Monday, October 8, 2007

Considerations when choosing a database

Ease of use

As the software is going to be used by volunteers, often with limited computer experience, the database needs to be user friendly.
Is it easy to set up a database?
How easy is it to enter data?
Can edit forms be tailored to the needs of those working on the database?
Can instructions for entering data be included on the form?
Is it possible for only a selection of fields to appear on the edit screen for a specific project?
Is it easy to edit database records?
Can batches of records be modified?

Can validation lists be created for specific fields?
Can other validation options be applied to fields?

Record skeletons
Can record skeletons be used for use to save time when creating entries with common data in some fields?

Report forms
How easy is it to set up report forms and search screens for different situations?

Search screens
How easy is it to search for information in the database?

Help files
How easy are the help files to use?

Backing up
Can databases and records be easily backed up and exported?

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