Tracker Ten Choosing a Database System for your Home or Business

Windows Database Software

Choosing a database system for your home or business

If you are looking for an inventory system for your home or business you may be wondering if you should purchase a cloud-based system or a windows inventory tool. Whether you are looking for home inventory software, store inventory software, retail inventory software, inventory applications, or stock manager apps for PCs, you can find you can find database tools and techniques that download directly on your computer, or database systems that you access from your web browser. With databases that are downloaded to your computer all information stays on your PC, and information is completely managed by yourself. With cloud-based systems all of your information is stored on remote servers that are managed by other people. Cloud-based systems may make use of large commercial providers like Microsoft Azure or Amazon Web Services to store information, or the term may refer to smaller providers scattered throughout the internet. These types of systems have monthly recurring pricing models that can vary depending on data throughput and network bandwidth used, as information has to flow through the internet. With databases that are downloaded to your computer, like our own Tracker Ten system, all information stays on your local hard drive, and there are no actual throughput data rate charges.

Types of Commercial Database

Large scale commercial database systems may range from products like Oracle and Microsoft SQL to open-source systems like MySQL MYISAM and PostgreSQL. If you are just looking to organize inventory for your home or smaller warehouses and stock rooms, or for general asset inventory, these types of client server systems are probably an overkill for you needs. While these systems offer powerful features, like concurrent access they are likely too complicated to setup for individual use. They also may require complex 3 tier or three level architectures, where the front end (i.e. the user interfaces that faces to you), goes through a central API, then to the database.

In fact, these types of systems often rely on professional database administrators (DBA’s). These administrators are responsible for the maintenance of the database, and the creation of database architecture. Just like you may hire an architect to design your next house, you can hire DBA’s to design the layout and structure of your database. A proper design will speed up database performance. However, as an individual you may not be able to afford the services of a professional DBA. In this case an off the shelf system like Tracker Ten may be ideal. In a desktop PC database system like Tracker Ten, we have already done the design work for you. You do not need a DBA to setup your database.

You may have also heard various terms like dbms, sap, SQL server, Redis, OCS inventory API etc. These terms just refer to systems that store and manage data retrieval. For Tracker Ten we use our own propriety database format, with normal forms on the front end. And we take care of all database normalization, so you don’t need to worry about confusing technical jargon like 1NF, 2NF, 3NF, atomic values, table relationships and other commonly used database lingo. Our solutions work out of the box (see our software catalog on our home page for a complete list of examples). And our online software manual includes a getting started section that guides you through the process of setting up and using your database step by step.

C# Database Application

Our easy inventory tracking system is built using windows forms in C#, and can be installed on any newer Microsoft Windows PC. Our example databases can be used to track general stock, or specialized items like heavy equipment, collectibles, antiques, tools and more. In addition to physical items, we also offer products that can be used to track people, customers and events. Our all-in-one solutions include integrated search engines and integrated report generators. Whether you need to do lot inventory, inventory management for small businesses, home inventory for hobbies or retail store inventory we have a solution that can help you. Our products do not require database administrators or specialized database developers. And the advantage of using a propriety system like ours is that it’s relatively light weight, and there are no 3rd party licensing fees. We can pass these savings on to you. And since all data is stored on your computer, you do not need to worry about online security issues.

Microsoft Access Database Examples

Many of our users are already using desktop applications like Microsoft Excel to manage their inventory. They have often been using Excel to track things like employees, training, general inventory. These types of Excel XLSX database examples are quite common. However, as their inventory or business starts to grow, Excel users have found that they need to migrate to a more full-featured systems. They may begin by looking at how to convert excel to sqllite, or excel XLS to sql server etc. They will often find that they need to hire a professional VBA, Java or C# developer to accomplish this task. A one hour consult with these types of developers can easily cost over $100, and the process can get complicated having to deal with various database connections and protocols. To migrate to a system like Tracker Ten, users simply have to save their Excel database to CSV format. They can read this CSV file directly into Tracker Ten.

Single User vs Multi User Database

You may be wondering if there are any disadvantages to using a simple single user desktop inventory system. There are a few disadvantages. First, since the data is stored on your computer, you are responsible for making your own backups. For Tracker Ten this is as simple as making a copy of your database file and related images, so it’s not a big issue. Also, by definition single user systems are only accessible from your computer. If you need to share data with people using other computers, you need a multi-user system. While Tracker Ten does not support multiple users, we can create custom products for you that use a similar windows forms-based interface. If you are interested in finding out more about this option, please contact us.

Hopefully this article has helped to explain the differences between large scale online database systems and desktop database applications like Tracker Ten. If you have any questions about our database solutions please feel free to contact us!

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