Posted 07 June 2010 - 02:51 PM
This gives rise to the question about how spreadsheets can be made to work with a touch interface. Indeed, why continue to use spreadsheets at all?
One approach towards eliminating spreadsheets would be to start using databases. Databases are, after all, just groups of tables that can be used to show relationships between various types of data. In addition, the entry of the data is usually via a form, thus eliminating the major disadvantage of using spreadsheets with a touch interface. In addition, most databases, like spreadsheets, use formulas for calculations using the data in tables. Databases can also produce charts.
There are other advantages, particularly when printed out put is required as databases excel at report presentation.
Posted 07 June 2010 - 05:29 PM
Hmm, I'm exactly the opposite Keith. Just can't get my head around the concept of databases yet spreadsheets I do without thinking. Horses for courses I guess.
Posted 08 June 2010 - 10:46 AM
What, you haven't bought one yet, TL?
...Sometimes you just wanna duct tape her mouth and dump her in the hold for a month."
Posted 08 June 2010 - 05:31 PM
I think its horses for courses, and really depends what sort of information you are wanting to work with, and how much time you want to spend setting it up as opposed to working with it.
I know this might sound obvious, but spread sheets are really good at manipulating numbers, so if the information is primarily numbers based then I do it in a spread sheet (Numbers if I know its just for me, Excel if I know I have to send it to someone else).
If its something more complex then I will do it in Filemaker (and I have done some big, multi user things, in FileMaker which are still in use 9 years down the track by a team I left 6 years ago - Im pretty happy about that).
If its a simple list of things Im wanting to track (ie, costs of different combinations of equipment etc), or heavy number based (such as calculating different frame related data for an animation) then I will do it as a quick spreadsheet because I can fit everything on one page and I don't have to think about defining fields etc. If I do it in Filemaker I need to make a few files and link them all together, its overkill for the information I need to sort/track.
For example, my wife just started a hobby business, and wanted something to track costs quickly. Now I know I will eventually make her something in Filemaker, but for now 30 seconds and two columns in Excel and she has everything she needs. When the time comes it will be easy to export from one and import to the other, but for now, spreadsheet was the way to go.
Posted 08 June 2010 - 07:54 PM
what's really nice is the way FileMaker/Bento and Excel/Numbers are talking to each other at the mo'. At a simple level (which is where I try to live) it all boils down to List View vs Form View ( from a database perspective)
Is there really an argument?
Posted 09 June 2010 - 01:23 PM
Maybe, but not if I have to send it to anyone else, I would still stick with Excel for that.
I know there are probably templates in Filemaker to do some things, but again - 10 minutes trawling through Filemaker templates to find one that does what I want and I can work out, or 1 minute with Excel.
As I said, horses for courses - I use and like both, don't feel any pressure to drop one over the other.