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Old
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Join Date: Dec 2012
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Database?

Hey folks!

I work for a small company and we're trying to figure out how to handle our data. We want to use Google Spreadsheet and a Google Form but it doesn't enter the data in a way that we find useful. When someone enters a certain term in the form, I don't want it to simply be listed in the column under the question header. I would like information to be placed in predetermined columns based on the entry. So if someone writes the name of a project under one question, I want that name to always go to the same column so that we can better utilized our data.

For example: At any given time we have multiple employees working on different projects. I would like a form that allows them to enter in a project name and the amount of hours they worked, and have that data automatically be entered into a specific column based on the name of the project. Is this possible with a database? Or do I need to elaborate?

EDIT: So I've been researching databases for the last few days and I could use some clarification. Is there a way to have a database be manipulated by a webpage, similar to Google Forms? And are databases only navigated and created through lines of code? Is there any database that has a user friendly GUI or are they only for those who know how to code?

I've been trying to find information on databases but it seems to be hard to find anything that goes beyond their basic functionality. After that it gets really heavy in to a lot of tech speak and terms I don't really understand. Can anyone point me in the direction of examples of databases so I can get a better understanding of how they work?

Last edited by Roll; 12-20-12 at 14:27.
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: 221B Baker St.
Posts: 487
All of what you ask about is do-able / has been done.

Quote:
After that it gets really heavy in to a lot of tech speak and terms I don't really understand
Yup, that is the nature of technology. If you are going to do this, plan on investing considerable time learning the "tech speak" and terms. You will not be able to commmunicate with others if everyone does not have a common understanding of the terms being used.
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  #3 (permalink)  
Old
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: In front of the computer
Posts: 14,449
DBForums has forums for a couple of good candidates to address the needs that you've descirbed so far. Brilliant Database - dBforums is higly recommended by some of the users here at DBForums, although it is nearly unknown in the computing industry at large. FileMaker - dBforums is a great tool for Mac users, and has a reasonably functional PC implementation too. There are a number of powerful web front-ends provided by ISPs that drive powerful open-source databases, but you'll need to check with your ISP to see which packages and database engines they support.

Keep in mind that Google has control of everything that you put into Google Docs, so if they ever index it for search (by design or accident) then that information will be available to the world. This may or may not cause your company heartburn, but it would be better to consider it beforehand than have to deal with any consequences after the fact. There's nothing wrong with the tools that Google offers and I use them myself pretty heavily, but I also understand that they've made several significant changes to their user agreements over the years and I've never been comfortable placing business critical data in someone else's keeping without a solid contract describing conditions, permissions, terms, etc.

-PatP
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