[Solved] What is the difference between CALC and BASE?

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[Solved] What is the difference between CALC and BASE?

Postby gameboyz » Fri Apr 18, 2008 12:38 pm

I experimented with Base, and discovered that there are tables for record purposes. I noticed it looked rather like Excel (or Calc); what is the difference? What does the "Database" for Base means? Can Calc be used as an alternative for Base tables?

Cheers,
Gameboyz.
Last edited by gameboyz on Sat Apr 19, 2008 1:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What is the difference between CALC and BASE?

Postby Villeroy » Fri Apr 18, 2008 1:15 pm

A spreadsheet is like swiss army knife, whereas a database is like a chain saw. Most spreadsheet users prefer the knife to cut trees since it is so "easy".
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Re: What is the difference between CALC and BASE?

Postby gameboyz » Fri Apr 18, 2008 2:00 pm

Villeroy wrote:A spreadsheet is like swiss army knife, whereas a database is like a chain saw. Most spreadsheet users prefer the knife to cut trees since it is so "easy".


What do you mean? Personally (I experimented with Personal > CD [Base]) I find the tables identical to something you could create using Calc; only that with Calc, you can add in your custom fields. Perhaps there are some advanced features of Base that is not with Calc; can somebody elaborate?

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Re: What is the difference between CALC and BASE?

Postby Villeroy » Fri Apr 18, 2008 4:37 pm

Base can be seen as a doorway to another universe of tables. :roll: (well, not at it's current state but in theory it could open a universe of new options, including personal information managment, finance accounting, web-shops, ... all of this geared with the other components)
Let's have a look at this forum. There are users belonging to groups. There are
postings belonging to persons and threads, threads belonging to forums, some forums belong
to other forums, forums belong to categories, just to mention a few of the most
obvious relations. At the bottom-right of every page you see the logo of
"PostgreSQL" which is the database which storing all the contents of this
forum. "Forum powered by phpBB" refers to a software which constantly
translates user requests (clicked link-URLs) into database queries and the
resulting tables to web-pages sent back to the user. This includes a system of
privileges (users can edit their own postings, admins can edit
anything). Virtually every click on this site creates a new web-page from a
database query. Some pages include html-forms with input boxes and buttons.
Relational databases servers (PostgreSQL, MySQL, Oracle, Microsoft SQL
Server) have practically no limits other than space on disk(-arrays). They do not provide
files that could be loaded by some program. A client program asks a server to deliver some
combination of related rows and columns out of the database. Base can
do this and represent the query results as table views, as spreadsheets or as forms and reports in Writer.
Queries derive all combinations of rows and columns from all the database tables according to their defined relationships. Base can create Writer documents from database queries (reports and forms) as well as linked spreadsheet ranges (imported queries and data pilots).
Within this office suite Base can serve several kinds of tabular data including bibliographies, mail-merge, calculation in spreadsheet from dBase directories, csv files, spreadsheets, address books of mail clients, and it's own self-contained type of database.
Unfortunately, Base is the latest and least mature component of this suite. Compared to professional databse tools (or even MS Access) it is in alpha state (not even feature comlete).
Tabular data imported from non-databases are read-only. This includes pseudo-databases such as text(*.csv), spreadsheet, address-books. Tables from "real databases" can be imported through drivers.
OOo includes a slim, third-party, open source database server http://hsqldb.org. When you create a new Base document from scratch rather than connecting your Base document to an already existing database, then you get a special Base document with binary hsql tables embedded in the Base document. This special type of embedded hsqldb does not provide privileges (users and groups with permissions) and it is rather slow.

You can not do much with spreadsheets unless you know some underlying concepts (contents vs. formatting, values vs. formulas, text vs. number, relative vs. absolute addressing). If you are familiar with the fundamental concepts you can utilize any spreadsheet. Same with databases and their tables, views, queries, data types, (foreign) keys, relations, transactions, permissions, Structured Query Language (SQL) just to drop a few important keywords.
Databases are by far more difficult to build up. Changing parts of an existing structure is even more difficult than creation, so it is a good idea to start with a concept. Once you have created all the tables, relations, and queries on a database server you can use the data with many users on many computers and a multitude of front-end software (web based frontends, business solutions, accounting software, web-shops, office software in general, Base, MS Access, Kexi, FileMaker).
Please, edit this topic's initial post and add "[Solved]" to the subject line if your problem has been solved.
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