Databasics IV: Streamlining data entry

In the previous tutorial I discussed some guidelines for creating data entry screens that are easy to use. In this tutorial, we’ll put those guidelines into action by refining the membership database we introduced in part two of this series. I’ll step...

Databasics III: Data entry design

It’s staggering how many shareware and commercial database applications have appalling data entry screens. Many developers seem to think that well-oiled inner workings are all that’s needed to sell an application, when any user knows that, when you get...

Databasics II: Creating your first database

This tutorial guides you through building a simple, single-file database. In a single-file database, also known as a flat-file database, you put all your information into a single table. This is the simplest form of database to create, but it has some serious...

Databasics I: Records & queries & keys, oh my!

What’s a database? If you think of word processors as… well… processors of words, and spreadsheets as number processors, then you can think of databases as processors of unstructured information, aka “data”. Feed a database data in any sort of guise...

A database dictionary

database: A collection of related information stored in a structured format. Database is often used interchangeably with the term table (Lotus Approach, for instance, uses the term database instead of table). Technically, they’re different: A table is a single...

The year of the database

I’ve put the Kindle and the Sony Reader aside for a day to finish writing my latest comparative review of database software for Australian PC User magazine. I’ve been writing such reviews since the early 1980s, when dBASE was top dog in the database stakes. It was a...