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Creating a Client Database

asked 2016-12-09 04:58:46 +0100

Convert22 gravatar image

Any help with organizing my client base? I was thinking Calc, but now reading up on Base. Don't need anything to complicated, that would be the most important thing. It's all quite confusing to be honest and hope that I can find a solution in LibreOffice in some way. I have tried Base but keep getting this message even though I installed Java, and see that Java is installed.

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Here is a quote from Base Documentation, but don't understand it and still cannot create a document in Base:

"Windows' version of JRE can not be used, while there are other versions that can." What does this mean.

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@Convert22, Can you please give some more specifics. First say which OS and version, also which LibreOffice version, and which Java version. Next under Tools, Options, LibreOffice, Advanced, what do you have there under vendor and version, and also what Class Path do you have? Is the Use a Java runtime enviroment checked? And Optional features unchecked?

EasyTrieve gravatar imageEasyTrieve ( 2016-12-09 05:21:09 +0100 )edit

Got it EasyTrieve, I had installed the 64bit Java and that won't work.

Convert22 gravatar imageConvert22 ( 2016-12-09 05:30:54 +0100 )edit

I am very curious though, if I should be using Base, or Calc?

Convert22 gravatar imageConvert22 ( 2016-12-09 05:31:47 +0100 )edit

@Convert22, A couple of tips since you're new to base. First this may help you. And be sure to backup your work as you proceed.

EasyTrieve gravatar imageEasyTrieve ( 2016-12-09 05:35:37 +0100 )edit

@Convert22, You can use either, but I use a database for such things. I'm sure there are good discussions of the differences between data bases and spreadsheets elsewhere on the web. If you don't want anything too complicated, then start with the spreadsheet, i.e. Calc. In time I think you might want to learn to use both because they are quite different from each other. But start with the spreadsheet if you haven't tried that before. Later you can move that data to Base if you want.

EasyTrieve gravatar imageEasyTrieve ( 2016-12-09 05:42:43 +0100 )edit

Thanks EasyTrieve, I feel pretty stupid trying to understand this all night and got almost nowhere. Will study up on Calc today! Just got to understand the basic concepts. Is the Help any good, or should I just use the online PDF's?

Convert22 gravatar imageConvert22 ( 2016-12-09 17:01:11 +0100 )edit

Is it normal for me to only be able to type a certain amount of characters here? Also my comments below about creating a simple database Vertically, and where do I start with getting the Number of Rows I want? I worked with it for a while LOL yes, but could not make the amount of Rows I wanted. It seems then I would start another Page with same format of Rows etc. below for each customer? Thanks, Convert22

Convert22 gravatar imageConvert22 ( 2016-12-09 17:09:32 +0100 )edit

Every search I do says to use Base? I also don't understand how to limit the amount of Rows and Columns in Calc? I think I would like it to go like this: 1: Then there would only be One Column like this, in hopes that it will be easier to read on a Tablet/Note. A: Last Name B: First Name C: Another first Name, or combine the two. D: Phone Home E: Phone Cell F: Address G: Notes

Convert22 gravatar imageConvert22 ( 2016-12-09 18:14:43 +0100 )edit

The comment above did not come out the way I wanted because of the forum format. I did get an answer below though by Ratslinger.

Convert22 gravatar imageConvert22 ( 2016-12-09 19:27:14 +0100 )edit

@Covert22, Yes in comments you are limited to 500 characters. BTW, comments are intended not to answer question, but rather to help clarify questions & answers. I answered you in a comment because your question was really one of opinion rather than fact, as as such my answer was opinion. I try to keep answers here to facts, not opinions. Also you can edit your original question here to make it better, and I suggest that you do that! Remember you are creating Q & A for others to benefit from.

EasyTrieve gravatar imageEasyTrieve ( 2016-12-09 19:51:11 +0100 )edit

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answered 2016-12-09 06:09:21 +0100

Ratslinger gravatar image

Your choice is dependent upon many factors. How large is the client base? What kind of information do you intend to save? What if any calculations are involved? What type of entry/data verification is needed (required phone, date of last contact etc.)? There are probably a lot more questions to pose.

Another situation is that most people are at least somewhat familiar with spreadsheets but not databases, so a potential learning curve.

Also, in case you're not aware, here is the link to the documentation - click here.

Questions are certainly welcome. However, it helps to include some information like LibreOffice version, and OS type/version and possibly some idea as to the details - "client base" doesn't say much.

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Client base may be up to 1100

Pretty basic information: Last name, first name, phone, cell phone, directions to residence, and a Notes section.

Calculations: To be able to search by Last and First names, or even by phone number.

Yes, I have found all the Documentation and watched videos tutorials etc.

LO Version 5.2 the current Stable that is on the website, and running Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit.

I've never worked with Spreadsheets so just need to get a grasp on the basics.

Convert22 gravatar imageConvert22 ( 2016-12-09 16:53:32 +0100 )edit

Would also like to be able to view this easily on a Tablet or a Note. When in Calc the Default is to input Horizontally, but it seems to me it would be better to do this Vertically. I think it is a good idea to use Calc as some have suggested until I figure that out.

Convert22 gravatar imageConvert22 ( 2016-12-09 16:57:36 +0100 )edit

Thanks for the feedback. I personally would input Horizontally only because conversion in future to database would be much simpler. Only because of having experience, I would use a database and keep notes on each contact to client in separate table relating back to client table thus giving a history of contacts. Using Base also has benefits when searching for information although certain capabilities are in Calc.

Ratslinger gravatar imageRatslinger ( 2016-12-09 17:57:48 +0100 )edit

Where could I get an example of this, because it is all quite hard to visualize in words? I will read up on Calc, but it is a lot of info to decipher just to learn this one function. Is it possible to Select/Choose how many Colums/Rows there are on a clients Information Page? It also seems that One Calc document is...or appears to be multiple docs...or links to others...which one can see at the bottom?

Convert22 gravatar imageConvert22 ( 2016-12-09 19:41:53 +0100 )edit
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The documentation is confusing because they go right into all the terms before they present any Pics relating to what they are actually trying to explain?

Convert22 gravatar imageConvert22 ( 2016-12-09 20:06:59 +0100 )edit

Is it true that Base is just linking to the Database contained in Calc, is this it's Main function in a sense? I've been playing around with creating Tables in the Base Wizard but not really understanding why I'm doing this yet?

Convert22 gravatar imageConvert22 ( 2016-12-09 20:14:31 +0100 )edit

Any Templates or anything else for the type of database I'm trying to create? This seems a bit complicated for my needs. I don't need to know it all, just need to have a basic outline for it. There's got to be a tutorial about this somewhere but I can't find a good one.

Convert22 gravatar imageConvert22 ( 2016-12-09 20:22:08 +0100 )edit

@Covert22, Spreadsheet basics: Cells organized in a 2 dimensional array. Each cell can hold data (text or number, etc), or a formula, like add cell a1 to b23 and put the results here (=a1 + b23). There are tons of standard tools, functions, and methods of moving and sorting cells. It's very versatile. Historical note.

EasyTrieve gravatar imageEasyTrieve ( 2016-12-09 20:24:55 +0100 )edit

For documentation you should start with "Getting Started with Calc" guide - contains terms & diagrams. Base does not need Calc, but Calc data can be used as a "Database" for information. There are samples and explanations on creation/design of databases on the mentioned documentation link. Calc also - just have to weed through the documents.

Ratslinger gravatar imageRatslinger ( 2016-12-09 20:47:54 +0100 )edit

Now I am to Set Primary Key, but don't know exactly what Primary Key does? It's not explained in layman's terms therefore does no good for me. On page 9 of Base under "Set primary key." they say "Select option Use an existing field as a primary key." Then say to: "In the Fieldname drop down list, select CollectionID." But there is no CollectionID in the dropdown? Then there is a "Automatically Select a Primary Key" also, that is not even mentioned so far, even though I'm in that section now

Convert22 gravatar imageConvert22 ( 2016-12-09 20:59:41 +0100 )edit

Just to be on the same page, I just tried the sample thru page 9. You must have skipped something because "CollectionID" is in the dropdown. Primary Keys are further explained throughout the text including at the top of page 10.

Ratslinger gravatar imageRatslinger ( 2016-12-09 21:24:36 +0100 )edit

"here are tons of standard tools, functions, and methods of moving and sorting cells. It's very versatile."

Yeah very versatile, that's a problem for someone like me.

Convert22 gravatar imageConvert22 ( 2016-12-09 21:45:45 +0100 )edit

No "CollectionID" for me, tried many times to go back and make sure everything was done right. Would this have anything to do with 32bit LO installed? I just realized a fatal mistake of installing 32bit, should have asked first I guess. I did notice things were not all that fast, or perhaps this is just me. I run LO on Linux all the time and it is faster on lesser equipment. I created my Base but don't know what to do with it now LOL. I just selected "Automatically Select a Primary Key"

Convert22 gravatar imageConvert22 ( 2016-12-10 02:14:14 +0100 )edit

Do I get to add more text the more posts I have?

Convert22 gravatar imageConvert22 ( 2016-12-10 02:14:56 +0100 )edit
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Asked: 2016-12-09 04:58:46 +0100

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Last updated: Dec 09 '16