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Re: A cumulative reply [Re: A minimal relational database in Debian?]

On Mon, 27 Feb 2017 08:53:30 -0600
Richard Owlett <rowlett@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> On 02/27/2017 07:43 AM, tomas@xxxxxxxxxx wrote:
> >
> > LibreOffice Base is, AFAIK *not* a relational database, but just
> > a -possibly graphical- user interface to one. Relational databases,
> > as I know them, have no "fonts", for example.  
> I didn't claim it was ;/
> I looked at it as it was install by default when I chose MATE as my
> DE. The "font problem" was that I could not force its "help system"
> to use a legible font size. Not being able to read its "help", I have
> ABSOLUTELY NO idea of what capability it does/doesn't supply.

It's sort of functionally nearly equivalent to MS Access on Windows 3
i.e. 1992-ish. It's slow and as buggy as hell. It can't handle update
queries. I think it still needs Java for reporting. Apart from that,
it's about the quickest way to assemble an ad-hoc database application.
Free, that is, there are probably better commercial products. I use it
for this reason, but also that it is cross-platform, you can literally
take a Base file from a Linux machine and run it on a Windows machine,
and vice versa (for close-numbered versions of LO).

But a lot depends on what you want to do. Only you know your actual
database needs. LO Base can use an internal database file or pretty
much any client-server database or other ODBC server. For making user
applications, it's worth considering.

For actual storage of data in related tables, as others have said,
there is sqlite (single file) and a few client-server SQL databases.
Note that if you are aware of MS SQL Server, and that it is a humungous
beast that needs its own powerful server hardware, MySQL and Postgresql
can use orders of magnitude fewer resources, and don't cause much of a
problem when running on a workstation. I resisted running an SQL server
on my home server for some years, but when it became unavoidable, I
found that it didn't really need much care and feeding.

But you then do the work of getting the data in and out and presenting
it usefully. Perl, PHP, lazarus, python and all the other languages have
database libraries, but you may have some heavy programming to do.
Lazarus contains visual data components like the Delphi ones, and can
make database handling a bit easier, as well as visual application
development. There are database admin programs which allow useful data
manipulation, but you wouldn't give them to a user. Every now and then
I look around, and I still haven't found a free database application
developer better than LO Base. For all its faults.