TyBase is our rapid application development tool for database-driven workflows. Simple databases can be configured without any programming knowledge, and application-specific logic can be implemented with minimal learning. We use this software internally for quoting, accounting and inventory management.
A database is divided into tables, similar to individual pages of a spreadsheet. Like a spreadsheet, individual columns in the table can be either user-supplied data or calculated results. Unlike a spreadsheet, tables can be easily cross-linked to form more complicated relationships (invoice -> inventory -> supplier.)
The database author may also provide graphical user interfaces (“forms”) which provide specific views of the database. For example, an individual invoice (cross-referencing the customer, the sale items, and any payments) or a customer card (referencing all quotes/invoices, payments, shipments, etc.) For the majority of users, a small number of these interfaces provide everything necessary to interact with the database.
TyBase was conceived when one of our projects reached the point where simple pen & paper (or email and sms, as was the case) inventory tracking was becoming increasing unwieldy. We needed a low maintenance, cost effective system which could handle a steady stream of information from a number of staff, and provide simple reports (stock levels, tax debt, customer quotes) on demand. The only off-the-shelf product that seemed to fit the bill was a particular well-known accounting package. We trialed it, and were astounded by the poor usability – the program looked and acted like it had been written twenty years earlier, and poorly maintained since. Admittedly, it worked- but the effort required to undertake what should have been simple tasks was staggering. We bought the software anyway, since we couldn’t find anything better. Things didn’t improve with experience.
Long story short, we felt the need to create something better- software that works to assist the user, rather than trying to force the user into a particular mould. We knew that as the project grew, we would want to add more features- and we knew that we didn’t know all of these features in advance. We needed something flexible. TyBase was born.
- The familiar table view allows authors to quickly prototype their data requirements and end-users to view report data.
- TyBase’s drag-and-drop Form editor allows authors to create user-friendly views of specific data elements.
- Authors can use spreadsheet-style functions to perform business logic with negligible programming knowledge.
- Advanced users can customise many additional aspects of the user experience.
- New users can get up and running fast, then add to their database’s capabilities as the need arises.
- Multiple users in a networked office environment can connect to a central database.
- Includes a number of useful database templates for home and business. This specifically includes our business logic template, which provides a turnkey solution for small-business inventory management and accounting. It’s also a great introduction to how a real database can be configured.
Platforms and Requirements
TyBase requires Mac OS X 10.7 or newer.
We use TyBase internally and feel that a lot of people will love it in its current form. But we also see a lot of potential to reach users in areas that aren’t currently practical. Here’s a short list of features that we expect to add to the software in the future:
- Web sharing – the ability to publish a database via the web, allowing users to access database forms and tables via their web browser.
- SQL access – while the built-in database engine is suitable for many workloads, some users need to connect to a traditional SQL back-end.
- iOS client – everybody loves access on-the-go.
- Database merge- the ability to take a copy of the database, make offline changes, and then merge them back into the original.
- Fine-grained access control – allowing different users to see and/or edit different aspects of the data.
- Charting and graphing – a picture can be worth a thousand numbers.
- Visual editor for calculations.
- Windows client – for friends and colleagues on that “other” platform.
If you’d like to know more, feel free to browse our online User Manual.