Database recommendations?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by chrisman9, Nov 26, 2017.

  1. chrisman9 macrumors member

    chrisman9

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    Nov 13, 2016
    #1
    Dear iMacsters, Im using a late 2012 iMac with ElCapitan. Do you know if this edition carries with it any basic Database software. Im simply interested, at this time, in entering about 250 pieces of information that I would like to alphabetize and be able to 'search' key words and such. Thanks.
     
  2. Bart Kela Suspended

    Bart Kela

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    #2
    Macs do not come preloaded with end user database applications.

    For a while purchasers of new Macs have been able to download the iWork suite (word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation tools). The spreadsheet application known as Numbers (downloadable via the Mac App Store) might fit your needs. I do not know if you are eligible for a free download, but if you are I suggest you try it out before you seek third-party solutions.
     
  3. MacGizmo macrumors 65816

    MacGizmo

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    #3
    Try LibreOffice. It's free, open source and has a Database component to it.
     
  4. damir.sijercic macrumors newbie

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  5. mailbuoy macrumors member

    mailbuoy

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    #5
    If you have Pages you could enter your data in a table. From there you can sort and search.
     
  6. spooklog macrumors regular

    spooklog

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    #6
    Try Googling "database software mac" if you'd like to see non-Apple solutions. I used FileMaker long ago and found it powerful and easy to use.
     
  7. theluggage macrumors 68040

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    Jul 29, 2011
    #7
    Powerful: incredibly powerful - the words "sledgehammer", "nut" and "would be an understatement" spring to mind.

    Free: absolutely (and, last time I looked, already installed on MacOS)

    Suitable for @chrisman9's application: Its a Relational Database Management System for building industrial strength database backends to (usually) custom-witten software... so while I'm not going to assume that they aren't fluent in SQL and aren't interested in/capable of writing their own app, the odds are not looking good.

    Trouble is, nobody seems to be making nutcrackers anymore - There used to be Filemaker and "Filemaker Bento" - but AFAIK all that is available now is the $$$ "professional" version. I suspect the truth is that, for "personal" databases for which a simple flat-file is adequate, everybody just uses spreadsheets.

    LibreOffice/OpenOffice base seems like the best (free) suggestion.
     
  8. Abiatha Swelter macrumors member

    Abiatha Swelter

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    Jun 5, 2015
    #8
    Now, it isn't, but there's a package available for Mac that makes installing and managing it pretty easy (menu-bar stop-start server controls). But yeah, using it to sort a small list is tremendous overkill.
     
  9. Michael MP2 macrumors member

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    Nov 2, 2017
    #9
    Filemaker Pro Advanced, by FAR.

    Records doesn't do basic calculations, and iDatabase lacks features, more than Records at least, but poor UI.

    Failing that, use Excel.
     
  10. sracer macrumors G3

    sracer

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    Apr 9, 2010
    #10
    Here are some of the tools that I use for that purpose...

    For simple "flat-file" database needs:
    iWork Numbers, LibreOffice Spreadsheet, and Bento (yes, it still works). On rare occasion, I'll use MS Works and ClarisWorks for Windows in a Windows VM. (I will eventually get around to creating a WINE wrapper for them)

    For relational database needs:
    LibreOffice Base.

    I know that flat-file databases have fallen out of favor over the last 20-30 years, but for simple use cases like yours (and many of mine) they work out the best. Using a relational database like FileMaker Pro or LibreOffice Base, is like using a flamethrower in the house to swat a fly.
     
  11. hobowankenobi macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    While FileMaker is the best choice for folks learning to manage complex data sets with moderate to more advanced DB needs...it is very powerful, and overkill in both features and cost.

    Based on the OP description, I would suggest Records. Free demo, nothing to lose. Records is a bit like an updated copy of old Filemaker, back in the day, when it was much more simple. About version 4 or so.

    12 bucks vs. $329. There is about zero chance any normal person would spend well over $300 to sort and search a small data set. Heck, many would think twice about spending $12!
     
  12. sracer macrumors G3

    sracer

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    Apr 9, 2010
    #12
    That's an excellent recommendation! I've not heard of Records before, but it looks like it will easily do the job. I'm going to kick the tires on it and if it does what I hope it will, I'd glad pay the $13.
     
  13. psingh01 macrumors 65816

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    Apr 19, 2004
    #13
    I use tap forms for simple things. I replaced bento with this when that thing stop being updated:

    https://www.tapforms.com

    Works nice, stores data on the cloud. iOS and macOS versions so you can access it from both.
     
  14. sracer, Nov 28, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2017

    sracer macrumors G3

    sracer

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    #14
    Another nice one!

    edit: $35 for the Mac version, $11 for iOS. That's going to require more involved testing before buying.
     
  15. jaduff46 macrumors 6502

    jaduff46

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    #15
    I've used 4th Dimension, Filemaker (early), Excel for such things although the first two were much more complex projects.

    Both Tapforms and Records look reasonable and either/both are worth the small investment to see if they meet your needs. Records for $13 seems like a no-brainer to try. May do so myself just to see.
     
  16. hobowankenobi macrumors 6502a

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    #16
    Another web-based—great for collaberation—option is AirTable.

    For smaller projects and lists it is free. Which is a pretty good price.
     
  17. NoBoMac macrumors 68020

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    Jul 1, 2014
    #17
    For such a (apparently) small dataset, I'd go the spreadsheet route. In specific order:
    1. OpenOffice/LibreOffice Calc: open source, open format, no vendor computing environment lock-in (ie. cross platform between Macs, Windows, Linux, other)
    2. Google Docs: can handle same format as above, platform agnostic-ish in that just need a browser
    3. Office Excel: closed format, but, the 800 pound gorilla, works on Windows, Mac, iOS, Android
    4. Apple Numbers: closed format, only on Macs and iOS, and goodness knows if/when might pull the plug on that suite
     
  18. chrisman9 thread starter macrumors member

    chrisman9

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    Nov 13, 2016
    #18
    Dear sracer, Im at last preparing to do my 'data organizing' and took your counsel and downloaded 'Records' Their website looked good and they offered a trial download so I did. But when I tried to open it the message Igot was that there are zero days left on my trial and, of course, a button to cancel or purchase. So Ive yet to try the thing out. Any suggestions on getting to try Records ? Thanks for your help
     
  19. 960design macrumors 68030

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    Apr 17, 2012
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    Destin, FL
    #19
    Tiger Asset Management for offline database that can be accessed with just about anything with a browser. Currently free.
    https://www.myassettag.com/assettiger/

    All iCloud accounts get a free online version of Pages, Keynote and Numbers.
    https://icloud.com

    All Macs/iPads/iPhones enjoy free copies of the Apple software: Pages, Keynote and Numbers available via the app store.
     
  20. chrisman9 thread starter macrumors member

    chrisman9

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2016
    #20
    Dear Mailbuoy, Sorry for the long delay. I DO have 'Pages' and have only used it previously for typing letters. I have briefly tinkered with the 'table' option. It looks daunting to me yet I have begun my intended list of 250 or so 'pieces' of information (they are short phrases, sayings) and have a list og 10 so far. But I havent found how to, as youve said, 'sort and search' Im envisioning some kind of 'searchbar' as in, say, itunes. Can you advise on how to search/organize my early entries so I can determine whether to continue entries. I dont want to just have a 'fixed' list of my data with no means of organizing/ reorganizing it. Thanks for your help
     
  21. mailbuoy macrumors member

    mailbuoy

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    Davidsonville, MD
    #21
    The heading for each column in your table includes a small dropdown arrow. Clicking on that gives you several options, including sorting in ascending or descending order. Your entire table sorts according to the order in your selected column.

    For searching, Command-F gives you a dialogue box where you can enter your search word/phrase.

    I agree with the general theme of other posters that there are much better database apps than a table in Pages (I use Tap Forms 5). My recommendation was based on your problem statement - if you only have 250 items then the Pages table would be relatively simple. I also assumed (oops!) that you had a one time need - get your info alphabetized and done.
     
  22. chrisman9 thread starter macrumors member

    chrisman9

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2016
    #22
    Dear Mailbuoy, Ive been fiddling with Pages Tables and it appears that having built a full page of 4 columns, 19 rows, (76 entries) that the 'sort ascending/descending' function will do so for only the column where the dropdown choices were offered. You are right that selecting, say 'ascending' does alphabetize IN THAT COLUMN, and it does affect the entry-sequence in other columns (3 in my case,) but IN SOME WAY that I cannot decipher. Curious.

    My clumsy idea is to make my entries (~250ish) in a Single Column. But my retisence is that printing them will waste alot of paper. Any suggestions ?? Thanks for your help

    PS The command F 'sort' option is really primitive (caveat: in some cases, primitive may be a favorable feature)
     
  23. mailbuoy macrumors member

    mailbuoy

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    #23
    I
    If I understand what you are saying, it sounds like you were using multiple columns in a table only to save paper - that you are not using columns because all the data in each row is related. If that is correct then really your data should be entered in a single column. When you sort a table by one of the columns, each row remains the same, although the rows are reordered in the table based on the sort of the selected column.

    Maybe your best bet is to use columns (vice table) and alphabetize your 250 items manually as you type them?

    CMD-F brings up the search capability (not sort) - your original post said you wanted to be able to search by key words. I think you will find that search works well.
     
  24. chrisman9 thread starter macrumors member

    chrisman9

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2016
    #24

    Dear mailbuoy, Thanks for your reply. Im a tad disgruntled with the Pages Table offereing, but as is said, 'you get what you pay for.' I will likely continue with the 2/3rds of the entries I still have, and live with it. But in case, where would I find 'Tap Forms 5' you mentioned earlier, and is it 'too much' for my needs and is it expensive?

    Also, for the record, and fun of it, , Im sure that I cannot understand how the algorithm influences 'the other three' columns, when I select sort ascending/descending in one of the 4 columns. thanks again for your help
     
  25. mailbuoy macrumors member

    mailbuoy

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    #25
    If alphabetizing this one list of about 250 items is your only database need than I think TapForms 5 is more than you need. It is available from the App Store and from https://www.tapforms.com. There is a free trial on the web site, also.

    Good luck!
     

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25 November 26, 2017