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  1. #1
    long time visiter Alfster's Avatar
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    Database for at-home use

    First off, I've never worked directly with a database program. I want to learn some basics for use at home (basic tracking of financial info, etc), exporting to Excel for creation of charts, etc. Does anyone here work with Databases for home-use? What database program do you use? and more importantly ... is it free? I've starting reading about MySQL, but I'm not sure if it's more than what I need???

    I have a week off at Christmas and am hoping to learn how to create and use databases. Sounds like fun ... right

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    You Know!? For Kids! jsharr's Avatar
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    Fly MV up. Just hide your wife and daughters and nieces, and aunts, and grandmothers.
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    Quote Originally Posted by colorider View Post
    Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jsharr View Post
    Fly MV up. Just hide your wife and daughters and nieces, and aunts, and grandmothers.
    Well that is certainly not going to inspire Alfster to send a dog sled down to pick Modo up
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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    Banned. ModoVincere's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alfster View Post
    First off, I've never worked directly with a database program. I want to learn some basics for use at home (basic tracking of financial info, etc), exporting to Excel for creation of charts, etc. Does anyone here work with Databases for home-use? What database program do you use? and more importantly ... is it free? I've starting reading about MySQL, but I'm not sure if it's more than what I need???

    I have a week off at Christmas and am hoping to learn how to create and use databases. Sounds like fun ... right
    You used to be able to download a free version of SQL Server to play with. It was limited to 4GB of data iirc, but good for playing around with. It may still be available.
    Also, if you want, Oracle has a freee office program called "Open Office"....spreadsheet, text and word processing, and a database.
    I use the spreadsheet and word processor all the time, the database is clunky at best.

  5. #5
    long time visiter Alfster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsharr View Post
    Fly MV up. Just hide your wife and daughters and nieces, and aunts, and grandmothers.
    I know of his reputation, and will not be supplying an airline ticket. Better to be safe than sorry.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alfster View Post
    First off, I've never worked directly with a database program. I want to learn some basics for use at home (basic tracking of financial info, etc), exporting to Excel for creation of charts, etc. Does anyone here work with Databases for home-use? What database program do you use? and more importantly ... is it free? I've starting reading about MySQL, but I'm not sure if it's more than what I need???

    I have a week off at Christmas and am hoping to learn how to create and use databases. Sounds like fun ... right
    Using general database systems (like MySQL) are a lot of work. You have to set up all of the organization and the data entry forms.

    You might be better off just using Excel. A spreadsheet is basically a database with one table.

    For financial stuff, there are quite a number of things already set up for that.

  7. #7
    long time visiter Alfster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ModoVincere View Post
    You used to be able to download a free version of SQL Server to play with. It was limited to 4GB of data iirc, but good for playing around with. It may still be available.
    Also, if you want, Oracle has a freee office program called "Open Office"....spreadsheet, text and word processing, and a database.
    I use the spreadsheet and word processor all the time, the database is clunky at best.
    I'll be using a fraction of the 4GB. Plus, I thought it might be better to learn how to use the database that's used at work ... just in case. Though I typically get my younger, way more tech-savvy employees to create and maintain our databases

  8. #8
    Senior Member somedood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alfster View Post
    I'll be using a fraction of the 4GB. Plus, I thought it might be better to learn how to use the database that's used at work ... just in case. Though I typically get my younger, way more tech-savvy employees to create and maintain our databases
    It's called SQL Server Express, and you can get it here:

    http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/downl....aspx?id=29062

    We use that at work for a program that requires Microsoft SQL server. You'll want the download ending with "WT", meaning "With Tools". The GUI for SQL server is pretty good, and it has some graphical query builder stuff as well. I myself prefer Postgresql when it comes to SQL servers, but Microsoft's might be easier to try since the GUI tools are pretty mature. To me some operations like modifying an existing table aren't as easy to figure out how to save as it used to be, though. You can find Postgresql here:

    http://www.enterprisedb.com/products...wnload#windows

    Is there anything in particular you're wanting to do with a database server? If you have some goals or tasks you're wanting to accomplish it helps a lot with the learning process. Like njkayaker said, Excel is easier to pickup and add data, but SQL is more powerful when it comes to manipulating existing data. If you don't have a lot of data to add, then excel is probably the way to go, but less fun.

  9. #9
    Squirrelly Member trsidn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alfster View Post
    First off, I've never worked directly with a database program. I want to learn some basics for use at home (basic tracking of financial info, etc), exporting to Excel for creation of charts, etc. Does anyone here work with Databases for home-use? What database program do you use? and more importantly ... is it free? I've starting reading about MySQL, but I'm not sure if it's more than what I need???

    I have a week off at Christmas and am hoping to learn how to create and use databases. Sounds like fun ... right
    I have used Access. It's reasonable intuitive...
    Quote Originally Posted by Nicodemus View Post
    Yet more proof that I'm.. well, pretty much right about everything.

  10. #10
    long time visiter Alfster's Avatar
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    Is there a free version of Access?

  11. #11
    long time visiter Alfster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by somedood View Post
    It's called SQL Server Express, and you can get it here:

    http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/downl....aspx?id=29062

    We use that at work for a program that requires Microsoft SQL server. You'll want the download ending with "WT", meaning "With Tools". The GUI for SQL server is pretty good, and it has some graphical query builder stuff as well. I myself prefer Postgresql when it comes to SQL servers, but Microsoft's might be easier to try since the GUI tools are pretty mature. To me some operations like modifying an existing table aren't as easy to figure out how to save as it used to be, though. You can find Postgresql here:

    http://www.enterprisedb.com/products...wnload#windows

    Is there anything in particular you're wanting to do with a database server? If you have some goals or tasks you're wanting to accomplish it helps a lot with the learning process. Like njkayaker said, Excel is easier to pickup and add data, but SQL is more powerful when it comes to manipulating existing data. If you don't have a lot of data to add, then excel is probably the way to go, but less fun.
    Thanks for the links. I already use Excel to track my financial information. It's great for creating snapshots, but not for entering / maintaining all the background data. I've been wanting to learn a bit about databases, so this is a good enough excuse. I think I'll be trying to learn SQL.

  12. #12
    derailleurs are overrated bigbenaugust's Avatar
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    OpenOffice/LibreOffice database is free-er than Access and easier to live with than MySQL or SQLServer Express (and, I suppose, Oracle Express, which is also out there).

    But I just use a spreadsheet. Okay, so it has 19 worksheets inside (it's all by account type and then there is an overall sheet at the end), but that's how we do it.

    Since I do function as a DBA sometimes, I did go all dorky at home and we ran MySQL for the address book with a lovely PHP front-end for a while. Total total overkill, like killing flies with multiple thermonuclear warheads, and I ended up just dumping it to a spreadsheet. When I need to do a mail merge, I then copy and paste it back into a database table.

    Now, my wife at work was getting into some ridiculous stats and data collecting for a project she was on. The whole thing was in Excel and I kept saying "this would be SO much easier in Access..." But these are nurses, so I had to bend Excel a little to get their data to work.
    --Ben
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  13. #13
    derailleurs are overrated bigbenaugust's Avatar
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    If anybody mentions FileMaker, I will break your kneecaps.
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    Eh, just use SAP (FI)

    :-p

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    derailleurs are overrated bigbenaugust's Avatar
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    Oracle Express 11g (bundles with Application Express 2.1), then upgrade to Application Express 4.0. Completely free.

    That would be easier than using MySQL and then installing PHPMyAdmin, or MSSQL Server Express and finding a user front-end for it.
    --Ben
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  16. #16
    Portland Fred banerjek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
    Using general database systems (like MySQL) are a lot of work. You have to set up all of the organization and the data entry forms.

    You might be better off just using Excel. A spreadsheet is basically a database with one table.

    For financial stuff, there are quite a number of things already set up for that.
    This.

    MySQL is good and so are many other programs. But it sounds like you are thinking of using a chain saw to cut butter.

  17. #17
    Banned. ModoVincere's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigbenaugust View Post
    Oracle Express 11g (bundles with Application Express 2.1), then upgrade to Application Express 4.0. Completely free.

    That would be easier than using MySQL and then installing PHPMyAdmin, or MSSQL Server Express and finding a user front-end for it.
    Download the free VB version and build your own front end....sheesh.

  18. #18
    derailleurs are overrated bigbenaugust's Avatar
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    What, no IBM DB2 suggestions?
    --Ben
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  19. #19
    derailleurs are overrated bigbenaugust's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ModoVincere View Post
    Download the free VB version and build your own front end....sheesh.
    Forgot about that. We're kind of in the Oracle boat around here.
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    Banned. ModoVincere's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigbenaugust View Post
    Forgot about that. We're kind of in the Oracle boat around here.
    Toad......

  21. #21
    Senior Member somedood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigbenaugust View Post
    Oracle Express 11g (bundles with Application Express 2.1), then upgrade to Application Express 4.0. Completely free.

    That would be easier than using MySQL and then installing PHPMyAdmin, or MSSQL Server Express and finding a user front-end for it.
    Most of the installers come with a GUI front-end for it. In MSSQL Server it's the download ending in "WT", Postgres comes with PGAdmin and Mysql i think is a separate download for the Toolbench thing. With most of the GUI toolkits now for Postgres, MySQL and MSSQL you add and edit the table data/rows like you do a spreadsheet. I agree that for something like financial data it's overkill and would probably be slower than using excel or equivalent.

    The power of SQL is in the queries for reporting and generating data from filtering and combining existing data. If this is for learning SQL you might be better served by reading some tutorials and using data that has a bigger benefit from storing in a relational database that requires JOINs to get useful information out of it. When the data can be represented by a single table there isn't much advantage to using a SQL database, and excel will do the same thing but easier.

  22. #22
    derailleurs are overrated bigbenaugust's Avatar
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    Also, both Access and LibreOffice DB have a SQL view for querying. So you enter data as in a spreadsheet, and then you can query it using SQL. If learning SQL is your goal, that might be an easier route.
    --Ben
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  23. #23
    long time visiter Alfster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigbenaugust View Post
    Also, both Access and LibreOffice DB have a SQL view for querying. So you enter data as in a spreadsheet, and then you can query it using SQL. If learning SQL is your goal, that might be an easier route.
    I think I need to put some perspective into my question ... when I was in High School, the Commodore 64 was the go-to computer. The Internet was just a concept when I began work. We used 'Speedy-memos' (triplicate carbon memos) for communication at work for the first 4 years before we got email. Basically, I'm a slightly-passed, middle aged luddite ... with a penchant for learning. In otherwords, I have no idea what SQL is, or if that's what my goal is. Right now, a 'query' is a request for information ... in person, or by email

    But I'm looking forward to learning

  24. #24
    derailleurs are overrated bigbenaugust's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ModoVincere View Post
    Toad......
    We use a lot of SQLDeveloper here. Not a bad program.
    --Ben
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  25. #25
    You Know!? For Kids! jsharr's Avatar
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    I suggest FileMaker. It is the bees knees.
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    Quote Originally Posted by colorider View Post
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