Before starting to create your database on Open Office Base, you need to formulate a good plan by asking yourself many questions. Take time to write your questions and leave spaces after each question wherein to put your answers later. Some answers would be pretty obvious after taking time to ponder upon it. Going through this process a few times may be necessary before all points become clear in your mind and on paper. Use text document for this question and answer process to make moving the texts around, adding more questions or changing the answers easier.
When creating some of the questions and answers, you will discover sometime along the way, that a single idea can branch out to more exciting ideas and eventually you will be busy adding tables and fields to your database in no time.
The built-in database tool in Open Office Base includes just about anything you may need to create a comprehensive data source. The basics in creating a database are presented here along with creating tables and how to make a simple data entry form. The latter is another way of entering information to your database.
Before starting to create your database, you need to plan ahead. For example, you may want to organize your book collection so you think of the basic information for your data. Obviously, you need the name of the author, title and maybe the date when it was published. These pieces to information are what you will enter in the fields or major area divisions to categorize your data entry.
So, now you are ready to start making a database from scratch. Your detailed data may not exist yet but with a planned outline as described in the previous paragraph, you are just about ready to create your new database. The process is not that difficult. Besides Open Office Base wizard is there to aid you if all else fail.
Note: If you do not have the Open Office free software yet, it is time for you to download it now. Make sure to have Java 5 or a higher version. Open Office Base requires Java Runtime Environment (JRE). The Windows version of JRE cannot be used in Open Office Base.
Base is Open Office’s database application that facilitates creation and management of databases similar to Microsoft Access. Base can be utilized as a ‘motherboard’ or front-end for different database systems including PostgreSQL, ODBC data sources, Access databases (JET), and MySQL as well as building of reports and forms to provide end-users with easy entry to data.
Base is an integral part of the Open Office software that enables you to seamlessly manage database data within the system. You can generate and modify reports, tables, queries and forms with either using Base’s HSQLDB (Hyper Structured Query Language Database) database engine or your own database. HSQLDB, written in Java, is a relational database management system. It offers a small but fast database engine with disk-based and in-memory tables. Base offers a choice of using Wizards for beginners, Design Views for intermediate, or SQL (Structured Query Language) Views for advanced users.
In a database, a Table saves information for a group of data called fields. For instance, a Table may hold a phone book, a price list, an address book or a stock list. A database can store one to several tables.
At this point, you may not actually have any data yet, so it is enough to create at least one table. You can always go back to your saved work and create as many Tables as you may need. For now, take the first baby step to create a Table.
In the configuration of the main database work area, choose the Tables icon from the left or press “Alt+a”. You can opt to use the Wizard to make a table or in design view. If you are familiar with technical configurations, then the design view would be enjoyable to work with. The Wizard is a very helpful tool for beginners as it is designed to execute the basic work. Though sometimes this may not be sufficient for what you want; but just the same, you can use a wizard as a start-off point and then continue to build around its produce. So for now, continue following the bouncing ball as the next steps run through how wizards work.
Open Office Base is designed to meet the computing needs of users for easy desktop database management. A database or data source is a compilation of pieces of information that can be managed or accessed by Open Office like a list of names and addresses used for producing mail merge letters. Other data source management system examples would be tracking a personal book collection, a shop stock list or producing complex corporate sales reports.
If you are uninitiated to database design, Open Office Base wizards can help you create forms, queries, tables, and reports, complete with predefined table descriptions for tracking customers, assets, sales invoices, orders and more lists. Open Office Base uses the terms ‘Database’ and ‘Data Source’ to refer to one and the same thing, like dBase and MySQL databases or data sources like a text document or a spreadsheet containing data.
A database contains a number of fields that consists of individual pieces of data with each database table being a group of fields. Creating a table entails not just data entry but also determining the characteristics of each contained field in the table. Forms are used for data entry to fields of one or more tables. They are likewise used for viewing fields from tables associated with the form. Queries create new tables from existing tables while a report consolidates the data of the fields of a query in a document based on your requirements.
Open Office Base’s full HSQL relational database engine is ideally configured for a database for personal use. It is all you may need as a single user with all the data stored right in the Open Office Base file and a dBase flat files native support. All the files generated by this engine are stored in one zipped file with the database forms included.
For complex business users, Open Office Base supplies native support drivers for a range of multi-user database engines such as Adabas D, MySQL, PostgreSQL and MS Access. Additionally, support for ODBC and JDBC standard drivers lets you connect to any existing virtual database.
Open Office Base seamlessly assimilates into the rest of the Open Office suite components like using the industry standard LDAP protocol to supply address book data for mail merge in Writer or the more common address book applications like Outlook, Windows and Mozilla. It can also create linked data ranges in the Calc component as the basis for charts or for data pilot analysis.
Open Office Base requires Java Runtime Environment (JRE). So, if you do not have JRE on your computer, visit www.java.com to download the Java 5.0 or higher. Please take note that the Windows version of JRE cannot be used in Open Office Base.