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Fwd: Re: [vox-tech] collaborative data storage (of excel files)
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Fwd: Re: [vox-tech] collaborative data storage (of excel files)

Cam posted from a non-subscribed addr.

----- Forwarded message from vox-tech-bounces@lists.lugod.org -----

The attached message has been automatically discarded.
Date: Wed, 16 Jan 2008 17:10:33 -0800
From: Cam Ellison <cam@ellisonpsychology.ca>
Subject: Re: [vox-tech] collaborative data storage (of excel files)
To: vox-tech@lists.lugod.org
Reply-To: cam@ellisonpsychology.ca

On Wednesday 16 January 2008 16:27:08 Ken Bloom wrote:

> I'm not convinced that you've actually played with the OpenOffice
> Database idea yourself, becuase it's so easy to set up, and so
> similar in interface to a spreadsheet, that you'd kick yourself for
> complaining about not having training.
> In short, start OpenOffice, click new database, set up the database
> connection from the wizard. If you're going to do MySQL, then you may
> want to install that first -- connecting shoudn't be terribly hard,
> and I doubt installation is either. For now create an embedded
> database, and just know that you can use OpenOffice to set up the
> schema of a MySQL database when you decide that's the way to go.

Speaking from experience, since I have several MySQL databases, and 
access the data from OpenOffice, this is really the way to go.  You 
will have to add an entry to /etc/odbc.ini identifying the database, 
port, etc. before you can access it from OpenOffice.  Setting it up is 
actually pretty easy.

> Then hop on over to "Tables" and hit "Create table in design view"
> Just fill in the names and types of the field, and save the table.
> Now, if you double-click the table's name, it will look just like a
> spreadsheet. (As long as your guys don't want any formulas in it.)
> It's pretty simple, and takes less than 5 minutes to set up.

Databases are designed to hold stuff, and spreadsheets to calculate.  I 
know that's obvious, but it's important to remember that you should not 
be looking at your spreadsheets as a means of entering data into a 
database.  The spreadsheet needs to be seen as a device for 
manipulating the database contents and generally doing cool stuff with 
it.  If you want to go the database route, you should have some simple 
method to populate the database.

Having said the above, I will also concede that it is relatively easy to 
build a script (PHP, anyone?) that will dump data from a csv file into 
a database table.  You can generate a csv file from a spreadsheet.  
That's rather kludgy, but it works.  

> To be fair, I couldn't copy/paste a range of data from spreadsheet
> to database in OpenOffice (it wants to put it all in one field in one
> row), but MS Access should be similarly simple to use, and may get
> rid of this bug as well.

And that bug is very annoying.



Cam Ellison  Ph.D.  R.Psych. #01417

Cam Ellison & Associates Ltd.
Management Psychology

RR 22    3446 Beach Avenue
Roberts Creek  BC  V0N 2W2

Phone: 604.885.4806
Fax:   604.885.4809
Cell:  604.989.0635

----- End forwarded message -----

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