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Mac at Work by David Sparks

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Chapter 16

Databases

Database management is the meat and potatoes of workplace computing. Using a database, you can track customers, employees, students, projects, products, inventory, and anything that fits in a list. Databases also occupy a unique position among computer technologies: They were some of the first applications developed for workplace computers so they’ve been around for a long time. And, because nobody wants to lose their data, databases are probably the single most upgrade-resistant applications in any workplace. Once a company has a working database in place that holds precious company data, it is easier to convince management and IT staff to dynamite the building than to change the database software.

As a result, the database applications and computers that run them are usually the most antiquated in the office. They are difficult to upgrade and modify, and they require copious amounts of consultant time and duct tape to keep going. Fortunately, there are several modern database applications on the Mac. Two of the best are FileMaker Pro and Bento.

FileMaker Pro

877005 ma1601.tif FileMaker Pro (starting at $299; www.filemaker.com) is the premier database application on the Mac. Shown in Figure 16-1, FileMaker Pro has long roots on the Mac; in fact, its first Mac OS release was on the original Macintosh. Although initially developed by another company, Apple has long owned and ...

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