Database research Query 1

Mary Sue Ittner
Wed, 22 Oct 2003 20:34:59 PDT
Dear All,

I too use data bases which I find much superior to spread sheets when you 
are searching and want to come up with a whole list of things that are 
alike. Like Jane I use Filemaker Pro
although my husband uses Access (I enjoyed hearing someone else call it 
Excess.) I find it very irritating with a lot of Microsoft products that if 
you don't keep updating you can't communicate with people who have the same 
product. I am sure Access can do some of the same things that Filemaker 
can, but I am still irritated that it was so difficult to transfer an old 
flower d-base I started with into Access. I finally figured out how to do 
it through trial and error, but didn't write it down and then when I wanted 
to do another one I had to struggle again. The help screens weren't helpful 
and I am sure they didn't want you to be able to do it easily.

If I was creating one I definitely want one where information could be 
shared cross platform and easily exported into something commonly used. In 
Filemaker you can save files in many different formats including htm table 
format which I have found very useful when I want to send something to 
friends who have a Mac and can't open Excel files or Word docs.

One of the things I don't like about filemaker is that you can't highlight 
a lot of things and then copy them somewhere else. You have to export which 
is much more time consuming so I'd like to be able to highlight a whole 
record or a whole layout and copy it so I can quickly take it somewhere else.

As for fields the important thing would be to allow the individual to 
create whatever they wanted. I still haven't gotten over how many fields 
Boyce said they had for the Chicago Botanic Gardens: "Currently the 
database has columns to hold 110 different fields of information for our 
2.2 million plants (rows of information)." I think data bases are very 
personal. We all of us may have different things we want to record and that 
is fine.

I like to include the country of origin and the habitat information as that 
helps me figure out how to grow it. I also like to keep track of when 
plants break dormancy and when they bloom. I just find it interesting to 
see if there is a year to year pattern. Also I don't panic if a pot is 
still not showing life when I know that it is late to come up.

Mary Sue

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