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Author Topic: Database Oasis for $21 on Bits duJour Wed, 4/14/2010  (Read 5157 times)
J-Mac
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« on: April 14, 2010, 02:33:47 AM »

A "point-and-click" database program is how it's billed. Looks pretty nice, especially to me. I was pretty decent using dBase III+ way back but I have given up on Microsoft Access several times. Every time I want to do anything in Access that VB Editor window opens and it all kinda falls apart - all downhill from there!

If anyone has used or is using Database Oasis please let me know what you think of it. I am considering giving it a try but I respect the views of my DC friends here and would really like some info from people who know the product.

Thanks!

Jim
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J-Mac
J-Mac
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« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2010, 01:31:55 AM »

Well this certainly didn't generate much interest here!

Just FYI: I did finally go ahead and purchase Database Oasis....  and it ain't all that.   huh embarassed

So I still am seeking the fairly simple but usable database app!  (Anyone wanna buy a very, very slightly used Database Oasis?)

Thanks!

Jim
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J-Mac
gpetrant
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« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2010, 11:47:09 AM »

I took a look at it.  I respect their design philosophy (create a simple database app for home users), and I think they succeed on that count.  I am looking for something along those lines, myself, but the two things which were deal breakers for me: you can't compile each Display (database) into a stand-alone which runs without starting the Database Oasis front-end itself, and the field (as well as query) options were too limited for my purposes. 

There seems to be a veritable dearth of database apps which achieve the happy medium I'm looking for: inexpensive, easy to use, yet sophisticated enough to do everything a home/small business user could want.  Database Oasis is well on its way toward that goal, imo, and I hope they continue development. 

What did you like, and what didn't you like, about Database Oasis, J-Mac?
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Shywolf
J-Mac
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« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2010, 12:40:53 PM »

I took a look at it.  I respect their design philosophy (create a simple database app for home users), and I think they succeed on that count.  I am looking for something along those lines, myself, but the two things which were deal breakers for me: you can't compile each Display (database) into a stand-alone which runs without starting the Database Oasis front-end itself, and the field (as well as query) options were too limited for my purposes.  

I agree that it is a decent effort by the developer, and I wasn’t really trying to trash the app - just express that I was somewhat disappointed. The inability to compile each display doesn’t really bother me that much.

Quote
There seems to be a veritable dearth of database apps which achieve the happy medium I'm looking for: inexpensive, easy to use, yet sophisticated enough to do everything a home/small business user could want.

Sounds like we are looking for very similar programs.
Quote
Database Oasis is well on its way toward that goal, imo, and I hope they continue development.  

I am also hopeful; after all I have it now so if it improves that will certainly make me happy!

Quote
What did you like, and what didn't you like, about Database Oasis, J-Mac?

First, the UI doesn’t seem to work to well on my computer here. The text is overly large and therefore a lot of it is cut off at the end of each line. Also, in most cases the bottom ~10% of all text is cut off. See the screen caps below.





I haven't yet spent much time with the program but the time I did spend wasn’t very good - of course I have only been through the Quick Start documentation; I will also read the user manual - or at least the parts pertinent to what I want to do; the manual is a 298 page PDF document! I will say that the documentation isn't that bad. A CHM Help file plus the Quick Start and Full User manual (both PDF) can be opened from the Help menu. A lot of apps I have picked up lately have no Help docs at all and the Help menu opens your browser to their web page; not so with DB Oasis to their credit.

Anyway I opened a few different Displays and entered some sample data just to get the feel of it. However the next time I open those same displays I cannot find the data I entered. Supposedly when you open a Display with data in it the first entry you made is showing in the display screen; mine is always empty. I tried using Data>Find but it finds no entries. Likewise the Data>Setup List View creates whatever list I configure but there is no data to show. Yet each Display where I entered sample data shows in the Display's Title bar, e.g., Medical Records Display shows "Medical Records: 1 of 1) on its title bar but there is no data showing and none to be found. The only thing I can guess is that I did not enter data for every single field in the display, but I would hope that doesn’t prevent any data at all from showing.

Anyway I guess that the combination of the broken text display and the inability to show the data I entered got me a bit disinterested in it. I did spend a few hours with it trying to resolve the issues I am seeing, but after a few hours I grow weary of troubleshooting a brand-spanking new program! I kinda like 'em to work OK out of the box and then at least let ME break them!!   cheesy

Thanks!

Jim
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J-Mac
wraith808
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« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2010, 11:43:58 AM »

First, the UI doesn’t seem to work to well on my computer here. The text is overly large and therefore a lot of it is cut off at the end of each line. Also, in most cases the bottom ~10% of all text is cut off. See the screen caps below.

Do you use large fonts?  That seems to be the problem from the screenshots that you post.  Many apps aren't developed for large fonts, so when viewed in them, are quite ugly.  It's an easy thing to get around, and I know .NET apps don't seem to have that problem anymore, but in many languages, the developer still has to do it.
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J-Mac
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« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2010, 12:21:03 PM »

First, the UI doesn’t seem to work to well on my computer here. The text is overly large and therefore a lot of it is cut off at the end of each line. Also, in most cases the bottom ~10% of all text is cut off. See the screen caps below.

Do you use large fonts?  That seems to be the problem from the screenshots that you post.  Many apps aren't developed for large fonts, so when viewed in them, are quite ugly.  It's an easy thing to get around, and I know .NET apps don't seem to have that problem anymore, but in many languages, the developer still has to do it.

No - or not really. Depends on "Large" I guess. When I installed Windows 7 I set the text size attribute to 115% of the default; that's a custom setting as the default was microscopic and the next level up was too large. I have a 24" wide screen monitor with a resolution of 1920 x 1200 px. Default size for Win7 looks equivalent to a font size of 5 or 6, which IMO is way too tiny. The current custom setting of 115% doesn’t negatively affect the text in any other app on this machine - and I do have a lot of apps installed; >200.

Jim
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J-Mac
wraith808
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« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2010, 04:38:21 PM »

That is considered 'large' fonts.  If a developer sets their labels as not autosized, but sized based on their layout and you uniformly switch the font size, this will happen.  In older versions of windows, it was large fonts vs regular fonts- I guess windows 7 lets you change that with greater granularity.  As I said, I'm not saying this isn't their fault- but I bet that if you tried to switch to 100% and tested their application, you wouldn't see this problem.  A bit of information you can pass onto the developer...
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J-Mac
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« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2010, 10:11:03 PM »

That is considered 'large' fonts.  If a developer sets their labels as not autosized, but sized based on their layout and you uniformly switch the font size, this will happen.  In older versions of windows, it was large fonts vs regular fonts- I guess windows 7 lets you change that with greater granularity.  As I said, I'm not saying this isn't their fault- but I bet that if you tried to switch to 100% and tested their application, you wouldn't see this problem.  A bit of information you can pass onto the developer...

I don’t believe that is considered "Large"; just larger than the default, and not by much. First, there is the Text Size Setting dialog that says 150% = Large, 125% = Medium, and 100% = Smaller, as attached below. By those size labels 115% is between Medium and Small, but certainly not "Large". Unless the Win7 UI designers really don’t say what they mean - which is not so far-fetched.  cheesy

115% made my fonts readable at 1920 x 1200 on my 24" monitor in Windows 7, but not even quite as large as the Windows XP Pro default text size on the same 24" monitor.

Here's the Text Size Setting dialog:



Thank you.

Jim

PS - Above I said "First..." and then never got to "second"   embarassed  Second, if this was considered a "Large" font then why wouldn’t any other of the 200+ programs installed have the same problem?
« Last Edit: April 18, 2010, 10:13:03 PM by J-Mac » Logged

J-Mac
wraith808
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« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2010, 08:16:17 AM »

PS - Above I said "First..." and then never got to "second"   embarassed  Second, if this was considered a "Large" font then why wouldn’t any other of the 200+ programs installed have the same problem?

If a developer sets their labels as not autosized, but sized based on their layout and you uniformly switch the font size, this will happen.  In older versions of windows, it was large fonts vs regular fonts- I guess windows 7 lets you change that with greater granularity. 

You can easily test by changing your fonts to 100% and seeing if it works.  And by large, I meant larger than normal.  If you code your UI based on the font being 10px then someone sets it to say... 115%, then that same letter that was 10px before will be 11.5px.  And if you set your label to something other than autosize, then for a 10 word label, the text will overflow by 10*1.5px = 15px- large enough to notice.

As I said, I'm not saying this isn't their fault- but I bet that if you tried to switch to 100% and tested their application, you wouldn't see this problem.  A bit of information you can pass onto the developer...

It's up to you whether you want to try it by setting your fonts momentarily to 100% and seeing if that is the case and then passing it on to the developer- but things like that tend to get addressed (or you can see the developer's colors) if you give concrete examples to back up your claim rather than the generic "I'm seeing X" message IME.
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J-Mac
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« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2010, 02:59:57 PM »

Well if that is the case then I will either use the program (Database Oasis) as is - most is still at least readable - or worst case it gets dumped. I'm not even going to try changing the text size to test it. Last time I did when I changed it back a lot of text items were changed and I had a heck of a time getting them all back to what I need. Very similar to when I used XP Pro; I tried changing my resolution to 800 x 600 to accommodate one lousy program which would not render decently at all and the developer insisted that the majority of his users were still using 800 x 600 resolution and that I could just change it for his program and change it back afterward. Of course when I tried that my desktop was a complete mess - icon sizes did not change back automatically - as well as other areas throughout the system. I committed myself to two personal rules then: One, I would not change my resolution willy-nilly to accommodate one app out of the many I use, and two, that I do not need to use the products of any developer who through laziness or lack of programming talent did not update his/her program's UI to keep up with current screen resolutions, monitor sizes, etc. So I will contact the Database Oasis developer to report what I am experiencing here and see just what kind they are - the kind I'll keep or not.

BTW, I recently had a similar experience with another "one program" developer - actually not a developer at all but a person who wanted to develop a specialized database program. He contracted with a software "engineer" to create this program that he had conceived. The initial pricing was outrageously high but later dropped quite a bit - wonder why?!?   mad  After installing the program it initially opened its main window. Tiny. After trying and failing to resize the window I measured it: 740 x 570 px. Works out to less than 20% of my total screen size. The text all looked decent - for a little window like that. Proportional is a better way to put it, I guess. I wrote to him but he told me the window size could not be changed and that I should just change my resolution to 800 x 600 and it would look much better. Turns out that wasn’t the only thing I didn't like about his program. Can't scroll with the mouse wheel, can't tab from/to text input boxes, can't use any of the Microsoft shortcuts for text formatting like Ctrl+B, Ctrl+U, etc., or for copy/paste, like Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V. This app looks like it was designed to use in DOS Shell on a 10" - 12" monitor. I only got it because it would have done a needed job for me if it had worked, and the price had dropped to the teens so I didn't lose much $. There was no trial for it - I believe because the guy had no idea how to make it work only for a time and then stop. His "software engineer" just signed him up with an online activation outfit; activate once and done.

Oh well, I'll learn one of these days.

Thank you.

Jim
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J-Mac
J-Mac
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« Reply #10 on: December 10, 2010, 12:15:49 PM »

Sorry about resurrecting this thread but Database Oasis Professional Version was offered at BDJ on Thursday, December 9, 2010 (yesterday) with some unusual circumstances IMO. As posted above I purchased the Basic version of Database Oasis at BDJ in April. The Professional version wasn’t offered at that time. BTW, the term "Professional" as used in this case is a bit misleading as is often the case with software. Some developers try to separate home/personal usage from business/enterprise usage to distinguish Basic from Pro versions of their software. However many just hold back some key features from Basic versions in what I suspect is a ploy to push the more expensive Pro versions to personal users as well as SOHO users. Database Oasis takes this concept to another level! Their Basic and Pro versions are pretty much identical except for a very few features which are in the Pro version only, like filtering by more than one term, the ability to link files to DB records, and a report writer. Other than that they are the same, except for the price: $69.99 for Basic and $119.99 for Pro. I purchased the Basic version in April at the BDJ discounted price of $21.00; great deal! Till I realized that there is no report feature at all in Basic. Look at your data but no reports. Blah! You can print screens and basic list of records but that's it. WTF.

Now the Pro version was on sale at BDJ yesterday for $36.00, which is a lot cheaper than $119.99! And that's even less than the usual upgrade price from Basic to Pro of $50.00! But...

..... it seems that someone noticed that their current Pro version is at 2.97 so might a new major version be on the near horizon? Of course, which is fairly common for really big discounts at BDJ. But in this case I discovered that the major upgrade will be released in January 2011 - just a couple of weeks away. And due to the upgrade the price will be increased. After some coaxing the Database Oasis rep said that they don’t usually offer discounts for the Pro version but the reason for the BDJ discount offer was specifically because of the short remaining life of the current version (yeah, like less than a month!) and no upgrade pricing is available yet. Whatever deals are usually offered to customers who purchased the software in the last 30 or 60 or 90 days - whatever their policy normally is for recent purchases - the BDJ purchasers yesterday would not be eligible.

What a deal, huh? Here's the link to the BDJ page with the Comments section that contains a good bit of the back and forth about upgrades and pricing: http://www.bitsdujour.com/software/database-oasis-professional/#comments . I don’t know; maybe I'm just becoming more jaded in my golden years but this really seems to suck. Just thought I would throw this out there for anyone considering Database Oasis. I'm not saying not to buy it, but just be aware of the sort of pricing games they play.

Jim
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J-Mac
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« Reply #11 on: December 11, 2010, 01:23:54 PM »

I also was part of that conversation and like you I also decided to pass on the upgrade. I wonder how many copies they sold on the 9th. I bet they would have sold a lot more copies if they had been more up front with the new version release and added upgrade path to anyone who took the offer. I found it hard to believe they have not determined the new pricing yet. The release is only weeks away. I most likely would have purchased if I knew what the cost of the upgrade to 3.0 was going to be.
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J-Mac
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« Reply #12 on: December 11, 2010, 10:26:19 PM »

Same here. I want the report writer capabilities because currently I can't print reports from my databases - which is just plain stupid. Since when if printing reports a Pro-only type feature?! But I'm not going to pay to upgrade the same software twice within a month.

Thanks!

Jim
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J-Mac
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« Reply #13 on: May 05, 2012, 01:32:58 PM »

Sorry to necromance this thread but the post history within is necessary IMO.

Just wanted to comment that even though I don’t really use my copy of DB Oasis "Standard", I check every few months to see if any development has taken place. Supposedly they were releasing a major upgrade in January 2011 but excluding all Bits purchasers from December 2010 - about three weeks earlier - from being able to upgrade. Well as of right now they have never released ANY kind of update, upgrade or anything at all. Appears to be "abandonware" at this point.

Jim
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J-Mac
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