Hi folks, I am trying to consolidate 9 WW collections, all pre-mid-60's. I have seen a few (unmentionable) online album sites. I think I know what the answer is going to be but what is your opinion on their use?
I am considering writing an Access database for mine and entering all of the collections there instead of haphazardly moving stamps around to consolidate them.
You want a opinion ?----Every collector develops their own method . My method has been to have one main collection and have extra albums to handle and work with for a year or two. This lessens handling my main albums . Then go page by page transfering stamps to my main collection ,then selling the spare collection at auction.
Floortrader, I just ran across a thread where you have an image of your library. All I can say is WOW!!! That is very impressive and a good display of your attention to detail and organization. I don't have enough years left in me to come anywhere close to 10% of that effort!
Chris, I gave up recounting the multiple horror stories I have had dealing with Access databases. Life is much better with a real relational database backend like MS SQL or My SQL. MS Access is like a cute little power tool with its own little carrying case while SQL is like a well-stocked shop.
Data is data, tables are tables, and queries are queries no matter what the database tool may be. The only thing that Access makes a bit easier is form generation. That said, it also paints you into a propriety corner forever chained to Microsoft operating systems and DLLs. It also does not make it easy to share data. On the other hand, a SQL database foundation gives you all the cross platform flexibility you need to be ensured decades of use. By using a SQL backend paired with a browser based interface, you will not only be able to share your stamp collection with other online but also be free from operating systems and manufacturer dependencies. Don
I agree with Don in that using a real relational database is superior to Access.
You can download a free copy of Microsoft SQL Server and use it to develop a powerful database. SQL (structured query language) is not difficult to learn for simple queries and there are a few of us who can help with more complicated queries. A well-designed database can propel your website with unimaginable possibilities.
I've built a website for my own collection, but as a bit of a perfectionist I am still working to get it all right before sharing with others. If you have any questions about how to go about building your database, please let me know.
Hello all, I was reading this thread I was in the early stages of developing my own database in access learning access as I whent along, But after reading Dons comment it looks like the SQL way is the way to go, So ill use what I learned from acces and try my hand at trying to do it in SQL. I might be picking you brains if thats ok by you Don.
Hi Ray, What you have will get you going for putting the database in place. Install SQL Express and then use Management Studio to establish your database. Frankly, developing the tables and queries is just like Access. If you already have populated tables in Access, you can replicate them in SQL and then 'copy and paste' the data. The queries can also be 'copy and pasted' although you might have the tweak them a bit.
Also note that if you already have a hosted website, there is a excellent chance that you are already paying for SQL database hosting. If it is a Microsoft hosting plan, you can use Management Studio to establish your first database on their SQL server (and not have to install a SQL server on your local machine).
After you have a SQL database in place, the next step would be to decide how you want to develop the 'forms' and 'reports'. I would recommend a browser based user interface although you could develop a stand alone desktop app if desired. A platforms like Visual Studio gives you both options.
Other good choices would be PHP or ASP/ASPX if you are staying Microsoft.
If you head towards a browser based interface you will also need to a web server. This can be local or can be a hosted online server. All Windows PCs come with IIS web server but you will need to activate it under Add/Remove Programs in the Control Panel.
There are a number of other development apps, many free, that you can use to help you put PHP, ASP/ASPX into place. When you get to this point I can give you some recommendations.
Understood. Speaking only for myself, my computer time far exceeds my stamp time but this is mostly due to things that are beyond my control. I cannot really do stamp time sitting in a dialysis chair for 20 hours a week nor do I want to burden my wife with dispositioning more material than I already have (which is a room full) given my medical prognosis. So investing my time in philatelic-related computer stuff keeps me engaged with the hobby. I am currently finishing up the new HPO online catalog and database and am working with La Posta to get decades of back issues published for the postal history folks. I hope both of these will be useful computer time contributions to our hobby and might even grow interest in these areas. Don