Database Open Officeorg Base

Base, shown in Figure 11 -4, allows you to create relational databases using a built-in database engine, as well as interface with external databases. Base is not installed by default, so you will need to install the openoffice.org-base package using System > Administration > Synaptic Package Manager. Then you can access it by clicking Applications > Office > OpenOffice.org Database.

Base is very similar to Microsoft Access in look and feel, although it lacks some of Access's high-end functions. For most database uses, it should prove perfectly adequate.

If you know the fundamentals of database technology, you shouldn't have any trouble getting started with Base immediately. This is made even easier than you might expect, because when the program starts, a wizard guides you through the creation of a simple database.

As with Access, Base is designed on the principles of tables of data, forms by which the data is input or accessed, and queries and reports by which the data can be examined and outputted. Once again, wizards are available to walk you through the creation of each of these, or you can dive straight in and edit each by hand, by selecting the relevant option.

Each field in the table can be of various types, including several different integer and text types, as well as binary and Boolean values. Forms can contain a variety of controls, ranging from simple text boxes to radio buttons and scrolling lists, all of which can make data entry easier. Reports can feature a variety of text formatting and can also rely on queries to manipulate the data. The queries themselves can feature a variety of functions and filters in order to sort data down to the finest detail.

You'll learn more about Base in Chapter 26.

HSiDL database engine

Figure 11-4. OpenOffice.org Base

HSiDL database engine

Figure 11-4. OpenOffice.org Base

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