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Database query?

2007-01-10 19:35:28.676431+00 by Dan Lyke 6 comments

The Marin Cyclists need a solution for their user database. Passing around a spreadsheet isn't working. Filemaker has been bandied about as a solution, but I'm unclear as to whether you can point that at a MySQL database over ODBC or similar and have it just work, including relatively novice users saying "I want to add a field", as that would give us a reasonable shared solution that would also let my SQL stuff that I've used for coordinating volunteers run reasonably.

Anyone got experience with something that has a decent desktop front-end and talks to a real SQL database on the back-end?

[ related topics: Open Source Bay Area Databases ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2007-01-10 20:25:47.282424+00 by: radix

Forgive me for mentioning Micro$oft, but M$ Access is the tool I use for desktop access to remote RDBMSes via ODBC. Please do note that M$ Access fails badly on large datasets, but if your database is relatively small, it should be just fine.

#Comment Re: made: 2007-01-10 20:32:20.233924+00 by: Dan Lyke

Hmmm... If enough of us are running Windows that might be just the right forms tool. Unfortunately, I don't see it as a part of the Mac version of Office, or any other mention that there's a Mac version.

I'll have to see how that flies.

#Comment Re: made: 2007-01-10 22:17:12.390723+00 by: meuon

GeekLabs GAS - Unzip on a LAMP webserver, edit/run "genesis.sh", login via web as admin (read the readme file for the default passwords) and.. well, the demo table is 'rolodex'. You can change any/all fields except for 'uniq' which it uses for a key. I need to do GAS 2.0, and include the export as XLS, CXV and XML stuff.

#Comment Re: made: 2007-01-10 23:24:22.236762+00 by: Dan Lyke

That looks like a cool start. I'd like something a little more GUI-ish, but I may end up doing that just to get something running!

#Comment Re: made: 2007-01-11 01:04:22.740571+00 by: meuon

I can customize GAS -very- quickly, and like I said, I need to do a version 2. GAS is over a year(2?) old.. and because -all- I've been doing for that year+ is PHP/MySQL/CSS/JavaScript/Flash/etc.. coding, my skills and thoughts are a little different then they were then.

#Comment Re: made: 2007-01-11 14:31:36.617385+00 by: ebradway

Access was one of the best acquisitions Microsoft ever made and it's problems with large tables (really big - hundreds of thousands or millins of records) help lead to their acquisition of rights to the Sybase ASE code and the creation of SQL Server (and the abomination to ANSI/ISO SQL of spaces in field and table names).

That said, Access is really cool for really small projects and works great for reporting. But I've spent enough time in Access to know that if you want something that works well for a long time and for lots of users (including Mac users who are left entirely in the dark), use something like meuon's GAS.

An appication consisting of generated static HTML forms talking to MySQL or PostgreSQL is amazingly robust. The only thing that's really lacking compared to traditional DBMS form packages is decent field validation. But we've beat that horse dead years ago...