Subject Re: [ib-support] Firebird & OOo
Author Art Fore
In this instance, Access is the front end of db2. You can link to tables
in an ODBC compliant database, do queries and forms, and, if you have
permissions, modify the database. I do this with the Oracle 8i database
at work.

A spreadsheet cannot hold a candle to a database. You can do alot with a
spreadsheet, but for a database, it is not very good and is very limited
in its queries and also slow compared to a database in addition to being
limited in the # of rows you can have in a spreadsheet. We use it at
work mainly for plotting data from a text file that is output by some
instrumentation to verify the plot routines for these controlling
programs. You can of course to this with a database also, but it is much
easier and faster than a database. Databases have their place and
spreadsheets have their place and sometimes overlap slightly. You will
also find in the electronics developement industry that a spreadsheet is
used extensively for this type of application. Some programs even output
directly to Excel for these purposes.

You can do the same thing with Rekall or OOo DataSources as long as you
can connect to the database. There is no programming required and little
SQL required, but as always, a little SQL is really nice when you have
some queries that are not working as expected.

You can also transfer data from one database to another, to a
spreadsheet or from a spreadsheet, or even a text file with hiring a
consultant to do the programming for you as you have to do with Oracle
by itself.

Example: I have a parts table or view with part number, value, voltage,
tolerance, symbol, part type, package type, mfg pn, manufacturer,
datasheet URL which comes from an Oracle MRP database. This particular
table, or actually query, is the output from 4 tables in Oracle. I want
to see all capacitors with 0805 package type and a value of <100pf. I
can do this in Access, Rekall, or OOo faster than a programmer can write
a query and have it displayed in a table for viewing, about 10 seconds.
I can click on the datasheet URL and it will take me directly to the
datasheet as long as I am connected to the internet or our netowork.

Also, since I only have ISDN which is no speed demon, I can transfer the
parts database from Oracle to Access .mbd file and take it home and use
it with my DxDataBook and schematic capture without even connecting to
the internet and do my job at home (telecommute). Takes about 30 seconds
to do this with Access for 3,000 parts. That includes making the table
and exporting it. And I do not need to take up an IT persons time and
effort to do this. What I want to do is to be able to do this in Linux
with a database using Rekall or OOo. Parts can also be categorised such
as capacitors, inductors, resistors, integrated circuits, connectors,
etc. very easily, no programming required, no SQL statements to write,
the program takes care of that.

Hope this explains what databases are used for in the real world, in my
instance, electronic design, and why it is not practical to have an IT
person or DBA to do everything. It would take much more time and cost
much more for them to do these queries, etc just for a few people in
engineering to use.

I can also take my BOM, bill of materials, as output from my schematic
capture (fixed column with text file) and upload this to the MRP system
without having to manually type this into the database. Saves time,
eliminates keystrokes, eliminates errors.


On Mon, 2003-02-10 at 19:30, William L. Thomson Jr. wrote:
> On Mon, 2003-02-10 at 19:22, Helen Borrie wrote:
> > At 06:52 PM 10/02/2003 -0800, you wrote:
> > >Apparently you have not used Access,
> >
> > Yes, but not if I can avoid it.
> I agree. However it seems to serve a purpose in a multi-layer app. A
> contact of mine at Chrysler told me a of a solution that Chrysler is
> deploying that uses DB2. Access is then used as an interface to the data
> in the DB2 database. I am not 100% on the exacts of how it works, but I
> assume the data is extracted from DB2 inserted into Access, manipulated,
> and is then sent back to the DB2 database.
> This is a solution that IBM is providing Chrysler for aroun $2 million.
> > >OOo datasources, or Rekall. I have
> > >used Access to interface Innoved DxDatabook to a combination text file
> > >from Oracle or directly from Oracle via ODBC and tables in the Access
> > >database to make it portable and not have to have Oracle bloatware on my
> > >machine. No programming required. Many other useful purposes also.
> >
> > So do spreadsheets.
> In another reply I was going to say, as a glorified spread sheet. Most
> people initially think of a database in those terms. Spreadsheet terms
> that is.
> I imagine a popular use for OO and Firebird will be data extraction
> directly to a spread sheet, and visa versa.