Looking for SIMPLE client database for small camp/school!

in Mac Software edited January 2014
I have a small business and I am looking for a SIMPLE database to keep track of my families information with the ability to customize fields and import my current clients from excel.

Some of the fields would be, Name, Address, Email, Contact info, Child's Name, Age, Camp they signed up for, Balance Paid, Due etc. It doesn't have to function with any other program or software. Just stand alone for manual input so I can keep track of families registration info, spending habits, balance dues. Just basic report tools. It would be great if I could search "Week 1 Summer Camp" and see who is signed up too...not sure if that's pushing it.

Thanks for any tips!


  • Reply 1 of 8
    mr. memr. me Posts: 3,219member
    Do you want a ready-made database setup to accept your data or do you want a database management system that you can use to create your own application? If you want the latter, then you can use FileMaker's Bento. You may also use the opensource OfficeOffice or its Java-based version, NeoOffice.
  • Reply 2 of 8
    Hi ME. Yes, it would be great if it was already made and I could input the fields I wanted. I DL'd openoffice and it was not fun to use. I need something more user friendly. I only have about 15 fields. I really want it to keep track of camp families information, camps they register for and balance paid/dues etc. I don't even need invoicing capabilities really. Just to store my data for my reference.
  • Reply 3 of 8
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,306member
    Bento sounds ideal here.

    I've seen some pretty nifty customizations and it looks great.
  • Reply 4 of 8
    Thank you!!!
  • Reply 5 of 8
    jazzgurujazzguru Posts: 6,435member
    I build Access databases for a living, and this is the first I've heard of Bento (I'm a relative n00b to the Mac world).

    Does anyone know if Bento supports ODBC out of the box, or if 3rd party drivers are required? How is the performance?

    I would love to eventually upgrade to Mac and drop Windows and Microsoft Office altogether, but Access is a big reason I haven't yet.

    I know OpenOffice Base supports ODBC, just wondering if Bento does and if anyone has had experience with it.
  • Reply 6 of 8
    areseearesee Posts: 776member
    jazzguru, check out FileMaker. Bento is much to simple for you. Think Works verses Office.
  • Reply 7 of 8
    jazzguru: aresee is right-on with Bento being much to simple to support ODBC, but am going to caution you about expectations when trying FileMaker. I am not cautioning you that FileMaker is not powerful, or a great alternative to Access (it is both of those), but rather that the way of thinking in FileMaker is very different than the methods you use in Access (or other SQL based database systems). Many developers assume that the SQL methods are the only/best way of accessing databases, and then assume that since the things they are used to are not present in FileMaker that FileMaker must suck. This is not the case, it is simply though through from a different angle.

    Complicating that message is that the newest version of FileMaker supports SQL queries of other databases. If you wanted to you could even build FileMaker solutions that fake-it as a front-end to a SQL data-source. But you will be missing much of FileMaker's true power, and things will be slow and clumsy.

    So if you are going to make the switch to FileMaker (and you can do so while still on Windows), then budget extra time to relearning what a database is.
  • Reply 8 of 8
    jazzgurujazzguru Posts: 6,435member
    Thanks guys, that's what I needed to know.

    I do work with SQL in Access, but as Access really isn't what I would consider "SQL friendly" and has a lot of its own proprietary stuff integrated with it (VBA), I try to use the built in GUI and tools whenever possible. In other words, I try to "speak Access' language" rather than try to make Access conform to me. I've gotten some great results with that approach.

    I think I could really dive in to FileMaker and learn how it works, as opposed to approaching it with my own set of pre-concieved notions as to how I think it should function or be used.

    Thanks again for the responses.

    Sorry to hijack the topic, craftymacgirl!
Sign In or Register to comment.