Boyce Tankersley
Fri, 03 Oct 2003 11:58:28 PDT
Hi Arnold:

This is a question for which there are as many 'ultimate databases' as there are bulb growers. At Chicago Botanic Garden we have an Access database that stores all of our information about our plant collection. Currently the database has columns to hold 110 different fields of information for our 2.2 million plants (rows of information). Because of the size of our job, our Access is configured as a relational database as alluded to by Jim Shields in an earlier email. The database we have at work is overkill for what I have at home but may be appropriate for some of the more avid bulb enthusiasts on this list. We find it very useful because it is 'off the shelf' in contrast to other software packages that are very expensive to purchase and because it is so commonly used we can get help and/or classes when we need them.

Excel spreadsheets have come a long way, and current versions permit images to be imbedded in the spreadsheet and called up with the click of a icon. If I was going to enter all of my scraps of paper with names and sources that I keep for the home bulbs into a software application it would probably be Excel. It is very forgiving of mistakes and errors in the design and setup of the table. It is much more difficult however to create a report of a subset of the information (in my experience) and the Excel file I maintain on the plants brought back from Republic of Georgia (until they leave the nursery and are planted in the Gardens, when the information is moved to the Access database) would easily wallpaper a wall if I printed the whole thing.

For Mac/Apple users, FoxPro has many of the same characteristics as Access has for PC users.

Unfortunately, we've found databases created in Microsoft Access 97 to be incompatible with Access 2000 and later versions.

DOS database applications like dBase have also evolved a great deal and some of the more recent versions are supposed to be Windows compatible but I can't speak from personal experience.

Boyce Tankersley

-----Original Message-----
From: Arnold Trachtenberg []
Sent: Friday, October 03, 2003 11:54 AM
To: Pacific Bulb Society
Subject: [pbs] Re: Databases

I know that Mary Sue has worked hard to keep the "topics of the week" 
flowing but I just came upon a topic that I think we all could use some 
input on.  I need a data base to store information on all my bulbs.  I 
am sure that we all  have improvised some sort of system for keeping 
track of where we planted, where we got from and how it grows and flowers.

So, is there any " expert" out there that has the ultimate data base we 
all could use or does anyone have suggestions as to what the data base 
should contain..  I am sure that there is one better than the one I have 

New Jersey

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