I’m on the record as saying that Mac databases are on life support and someone needs to call the time of death. Bento is gone. FileMaker Pro is too expensive and complicated. Then someone pointed me toward Ninox.
Way back in the day, in the early days of PCs and Macs, personal databases were all the rage to track recipes, list our VHS and Betamax tapes, and hold onto a Christmas list of names and addresses. Today there are individual apps that do the database deeds, except for Ninox, a throwback personal Mac database with modern features.
Not. Dead. Yet.
To be fair about databases, they are alive and well as the proliferation of MySQL and success of Oracle will attest. It’s just that databases have grown powerful and cumbersome to setup and use, and anything but personal. Ninox is a personal Mac database of the flat file style with table relation capabilities. That makes it a bit less capable than full-fledged relational databases such as 4D, but much easier to setup, manage, and use.
Databases of the flat file variety are basically large lists of this or that, but with functions built-in to each data entry field, but Ninox also allows tables to connect.
For example, tables can be customized, fields can be rich text formatted, and forms and charts can be generated from numeric fields. Fields can even be calculated, searched, and include icons, graphics, colors, and URLs. Number fields handle a variety of formats, including percentages, and even currency.
Ninox is good for basic database management for timekeeping, inventory, statistics, customer details and tracking, even order and project management.
For anyone just getting started in database design, Ninox is a good place to begin. It’s simple to setup useful databases which have a real purpose, but it’s also a database than can travel.
That’s right. There’s an iOS version of Ninox which can sync database files between devices using iCloud.
The Mac version of Ninox is about $20 more than the iPad version but together give you a decent platform for customizable, personal databases without the complexity of 4D, MySQL or other relational database solutions. The iPhone version is free. There’s also an attractive Ninox Cloud database option which presents a web-based database optimized for PCs, Macs, and both iPhone and iPad.