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On 08/06/14 23:46, Joel Madero wrote:
Hi All -

So I have been using spreadsheet for about 10 years to keep track of a
goal that I set my first year of college (reading a million pages before
I die). That being said, I keep adding things to it and it's becoming
more and more complicated. This week I decided I wanted to add yet
another thing - I want to track series that I read and for it to
generate the "next book in the series" after I complete a book. I think
I've figured out how to do this with spreadsheet using match and index
but I'm just debating if it's time for me to really sit down and create
a database with the info.

The file is located here:

Thoughts much appreciated - I have a bit of experience with Access and
am pretty good at "learning by doing" but don't want to change to
database just for the sake of changing. Kind of looking for pros and
cons. Thanks in advance!


Hey Joel,

A database is great for generating reports from your data.  They are
also a great way to enforce data consistency which makes reporting so
much easier.

Databases are also a fine way to enforce business rules.  Stuff like not
allowing someone to enter a date for completing a process step before
the previous steps have their dates in place.

They are also great configuration management tools.  The database can
keep previous versions of a record safe for future reference.  Say you
have a widget.  The database records all the desired meta-data
concerning the design and creation of the widget.  Then it's discovered
that the widget has the wrong size hole in it.  The database can save
the original records and create a new record for the new revision.  A
database can record what revision of each widget was employed in a
certain application.

Generally there are thousands of widgets all in varying states of
revision and acceptance.  Databases are great for tracking change.  If
your data set changes over time then a database is a great way to track
that change.

Databases are also better at managing large data sets as you are finding
out with your current spreadsheets.

Have you read the BASE guide yet?  There's some really good database
design concepts illustrated there.  You really want to structure your
database in a way that you can expand and restructure the database later
when you decide to add features such as the "next in a series" concept
you mentioned above.

I've perused your Google docs spreadsheet.  I think it would be quite
easy to import that into a database.

   ^ ^  Mark LaPierre
Registered Linux user No #267004

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