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Access vs. Filemaker vs. Alpha 5 vs. Paradox?????

Access vs. Filemaker vs. Alpha 5 vs. Paradox?????

Access vs. Filemaker vs. Alpha 5 vs. Paradox?????

I run a small executive search firm... a head hunter.  I am trying to enter the paperless era and felt very computer literate until I started researching a DB software to manage my contact info.  

I liked Recruiter 2.0 which is an add on to Filemaker v 7.  It got my customization about half way there.  However, it didn't seem possible to embed Word documents into the program.

I need a software that is easy to modify (I figure they should all be easy to use, it is the set up part that is overwhelming at the moment).  I need to create certain fields that will allow me to run a search or query later on.  I also need to be able to attach MS Word documents (formatted resumes, references, other professional data).  Security is not an issue at the moment since I am the only one with access to the information.

I am not a programmer, in fact programming is why I changed my major from engineering, so all this talk about SQL, etc gives me hives and makes feel positively infantile!  The Access page gives me little info about what the program can do or how complex it will be to achieve those results.  Filemaker was great with the presals demo and help, but their techs were telling me it would take professional assistance to embed documents and they were talking $10k.  Alpha 5 can't fit me in to discuss their software until next Thurs.  

If anyone can make some recommendations based on my brief outline of needs, I would be extremely grateful.

Thanks for taking the time to help!

RE: Access vs. Filemaker vs. Alpha 5 vs. Paradox?????

Access has the best integration with Word but it's difficult to know which will be easiest for you to set up. As you have found already, you might have to trade easy setup against ultimate power.

The databases you mention all follow the relational model so you will have to put some thought into the design before you start. You've got to get the data split into separate tables. Then you'll have to think about what operations you want to be able to perform and refine your design.

Don't shy away from getting professional advice. If you get the initial design right it will last for years. If you get it wrong then you'll spend years paying for people to put it right.

Geoff Franklin

RE: Access vs. Filemaker vs. Alpha 5 vs. Paradox?????

Why do you want to?

What's wrong with storing the path of the documents?

RE: Access vs. Filemaker vs. Alpha 5 vs. Paradox?????

If you want a really good database, go for postgreSQL. Its free and VERY easy to use once you get a hang of it...

RE: Access vs. Filemaker vs. Alpha 5 vs. Paradox?????

I would avoid embedding word docs into your database anyway

access tends to balloon out of proportion when you start embedding things.

store a path to the document instead as a string

RE: Access vs. Filemaker vs. Alpha 5 vs. Paradox?????

Don't even think about Paradox. It is a very powerful program but it is hard to use and no longer supported by Corel. (Paradox is what I use for the time being.)

The advantage of Access, like all Microsoft products is that there is lots of information and training. It is fairly easy to use and it's going to be around for quite a while. While it certainly has problems, I think it is the best option for someone in your situation.

And remember, starting a database is like getting a tattoo. Years later you will say "Why the @#%* did I do THAT." You can undo the damage but it will be expensive and painful. So careful planning is essential.

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