Wanted - application to enter data into a database using a 'grid view'

Chris Green cl at isbd.net
Wed Jan 18 10:49:36 UTC 2012

On Tue, Jan 17, 2012 at 06:04:17PM -0700, Craig White wrote:
> On Tue, 2012-01-17 at 13:37 +0000, Chris Green wrote:
> > One would have thought this would be the usual way to enter data into a
> > database, especially when starting a project, but I can't find
> > *anything* that allows me to do this remotely efficiently.
> > 
> > All I want is a simple data entry grid/matrix that shows me the data in
> > the columns and rows of a table and allows me to edit existing data or
> > add new data to an empty row at the bottom.  I want to be able to simply
> > TAB along the row, having to click on each field and then enter the data
> > spoils the simplicity.
> > 
> > I have to say that MS Access seems to have got this right, if you simply
> > view an Access table it appears in exactly the format I want by default.
> > 
> > I'd prefer this for sqlite3 but mySql or even postgresql would be OK.
> > 
> > Any suggestions anyone?
> > 
> > I've investigated most of the database *management* programs such as
> > sqlitebrowser and sqliteman (and similar for mySql) but they concentrate
> > on database administration and creating SQL queries, they really aren't
> > very good at simply entering data.
> > 
> > There's kexi and knoda but firstly they're both KDE based and I don't
> > really want to pull in all of KDE just to run them and I'm not sure
> > they'll do what I want anyway.  When I tried kexi just recently it
> > firstly didn't know about sqlite and secondly crashed when I tried to
> > use it on another database.
> ----
> you can use 'Base' from LibreOffice (OpenOffice) - it's the database
> module and it's somewhat similar to Access. That said, you can probably
> use the spreadsheet program too if you tie it to a specific table on a
> database.
> I have only used Base with postgresql but it shouldn't be a problem with
> either mysql or sqlite and I think there is a built-in database that you
> can use instead if you want.
While this satisfies some of my requirements it's much too heavyweight
an application really.  Firstly, even on my modern fairly fast desktop
it takes several seconds to load, then one is presented with a complex
GUI with loads of menus etc.  I want to be able to get directly into the
data entry mode, reasonably quickly, e.g. I want to be able to say:-

    myProgram <databaseName> <tableName>

... and be presented with the table in rows and columns ready to be
edited.  Actually this is something that even MS Access (which ticks
most of the other boxes) can't do, it's in the same sort of place as

Spreadsheets sort of work except that they don't tend to present you
with *only* the rows and columns you want and, again, have acres of
menus and other stuff that I don't want.  The defaults date entry modes
are all wrong too, for example I want columns to grow to fit data
entered not do that horrible sort of overlapping thing that spreadsheets
do.  OK, it can all be changed to some extent but it really feels as if
one is using something not designed for the job.

I'm getting closest to what I want using Dabo to build my application
using their AppWizard, at least that gets quite a lot of the way to
where I want to be "out of the box".

Chris Green

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