The Urban Dictionary of Online Database Software

Online Dictionary

When you cross paths with a new subject, you want to quickly learn to talk the talk and walk the walk. Here are a few of the terms you need to know when it comes to online database software. From the five basics being Application, Project, Item, Field and Value to more advanced terms like Widget, after reading this article, you will be proficient in online database slang.


The 5 basic levels of your online database software


This is the mothership, where it all begins. No, this is not referring to a mobile application. This is not a game you can buy on the App Store. In the online database software world, an application is the blueprint for your project. This is where you  choose and organize the fields you need to gather your data. It could be a task tracking application, a meeting schedule application or anything you can think of in terms of database. Sky is the limit when it comes to designing applications. For example, let’s say we need an application to gather data about our prospects and  clients. You will probably want to create your application including information like name, title, email the type of contact and the such. Alternate terms to refer to applications are templates, forms or blueprint.



Once your application is created, you can derive different projects from it. Let’s go back to our client application we just designed. Let’s say you are a very successful businesswoman and you have three completely different businesses with three separate teams working for you. You sure want to have all your contact information in the same database but you don’t want to give access to all data to all employees in the three different companies. To take care of that situation, you will create three different client projects all derived from the same client application. Clever!



This is each of your client, task or any other item you are tracking in your project. Items can also be linked to one another. For example, you could link all your tasks related to a specific client to his own item. This allows you to quickly view all the data related to a specific item all in the same window.



This is each line of data in your item. There are many different types of fields: text, dropdown, checkbox, date and many others. You choose the type of field to add to your application in regards of the type of data you want to collect. If we go back to our client tracking application, we could use single line text fields for the name and title of our contacts but use a dropdown for the type of contact she is. An alternate term to refer to fields is elements.



This is the information you are typing or selecting in your field. Some fields will have preselected values. For example, the dropdown menus. In our contact type example, our values could be clients, prospects or acquaintances. In other fields like the text ones, you need to type in different information every time. For example, the name of your new prospect.



A few extras terms for the advanced online database software aficionados



The dashboard is the screen or tab where you can see all your important data in just one look. You can create different kind of widgets (see next for a definition) such as reminders, searches and lists of changes in your projects. The dashboard is really where you quickly want to see the big picture about all your data gathering projects.



The widget is like a tiny program that is allowing you to create a new chart, grid or calendar displaying your data. Simply follow the few steps of the wizard and you are done in a few clicks. Click here to learn more about the dashboard and widgets.



This is where the bulk of the work is done. This is where you create, edit and delete new items (tasks, contacts, etc.). You can also create ad hoc searches or use your existing ones. See the next entry for more information about the searches.



A search is allowing you to view subsets of your data. To create a search, you select the criterion referring to the fields of your application. For example, in my contact application, I want to see all my clients, but not the prospects and the acquaintances. A search can be created at the application level, at the project level or can simply be ad hoc. Searches at the application will appear in all your projects. For example, all your finished tasks. Searches at the project level will only show in that specific project. It could be all the tasks assigned to a specific user in a project. Ad hoc searches aren’t saved. You simply create one what you have a specific need.


After reading this article, I’m sure you can now talk the talk of online database software. Stay tuned for more!

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