Here’s a blast from the past. Personal databases. Thanks to the popularity of individualized applications, personal databases that we build and customize to our needs are mostly a relic from the past.
Here’s one you’ve likely never heard of, don’t know about, probably won’t use, but wouldn’t have to pay any money to use it anyway, so what could it hurt? It’s called Ouistee and it’s a personal database for your Mac; billed as a personal data jukebox. There’s even an iPad version. Think of the once popular Bento but without all the features and eye candy, yet a lot more courage and a learning curve that you don’t have to pay to learn.
Personal Data Builder
Single purpose applications for Mac, iPhone, and iPad have mostly killed the traditional personal database app, and certainly put the kibosh to FileMaker’s Bento; probably the last great effort to market a personal database app.
Ouistee does not pick up where Bento left off. At the price tag of free and an *in-app upgrade to a few more features, you’re definitely getting what you pay for in this interesting little database app. Ouistee lets you create a database and use it for simple tasks; perhaps a list, an inventory, collections– the kind of data you prefer to store and manage and keep it tucked away safely on your Mac– and customized for your needs.
Mac users do not have many personal database apps to choose from these days, and that’s probably a good thing. Back in the day, creating a database was the norm. Today, databases come pre-built for specific purposes– saving you the creation and debugging time.
Ouistee lets you have a little of the flavor of yesteryear in a drop dead simple user interface that smacks a little of Bento but without the color, the flash, or the feature set.
If you so desire to tinker around with a real database app, Ouistee might come in handy. The interface is almost straightforward and you don’t need to know much about how to construct a database, either. Tools to organize, catalog, and sort your data files are built in. There’s also an option to archive files for backup.
The real question to ask is, “Why?” Why bother with setting up and managing your own personal database? The Mac App Store and iTunes App Store have plenty of single purpose apps which create personal databases. The difference is obvious. They simply are not general purpose database apps which you can build from scratch to do what you want. You’re required to fit their mold.
The iPad version works much the same way and syncs to the Mac version using iCloud.
So, Ouistee has a home among those new to databases, those who want simplicity and personal control, who want to learn how databases work, but even at free the effort required to roll your own personal database that is somewhat limited in functionality may be an obstacle not easily or quickly overcome.