For various reasons Microsoft Access was getting to be a bit of a pain for our shared database management. The biggest reason is needing to have a licensed copy for each user. I began searching for other options. I first thought it would be nice to have an online database as it would be the ultimate in convenience for several users.
I realize that MySql with some kind of front end would be the logical solution, but I lack the confidence and time to make the attempt to construct all that. I could probably do it, but it would take untold hours of self-teaching and experimentation. Blech. The first alternative to pop up was a program from Quickbooks called Quickbase. One look at the price ($299 per month) “quickly” deflated my interest. $299 a month may be fine for a Fortune 500 company, but we are just a small company trying to get by.
Next, I took a look at Oasis Database trialware. The price was right, and it is easy to use. However, when it came time to import my existing database, I found Oasis to be very unfriendly to every data format I tried (tab delimited, CSV, and XLS). The import failed every attempt. Tech support had a few suggestions that required hand-editing the data to make it palatable to Oasis. However, I have approximately 5,000 records, representing years of survey jobs, to import. Hand editing is out of the question.
Beginning my search again, I stumbled onto Grubba. The price is right (free!) and I was up and running with all my data online in about 30 minutes. I could hardly believe it. The only limitation is a 10,000 record limit. It will be a long time before we surpass that. So far, Grubba seems to be the cat’s meow. Highly recommended. They do ask for a donation to assist with expenses, which I was more than pleased to provide.
Consider giving them a try for your database needs.