Where can I get a cheap or free database for my non profit?


Episode 1358

Peter from Lake Geneva, WI

Peter has a non profit and he's looking for a database to keep track of his clientele. Leo says that BatchBook is good. It's $35 a month, and free to try. Other options include Donor Snap and NonProfitEasy. Leo says that there's probably some free solutions as well. Peter should check out for more suggestions.

How can I have a mobile copy of my database?

Episode 1356

Bill from San Gabriel, CA

Bill can't access files on an old XP machine unless he logs into an intranet and connects to it remotely. He can't see them if he logs onto the computer directly. Leo says if he has access to the machine remotely, he should be able to copy the files to another computer, or even a thumb drive. Any change he makes to the database will not populate to the shared version, though. He'd have to sync to them. It would be better to make them read only and not make changes until he updates the local copy of the old machine.

Does Microsoft Office work well as a database server?

Episode 1283

Deborah from Carlsbad, CA

Deborah wants needs a database and wants to be able to have a limited number of people in the company to share it. Microsoft Office can do it, but it usually uses a locally run Exchange server.

Leo suggests looking at this tech note from Leo suggests creating a spreadsheet and then see if it can break. Leo did it with Google Docs and they got 150 current users before it started to refuse connections. So Google Docs would work as well.

How can I backup my Steel database?

Episode 1263

Dale from Santa Monica, CA

Dale uses a database program called Steel. It's being killed off and he can't get the data out of it. Leo says he'll have to be able to export it somehow in the 'save as' option. Dale says he can save it as a text file. He should look for 'comma separated values' or 'tab separated values.'

Dale should download TextWrangler from Bare Bones software. It has a setting called 'show invisible' and with luck, there will be structure to it that he can take advantage of and import it into a spreadsheet.

US Government Office of Personnel Management Hacked

Episode 1195

The computer network of the US Government Office of Personnel Management was hacked by what the FBI calls "Chinese hackers." OPM carries details on the records of every single government employee, including security levels and personal information. And there's millions at risk. Leo's not so sure that China is at fault here, although China does have a very active and robust cyber espionage group. What Leo sees here is blackmail material, based on the clearance database.

How can I export an old database to modernize it?

Episode 1039

Bill from Buena Park CA

Bill has a really old database written in Q&A and it has a lot of data in it. It's 35 years old, and he's concerned that he'll lose it all. Leo says that backup is vital, but the real issue is to be sure Bill guards that program. He has to make an "export" that's readable by other databases. CSV is probably the best option. It would allow him to export it into Excel or other programs. Leo says it's time to modernize the database itself. Leo suggests hiring a consultant who can do it.

Why is Sugar Sync adding more to my database file names every time it syncs?

Episode 918

Eric from Gathersberg, MD

Eric is using Sugar Sync with Microsoft Access, and every time it uploads his files to sync it, it gives them a longer and longer file name. Leo says it's doing this because Sugar Sync doesn't know which copy is the most recent and the one he wants, so it saves them all. It has to increase the file name of each one because there are naming conflicts otherwise.