The 5 Most Misunderstood Facts About Online Database Software

misunderstood facts about online database software

Online database software may just be the most misunderstood of all software. With this article, I hope I can help you better understand what it is and what it is used for.


1. It is used to manage your business data.

First things first… what is data? According to Wikipedia, data is:

“(…) the quantities, characters, or symbols on which operations are performed by a computer, being stored and transmitted in the form of electrical signals and recorded on magnetic, optical, or mechanical recording media.”

In simpler terms, your data is all the information you need to run your business properly. For example, if we are talking about information regarding persons, it can be the information (name, email address, phone number, etc.) about your leads, clients, patients or suppliers. But it could also be information about tasks, meetings, contracts, schedules or any other information about the daily activities of your business.

I personally have 26 applications… I use my Kohezion account to manage my tasks, my blog posts, the performance of my students, my contacts, the hours worked by my assistant and so many other uses. I concede that I may have gone a bit overboard since I love to design and create applications but as you can see, the possibilities are endless.

2. It is not installed on your computer.

Old-style database programs used to have to be installed on your computer. Of course, you had to sit at your desktop computer to create new items and to consult your data. It was quite static. These types of software implied that you needed one person to do data entry.

Nowadays, most database software are web-based. This means that as long as you have an Internet connexion, you can access your data from anywhere and on any device. You can then have many users in a single account, creating data simultaneously. Using a web-based business solution allows incredible flexibility. Telecommuting becomes very easy.

But remember, I must be very clear here, if you do not have a connexion, you don’t have access to your data. If you work in an area where Internet connexion is not stable, you may want to export your data periodically, especially for your contacts, to maintain access to your data even if you’re not connected.

3. You can share only the data you want.

A big blob of indivisible data would be useless and would pose security issues. This is why your data is neatly organized in projects and searches and then comes the role-based security feature. This feature helps you share only the data you need to share with the users in your account.

Some projects may be useful to all your team workers so you will give access to it to everybody. But I’m sure some of your projects contain more sensitive data that you don’t want to spread widely. You will have the possibility to manage the permissions accordingly. Role-based security can be managed per project, per user or per user group to facilitate the account manager’s task.

4. It is used to create applications, projects and items.

What is what? What comes first? If you are not sure what are applications, projects and items, watch the introduction of this video: How to Create an Application.

Remember that the application is the blueprint for your projects. This is where you choose and organize the fields you need to gather your data. Single line text fields for names and email addresses or drop down menus for statuses and priority and so on. When you are done designing your application, you can then create many projects from this blueprint. Each project will then contain numerous items. Your data consist of this mass of items. Use the searches and reports to slice and dice this mass of information.

5. You don’t need to know how to code.

Not that long ago, database applications used to be designed and coded by programmers and developers. End-users (the people actually using these database applications) had to wait for the experts to create or edit their applications. The citizen developer movement changed this.

With online database software, anybody can now create and edit its own database applications. Create your own dashboard, searches, applications, projets and reports without programming.


Please leave a comment with any other question about online database software. It will be my pleasure to answer it for the benefit of all readers.

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