Friday, March 30, 2018

Database solutions

I promised I would explain a bit how I made my database with patterns and tutorials. Here is a bird's eye view of the whole enterprise.

What are the options?

There are a few alternatives you can use, some of which dont require a lot of technical knowledge, such as browser bookmarks or bookmarking site.

There is of course Excel (or its counterparts from other Office suites) which a lot of people are familiar with.

Then come the database solutions. I am sure that there are solutions out there you can pay for, but I don't think a lot of us will want to spend the money.

A simple idea which everyone with an Office suite usually already has is Access (or its siblings by other companies). This is actually a database structure and logic without needing a server. I would like to try something like that and see how it goes. It might give me the portability I want.

Then we have the server solutions. I use MySQL, which is a database system that is relatively simple and easy to use. There are other database solutions out there too, but this is the one I learned. However, from what I have read, apart from Access, these other database solutions usually require a server.

The Server

I use a free server bundle that offers a database and web server among others: VertrigoServ. I install this on my laptop, start the servers and I can access my database from the laptop. I can also offer access to other computers in my home network, but getting out into the internet is a bit tricky, not to mention unsafe.

GUI for database administration

The nice people who created the server bundle also included PhpMyAdmin, which is basically a web page that will act as a visual interface for accessing and administering the database. This saves a lot of time and also creates the SQL code for you when you fill out a form. Otherwise, you would have to enter the code manually in the console. Viewing the database would also be done in the console, so text only.

The menu in the GUI is pretty intuitive and there are plenty of tutorials on the internet if you want to give it a go.

Much easier than in the console

I will continue this little overview next time, if anyone is interested.


  1. You've lost me :-( I know I asked for details, and you did warn us about having some basic understanding ... Well, I have none and it looks like a steep learning curve starting with the terminology itself.
    I do appreciate your effort in putting together this post and hope it will help others. Thank you :-)

  2. Yeah I am technically challenged as my children say. But I am going to have some one read this that knows computer stuff more

  3. Thanks for giving us the details, it's interesting, even if I'm not yet ready to put in the effort to follow you!

  4. Thank you for taking the time to read this, ladies! I know it is a steep learning curve, but I did promise more details.


Any feedback or questions are welcome.