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How do I create a database of contacts for basic mailing / label / group management? [closed]

asked 2014-08-29 23:34:35 +0100

sgarcata gravatar image

updated 2014-08-30 06:31:00 +0100

oweng gravatar image

I want to set up a database of contacts for a non-profit organization which will also collect other data like membership expiration, source, some dates which will accomplish the following:

  • mailing labels
  • mail merge into a letter
  • volunteer phone lists
  • emailing to a group (i.e. an email list)
  • membership management
  • donations and thank you letters

I would like a database that can be accessed on both Windows and OSX computers and updated by multiple people with access to the computer that holds the master copy. I am unfamiliar with LO, but it seems like it is a DB front end that requires a separate DBMS such as MySQL, etc. Is it feasible to do what I describe above with LO and, if so, what DBMS is available on both platforms? Some of the volunteers who might be entering data run Windows and some OSX so it is important that this work on both (although not necessarily at the same time); i.e. the database might reside on a Windows machine and then later be transferred to a mac.

Also, what is "LO Fresh" vs "LO Still"? I couldn't find a description of these and don't know which one to download to create a prototype.

Thanks

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Closed for the following reason the question is answered, right answer was accepted by Alex Kemp
close date 2016-03-03 11:46:54.259729

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answered 2014-08-30 03:24:49 +0100

ROSt52 gravatar image

updated 2014-08-30 11:45:51 +0100

Let me start with your last question: "still" vs "fresh". The still version has a few features less than the fresh version, whereas the fresh version has new features but can have a few bugs.

I personally use since 2 years LibO and use always the still version. In version numbers expressed I change whenever the last digit of x.y.z. is equal and larger than 4. The reason is simply it is my production SW and I am a bit on the conservative side when it comes to working environment.

The database, mailing labels, mail merge etc you can do in LibO. LibO is a full fledged Office Program. I create labels, did rather at the beginning of my usage of LibO, a mail merge of about 500 addresses. As the number of addresses was smaller, I had my addresses in Calc.

As for Windos or OSX there is not problem to use the same files on different PCs because the file format is independent from the operating system; LibO follows the ODF standard. I use mainly Windows XP, and increasingly Linux, my wife uses Windows and OSX. No problem with working on the same file using different PCs thus different operating systems.

I recommend to download and read the free of charge manual for Base, Writer and maybe even Calc. You can get them from: http://www.libreoffice.org/get-help/d...

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@sgarcata, you'll be fine regarding file compatibility if you don't exchange ODF and Office but stay on ODF. Otherwise using a pre-release should be your best bet cuz they fix a load bugs in every release, the recently released Fresh 4.3.1.2 aka Pre-release 4.3.1 RC2 and 4.3.1.1 aka 4.3.1 RC1 fixed compatibility problems with DOCX and others, important fixes. So far I haven't had problems with pre-releases, so if you don't mind updating pretty often, pick pre-release when there's one, <continue>

rautamiekka gravatar imagerautamiekka ( 2014-08-30 03:30:58 +0100 )edit

otherwise stick to Fresh. Usually LO releases a new Fresh that is identical to the last RC version of the branch, so if you had the latest RC before new Fresh, no need to update; if unsure, check the release notes. On Ubuntu I use https://launchpad.net/~libreoffice/+a... as the PPA for Fresh & RC and they won't release a Fresh that would be identical to the latest RC of the branch.

rautamiekka gravatar imagerautamiekka ( 2014-08-30 03:33:02 +0100 )edit

Note that there are some significant improvements being made to the (long neglected) mail-merge facility in LO that are likely to arrive some time during the v4.4 series. The changes may be back-ported to the v4.3 series, but I am not clear on this at this stage.

oweng gravatar imageoweng ( 2014-08-30 06:34:21 +0100 )edit

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Asked: 2014-08-29 23:34:35 +0100

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Last updated: Aug 30 '14