email to all contacts in a category, personalised (e.g. "Dear Dave") with different variables enterable throughout the email; and also be able to print out envelope addresses for all contacts in a certain group (or those that I select).

    I'd also like to be able to see which clients have bought what products, so a check-list would be good for each entry so that I can then search later to see who's ordered certain products.

    Lastly, it would be fantastic if the database could create entries automatically from emails. We take most payments from PayPal, which obviously have set fields for name/address/amount etc., so if I can just either paste the entire email into the database for it to sort it into an entry for me, or I can do some sort of scripting in Mail so that all PayPal emails to my business are sent over to the database, that would be great...but perhaps I'm asking too much!

    Can anyone suggest anything?
     
  2. mysterytramp macrumors 65816

    mysterytramp

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Location:
    Maryland
    #2
    You'll get a lot of advice on whether you need Bento, FileMaker, Panorama or one of the SQL apps. I can't add much value on that, but on this:

    This definitely sounds like a job for AppleScript. Make sure the app you choose is scriptable. One of AS's strengths is to parse text and populate fields.

    mt
     
  3. MarkW19 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2002
    Location:
    Surrey, UK
    #3
    Thanks for the reply. Can anyone suggest a suitable SIMPLE database to use?

    Also, any tips re. the Apple scripting would be much appreciated...!
     
  4. LtRammstein macrumors 6502a

    LtRammstein

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2006
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #4
    Bento or FileMaker would be perfect to use with Applescripting.
     
  5. MarkW19 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2002
    Location:
    Surrey, UK
    #5
    Do you think Bento would be up to everything I want to do?

    I'd also ideally want to be able to invoice directly from the database to save me entering everything into Numbers again, is this possible, or do I need Numbers to do the calculations etc.?
     
  6. MarkW19 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2002
    Location:
    Surrey, UK
    #6
    Is Bento capable of splitting contacts into groups, then doing mass emails to specific groups with variables inserted?
     
  7. mysterytramp macrumors 65816

    mysterytramp

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Location:
    Maryland
    #7
    Filemaker has advertised Bento as being tightly integrated with Address Book and iCal ... Since you can establish groups in Address Book, my guess is you won't have too much trouble.

    As I recall, there's a Bento message board. A little googling might get your specific questions answered.

    mt
     
  8. TuffLuffJimmy macrumors G3

    TuffLuffJimmy

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #8
    There's a way to do this with Pages. Why they didn't integrate that into Mail I will never understand. The way it works in pages you have to Print out the letters and mail them the old fashion way.
     
  9. MarkW19 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2002
    Location:
    Surrey, UK
    #9
    Been looking into Bento, it looks like it's more for me as it's very easy to use (downloaded the FileMaker trial and while it looks very powerful, a bit more than I want I think).

    You can do Smart Collections to split entries into groups, but can't email groups directly from Bento (a shame), so I'd have to create groups within Address Book which is a bit messy.

    It also doesn't support scripting in the app itself, although I dare say I could do some stuff with exporting .csv files then importing into Numbers to create an invoice, then emailing etc.

    I've no idea how to get the data from the PayPal email into either Bento or Numbers though, by scripting...maybe the email needs to be exported as a text file and then imported?
     

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