Help to find the right database

45 pts.
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Database
Flat files
I am looking, I think, for an inexpensive flat file database that I can use to record scientific data. I've been using PCFiles but need to update. Suggestions please.

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  • carlosdl
    Why do you need to update?  What are the benefits you expect to get from updating to another database?

    Why does it have to be a "flat file" database?

    How exactly do you plan to use it?
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  • RichardMoore
    Thanks for your answer. The PCFiles program is on an old 286 computer (which does not have internet access). I can no longer store the data on floppy discs as they are too large.
    The reason I said flat file database was because I thought it would be easier, but I would be happy to hear other suggestions.
    I have tried Oracle and Access database programs and I am unable to understand or get anywhere with either of them. Incidentally my computer knowledge is very limited.
    The plan for use is to create a page with all the details on of up to 25 fields (with a maximum length of 50 characters, though a lot are shorter). Then put the information I have on the page and save each page as individual numbered records much in the way that PCFiles works.
    Any advise you are able to give or suggestions will be appreciated.
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  • carlosdl
    It seems that you don't need any of the additional features even a simple relational database like SQLite would provide.

    How about using CSV (comma separated) files on a Spreadsheet, like OpenOffice's Calc?
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  • carlosdl
    I included a couple of links in my previous post, but it appears to have caused the site's spam filter to catch it, so here it is again, without the links:

    -----------------------

    It seems that you don't need any of the additional features even a simple dbms like SQLite would provide.

    How about using CSV files on a Spreadsheet, like OpenOffice's Calc?
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  • Genderhayes
    Try the SDSU Library full text access hundreds of databases All have different coverage also specialized data will be helpful
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  • RichardMoore
    I'll have a look at the SDSU library, thank you for the information.
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  • carlosdl
    @Genderhayes: I'm having a hard time trying to understand how the SDSU Library could help RichardMoore.  Could you please explain?

    Thank you.
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  • Genderhayes
    Microsoft  access stores data in its own format builds software applications works well with small database too
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  • carlosdl
    My last attempt:

    @Genderhayes: It just seems that you confused threads and are posting completely unrelated comments here.

    What are you talking about?
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  • RichardMoore
    for carlosdl

    Further to your last comments, as far as I am aware both Oracle and Access databases put the details in spreadsheet form. However, this is not what I want (possibly up to four A4 sheets wide which is awkward and cumbersome).
    With all the fields on a single page it is easy to enter new records. I also need to be able to find records full-filling certain criteria (up to four fields) and to be able to prepare reports.
    My apologies for taking more of your time. Richard
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  • carlosdl
    I'm not sure to understand part of your last comment.  Using a spreadsheet you can have all of your data in a single sheet.  Since you have many fields, you will not be able to see them all on the screen at the same time, but you can move to the right/left as needed to see the non visible ones.  All fields would be on a single page, and it would be easy to insert new records.

    As for finding records, a spreadsheet doesn't have a feature to design queries, like databases have, but you could use filters, which provide similar functionality and are easier to use.

    How do you prepare your reports with PCFiles?

    Feel free to clarify anything, or just continue the conversation.  This is what this site is for, so no reason to apologize at all.
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  • carlosdl
    Unfortunately I have never used PCFiles, so I don't have any idea of how it works that could help me understand what you expect from its replacement.
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  • RichardMoore
    I have taken the data for SQLite and printed it off, but have not had time to study it yet; nor have I tried to download the program.
    As you suspected I was unable to find anything useful at SDSU.

    PCFiles is a database that was developed by Jim Button in the mid 1980s and was then found on Buttonware. It is a DOS based system and hence not of much use now. I believe a version 7 of the program was done some years ago but only for use on mobile phones.
    Very basic details as follows :
    Fields of a length decided by you and spread out however you want on a page. Not all fields have to have entries.
    As a starting guide :
    Genus [20 characters]
    Species [25 characters]
    Author [25 charcters]     etc
    The square brackets [ ] are part of the program
    With different controls you can repeat all fields or some fields onto a new record. The program automatically numbers all records.
    The search facility will find whichever records have what is being looked for.
    The reports will again show whatever records fill the search criteria.
    (My usual use of reports is to show what has been recorded on the current year.)

    I may not have explained this very well, but please ask if you need further details. Your thoughts will be appreciated. Richard
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  • carlosdl
    I believe SQLite would be a good fit.  If you decide to give it a go, there is a Firefox' add-on called "SQLite Manager" that lets you work with SQLite databases from the browser, and it is very user-friendly.
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