We are always amazed at the number of businesses, small and large, who continue to use Excel and other spreadsheet programs to run certain aspects of their business. There's nothing wrong with using spreadsheets. In fact, this is how most database systems come into existence; when a business owner realizes they have outgrown their spreadsheets and need a more robust solution.
At Sofvue, we have designed and launched hundreds of database systems for real estate companies. Some are small with under a hundred fields, while others contain thousands of fields and hundreds of screens. 90% of the databases Sofvue designs are for small companies (typically under 100 people). The other 10% are for large enterprises with hundreds of people, thousands of fields and hundreds of database screens.
Some database systems are internal to a business (Intranet) and cannot be accessed outside the company's network. These solutions allow users to share private, internal information, and collaborate in real-time, but only internally to their network. There are advantages and disadvantages to this approach, but the single most common reason companies choose this path is security.
The other most common path is developing a shared database system available to users inside and outside of a company's network (Extranet). Extranets can also be internal to a network, but databases typically developed as Extranets allow a business to share information with their customer and/or clients. These databases are maintained in the "Cloud" and at Sofvue, are developed on the Microsoft (SQL) framework, or in MySQL (Open Source) framework.
In addition to the time saved and the ease of use for your company employees and customers, as well as the control of how the database is designed and managed, some of the key reasons to consider a database system for your business include;
> Search Control. Databases allow for quick searches of data that, in spreadsheets, is much more time consuming to locate.
> Real-Time Access. Databases allow users to access all data and records in real-time, simultaneously.
> Scalability. With a database, your business can scale rapidly, from a few users, to thousands. With spreadsheets, and even when using shared cloud storage platforms like DropBox, Microsoft's OneDrive or Google Docs, your spreadsheets integrity will quickly diminish.
> Data Control. Because databases are designed to the “field” level, your database is designed to control what can or cannot be entered into a field, along with tracking and reporting tools that track user engagement.
Sofvue develops databases using Microsoft SQL, MySQL (Open Source) and FileMaker Pro Advanced.
To learn more about which database solution is right for your business, call 623-845-2747.