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I'm having trouble finding a tool that does this for my friend (without designing it myself). What is needed is a simple program with a database where input forms and views can be designed and saved.

A patient table might consist of, say, 50 columns, so it is imperative that it is possible to make columns be able to default, say, through a form for submission of data.

By views I mean something like "saved selections" based on various criteria (WHERE runny_nose=True...) but as friendly as possible to save, and export options would be nice. Does this exist at all? It seems at one hand trivial and on the other, my Google fu is failing.

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MS Access (Query = 'saved selections')? LibreOffice Base? Just how much data are you expecting to add? – Bob May 23 '12 at 11:27
Let's say in the order of thousands of rows only. I'm not familiar with MS Access or LibreOffice Base. I'll check out the latter since it appears to be cross-platform. – Sarah May 23 '12 at 11:28
up vote 1 down vote accepted

With only a couple thousand rows, both Microsoft Access and LibreOffice Base should be able to handle it.

  • They both support forms, which can be used for both input and just viewing the records (rows).

  • They both support 'saved selections', i.e. queries. Forms can also be based on queries for filtering.

  • They both support reports, a kind of 'friendly view' with formatting for queries.

  • They both provide direct SQL execution.

  • They both support various back-end databases. Access uses Jet by default, and LibreOffice uses HSQLDB by default (there are rumors it's switching/has switched to SQLite, moving away from Java).

I personally find Microsoft Access more stable, and generally easier to design forms and relationships. LibreOffice Base (branched from Base) is cross-platform, but isn't quite as feature rich as Access (to me). And of course, Base is free.

Keep in mind the limitations for Access (Jet) and Base (HSQLDB). Base itself may have further limitations on top of HSQLDB, but I can't find any documentation. And if you put Access or Base on top of a different back-end, there may be less/different limitations.

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I would recommend you look at FileAmigo by Sierra Software. You can download the free version to determine if it meets your needs. A registered version will cost around $50. FileAmigo tables present themselves in a spreadsheet like format that can also support related data (tables). The ability to create "Finds" for information and generate reports is quite easy. FileAmigo files are in Access - .mdb - format and structure. This product runs under Windows. If you are looking for a product that is very easy to use, reasonably priced, yet quite powerful, then FileAmigo might fill the bill.

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I would recommend MS Access or OpenOffice Base for this Task. You can setup tables and forms the way you like and although some programming might by required (depending on the specific needs of your application) you should be having a decent application with little effort.

You can also create your views very easily (they call it Querys in Openoffice) or use a different software to connect to the database.

I favor OO Base because it's free and it runs on Linux and OSX as well. Have a look at:

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