[ubuntu-uk] (Slightly OT) Standalone databases

Bob Giles thecorfiot at gmail.com
Thu Oct 20 08:51:57 UTC 2011

Thank you all who have taken the trouble to respond so quickly.

I have put together a combined response to the suggestions received so 
far. Please, if anyone has any further observations or suggestions, I 
would like to here them.

Am now no more than a 'hobbyist' and so have time to consider what is a 
'labour of love!

Thanks again,


On 20/10/11 11:10, Simon Greenwood wrote:
 > To be Ubuntuesque I have to point a desktopcouch, which is at the 
core of Gnome, but I'm not sure how easy it would be to port to other 
platforms. There are Windows and Mac projects but I have no idea how 
mature they are.
 > If users don't need to directly access the database then look at 
SQLite, which is cross-platform, included with most Linux distributions 
and easy to bundle. It's used in Firefox among other things, and there 
is a plugin for Firefox if direct access is required.
 > Next up from that is something like HSQLDB, which is the engine in 
OpenOffice.org/LibreOffice which is written in Java and can be plugged 
into a package as part of a distribution. Downside there is that it 
needs Java to be present.


Thanks for the suggestions. I looked at couchdb v desktopcouch and to be 
honest, my eyes glazed over! However, I like the idea of a web interface 
as all users would have Internet access.

LibreOffice was my first thought but didn't want to assume that everyone 
had access to it.


  On 20/10/11 11:10, Kris Douglas wrote:
 > A spreadsheet package would be ideal, multiple sheets in a workbook 
so you have your "tables". Can be distributed as ods,xls,csv...


In the days when I used to work (retired now, not unemployed per se!) I 
used to develop applications using Excel and this idea certainly has 
some appeal. Again though, I would have to assume that users had the 
same application or were able to manipulate the data in the absence of a 
'front end'.


On 20/10/11 11:23, Avi Greenbury wrote:

 > I'm guessing when you say you'd like to distribute the database, you'd
also like to distribute some sort of a user interface to it? Else
SQLite is popular for bundling SQL dbs, and SQLite is available on
basically every platform, or Couchdb seems popular for this NoSQL

 > In any case, if the users will have internet access or similar,  the
easiest way to do it (and probably the only way to get guaranteed
cross-platform) is to use a web interface and host it somewhere they
can all get at.


I think that you may be right. My initial idea was to distribute the 
database 'manually' but I am getting drawn to this idea as it would 
totally negate the worry about what software the recipients have installed.
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