Databases for non-database geeks

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by KatmanDu, Sep 22, 2009.

  1. KatmanDu macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2007
    Location:
    NE Georgia
    #1
    I'm looking for a database app that's relatively simple to use but powerful enough to handle my task... sometimes mutually exclusive criteria, I know. I'm trying to create a database to handle employee information, training scheduling, and equipment inventory for a medium-small Sheriff's Office. Employee information is simple; I'd also like the ability to 1) enter equipment, including consumable items, uniforms, and duty gear and 2) issue that equipment to employees and track it who has been issued what, as well as return those items to inventory when they're returned by the employee. Training would require a table of classes that can be offered and a way to sign employees up for those classes, to track how many and which employee is attending a class. Oh, and I'd also like a pony.

    In itself, not too complex a database. I'm not a db guru by any stretch of the imagination, but we don't have an IT staff and very little money in the budget, so if I want it I'll have to create it myself. I've tried Bento, but you can't search across related tables in Bento- if I want to search to see who was assigned Glock Serial# ABC123, I can't.

    So... looking for suggestions for a db program that's a little more powerful than Bento, but as easy to use.
     
  2. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    London
  3. ksmith80209 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2007
    #3
    I'd recommend using one of the online Platform-as-a-Service systems such as TeamDesk, Zoho Creator, Perfect Forms, etc. I've found them to be secure, easy to work with, and much more flexible than most standalone systems.
     
  4. iShater macrumors 604

    iShater

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2002
    Location:
    Chicagoland
    #4
    How much time do you think it will take you to build it, test it, deploy it and maintain it?

    Down the road, long term costs might be more than buying something that other departments might be using.

    IMHO. :eek:
     
  5. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #5
    There's filemaker and bento, the latter is geared towards the consumer who does not want to get into the nitty gritty of databases.

    There's also openoffice, they have a database program that's presumably similar to MS access. I've not used this but give them a look
     
  6. peetah macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2009
    #6
    Oracle XE is free. Works on Mac, Windows and Linux.

    Migrating from XE to its more powerful brethren will be very easy when you need to cross that bridge.
     
  7. iShater macrumors 604

    iShater

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2002
    Location:
    Chicagoland
    #7
    I think the issue here is the application running in front of the database, I doubt he will be running queries manually to update/get data.

    But I do concur that having an "enterprise" database behind the scenes will make support for additional tools and migrating to other databases easier in the future.
     
  8. peetah macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2009
    #8
    Well, if he has Microsoft Access installed on his Windows PCs then he can use forms in Access to access the database through an ODBC connection. Failing that, he can create some javascript and a bunch of HTML pages to create the front end.

    I'm mentioning Microsoft Access because I highly doubt that a government office of any type will have a Mac on the front window or on their desks except in the backroom.
     

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