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Which Wizard for Newbie?

 
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Wheelz
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 02, 2010 8:52 pm    Post subject: Which Wizard for Newbie? Reply with quote

Hi,

I'm totally new to Base or any database actually.
I have an existing OO spreadsheet containing a whole season's shooting score's for about 140 people.
It's divided into a sheet for each month containing weekly results and a sheet which collates the monthly data giving averages.

I'm tending to think that a database will better allow me to record and extract data for various types of reports, eg. event summaries, individuals performances, high scores, club scores etc.

Being new to this, I'd like to make sure I start correctly rather than get part way through and wish I'd taken a different path.

My problem is, looking through the various wizards I can't seem to find one that fits my data adequately. I can't even decide whether it should be Business or Personal.

Am I even able to utilize the spreadsheet I have in some way?

Any advise will be appreciated.

Thanks,
Pete
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RPG
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2010 2:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello

An answer on your question is difficult to give. If you are working in the same way as I do: With trial and error.

Maybe you can start with the table you have. You can make a database, based on your spreadshhets. This database can be for testing. In this time you can better understand what a database can do for but also you can learn how you can mixe tables and queries in the database and in a spreadsheet,

You also can learn better how to organize your tables.

When you learn that a database in a spreadsheet is not powerfull enough then you put the data in a real database. But those things you have learn how you can mix a database and a spreadsheet can also work for a real database.

The real limited instruction for a database base on a spreadsheet can you find here. In a database in a spreadsheet you can use only one table at the same time.

Romke
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Villeroy
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2010 8:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

All the wizards are more or less pointless. I hardly use any of them. If you understand what they do you will find that you have to tune the result in 90% of all cases.
If you know what you need, you may utilize some wizzard to get a skeleton of something with less clicks.

Base is very, very bad for database newbies. It does not help you to get a properly working database application.

You've got to have very clear conception about what you want, how it will look like in Base, how to get there and you need some overview of all the bugs and glitches.
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Silhouet
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2010 10:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

And be careful with the default database engine. Make (lots) of back ups!Smile
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RPG
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2010 2:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello

separate the table from your forms and queries
http://www.oooforum.org/forum/viewtopic.phtml?t=102514&highlight=&sid=0e4b644c1ce165dfc3b5578b05413b4c

Romke
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Wheelz
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2010 9:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the suggestions.

I see what you mean about "having a clear conception about what you want it to do and look like".
I've already trashed 3 attempts because it seemed easier to start again than figure out how to fix it.
I found a video tutorial that's helped to get started, just need to become familiar with the terminology and get my head around some of the confusing bits.
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Villeroy
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2010 1:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

First thing you need is a database, a structure of interrelated fields in tables. This is nothing Base specific. Any tutorial on relational databases should teach the theoretical foundation how to map interrelated real world items to tables and fields.

On top of such a data storage you may build all kinds of applications, user interfaces, scripts, web-applications (this forum for instance). The knowlege to build a database properly is far from trivial. Database engineers are very well payed experts and even the most simple databases are a matter of development. You build tools for an assumed user to work with. You do not build a document.

The user of the frontend tools (forms/reports) should never be confronted with the tables and their relations. It's up to you as a developer to build these end user tools on top of an existing database.
Base is too simple.
Unlike MS Access, it has no much to offer on top of a sloppy database structure. This seems to be the main problem with Base. It takes a lot of discipline unless you start hacking your own way around the limitations by means of macros. Macro coding is no option for the vast majority and too often macros reveal nothing but a lack of understanding.
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jrkrideau
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2010 1:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Villeroy wrote:
All the wizards are more or less pointless. I hardly use any of them. If you understand what they do you will find that you have to tune the result in 90% of all cases.
If you know what you need, you may utilize some wizzard to get a skeleton of something with less clicks.

Base is very, very bad for database newbies. It does not help you to get a properly working database application.

You've got to have very clear conception about what you want, how it will look like in Base, how to get there and you need some overview of all the bugs and glitches.


Villroy,
I believe I would agree with you but what do you suggest is the bettter approach: Start directly with a data base using SQL? That is what I have been thinking of doing — I even have a copy of SQL for Dummies Smile
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retiredbob
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2010 1:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Villroy,

If I had read your comments about Base seven months ago, I probably would have dismissed them as being too cautionary. After all, I and certainly many other OOO newbies, were and are successful in their jobs. So why shouldn't we be as successful in putting together a "simple" database in a few hours?

I now have a different view of the whole matter. After an arduous navigation through Base and H2 and HSQLDB-File and -Server and countless SQL tutorials, I believe the "putting together" is easy but the "putting together correctly" is difficult. There have been extreme moments of high frustration and equally extreme moments of anger while I was learning what I needed. But there have also been exhilarating moments of accomplishments as a database design or query or SQL command worked as it should.

I am glad I did not miss the journey. I hope everyone who attempts Base has their exhilarating moments as well, but first they must realize there is work to do.

retiredbob
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Wheelz
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2010 2:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks guys for putting it all in perspective.

I think I'll continue to take the challenge while I have a real life use for it and see where it takes me.
The spreadsheet I have works and serves it's purpose even though it is labour intensive, however, I do believe there is better way out there.
In the mean time I'll pursue this option and hope my headache isn't too contagious for your sakes. Wink

Thanks for the input.
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