Collaborating in my office; multiple users, multiple roles


A senior in my office wants me to develop a database application preferably using MS Access. I have never used MS Access in my life. I have used some MySQL and mostly these days I use LibreOffice (Calc and Writer) for my works.

As pointed out in the comments I can use LO Base.

The senior very vaguely told me his requirements (if I understood him correctly) as follows:

  • User A (the data entry operator) gets a list of tasks, he inputs those in the table.
  • User B (the supervisor) distributes the tasks to users C,D,E, and so on.
  • Users C,D,E,… (the clerks) work on those tasks and finally updates the task as completed (status).
  • At any point of time any user (be it the supervisor or the clerks) may check the status of any task - whom it is assigned to or what is its status.

So, for my requirements -

  1. Do I need to install LibreOffice Online?
  2. Do every user needs to use Base?
  3. In a bird’s eye view, how should I set up the “solution”?

We have an old PC which we can use as a server. We are somehow familiar with both Linux and Windows.

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Your specification is not detailed enough. Using a server suggests a real database software on the server PC. Then you can use Base on every client PC buit other frameworks can do the job like Django (Python) or Perl with the DBD and DBI packages.

If there is really a DB application, don’t expect to manage it with Calc.

Please do not use Add Answer but edit your original question to enhance the details of your question (answers are reserved for solutions to a problem on this Q&A site).

@ajlittoz Then you can use Base on every client PC Okay and what about in the server? Do I need to install something there as well? Users in our office use MS and my senior wants me to do something with MS Access. However, I have never used Access or even Base. Though I have always preferred LO, so I can try using Base.

Base is LO equivalent to M$ Access.

The server must be configured with MariaDB, MySQL, PostgreSQL or other shared DB app. I exclude SQLite because it is rather single-user and doesn’t manage concurrent access.

Depending on what you do on the client PCs, you may need to install also a web server on the the server PC. Depending on the server age, you may be forced to use “light” apps so that it remains responsive. thttpd is a very good choice if you have no Java scripting on the host (I have tested it with Perl and PHP). Other choices are Apache (quite heavy), lighttpd, Nginx (excellent but a bit tricky to configure), Cherokee, …

Experiment with a simple single-user configuration: SQLite on the server (to be later changed to a multi-user-capable server) and Base/Access on a client PC.

Looks to me you should investigate to see which applications already do the requested job instead of trying to develop something from scratch:

  • Collaborative software: Atlassion Confluence, Discourse, Drupal, IBM Lotus Notes, M$ Outlook,, …
  • Workflow management systems
  • Prject management: Apache Allura, GanttProject, MantisBT, OpenProject,, Trac, …

I have not used many of them. This in no way recommends such or such vs. this one. The list results in a quick’n’dirty internet search. Compare your needs to the app features and experiment by yourself.

Using an existing app is much faster and more reliable than implementing your in-house application.

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