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Calc pulling data from Base

asked 2020-06-11 20:12:15 +0200

Barbarur gravatar image

Hi all,

I'm using LibreOffice Base to create a database of products (Category, Sub-category, Product type, Brand, Model,...). Then I want to use that database as data source to make costings on LibreOffice Calc. on the following way:

  • On my column A, each cell would have a dropdown list of the UNIQUE category names from the "Category" field from Base.
  • On column B, each cell would have a dropdown list of the unique Sub-Categories from the "Sub-Cagory" field from base, THAT matches with the Category selected above (kind of a index-match matrix in Excel).
  • Column C would be the same, but with the product type. Same for Brand on column D, and Model for column E.

This 5 fields are kind of filters to find the final product and then being able to extract its price, dimensions and weight, which are unique for each product.

I have done this before in Excel, having 2 different files, one working as DB and other for my costing.

I am starting using LibreOffice, and I would like to migrate my Database and costing. I'm pretty sure I can recreate the same using only Calc as I did with Excel. Though, I would prefer to upgrate my DB to Base for better control of the data.

I hope some of you can help me on this.


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From the appearance there seems to be no reason to use Calc at all. Do everything in Base. Or if not comfortable with Base (actually databases) then just use Calc.

Ratslinger gravatar imageRatslinger ( 2020-06-11 20:45:14 +0200 )edit

Hi, I thought about it, using only base. I haven't used base before, but after watching some videos it doesn't seems too complicated to learn/understand.

There are 2 reasons of using Calc:

  1. Formatting, the costing is to send to a client, so it requires some formatting to make it looks professional.

  2. Having separated files. At the moment (unless I find a better solution) I prefer to have 1 file as database with the raw data, and 1 separated file for each costing. This help with the file size, file archiving and so.

One thing I don’t know is; Can I use pull data from a Base file to another? Similar of what I was doing in Excel. Then, yes I could use only Base, then I would manually move data to a Calc template for the final formatting.


Barbarur gravatar imageBarbarur ( 2020-06-12 04:02:46 +0200 )edit

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answered 2020-06-12 05:32:50 +0200

Ratslinger gravatar image


From you question and comment you seem to have little database experience. Watching a couple of videos is not going to give you any kind of indication on the amount of information needed to use Base effctively especially for business purposes.

For example, Base is not a database. It is a front end to databases. Although LibreOffice come with two different embedded databases, it can use many others. This is the first step. Which database to use. It needs to fit your needs. You need to learn to use that database & also Base to interact with it. Then the transfer of data from one module to another - Base to Calc to Writer for example.

It may be best to stick with Calc for now and possibly learn some of Base and start integrating. LibreOffice Documentation will be helpful here. See -> Documentation/Publications

Chapter 10 of the Calc guide (Linking Data) will give you some indication of the interaction of Calc and Base.

As for separation of information, file size in a database should not be an issue in your case. Data is kept in tables but this must be properly designed and organized to eliminate any duplication of information.

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Yes, I'm not expert on databases rather than normal Excel/Calc. Thank you for the link of the Calc Guide. I will stick with Calc first for easy transition from Excel, and it seems a bit less fluid interaciton between Base and Calc than 2 Calc files.

I will keep checking Base for future migration meanwhile.


Barbarur gravatar imageBarbarur ( 2020-06-12 08:14:35 +0200 )edit
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Asked: 2020-06-11 20:12:15 +0200

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Last updated: Jun 12