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SQLNotes...what is it exactly?

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This program has been mentioned in a couple of threads.  I checked it out and tried it out.  What is this for?  Is it an outliner for the Ecco freaks out there?  That's cool, because Ecco's outliner is very cool compared to the standard rtf bullet/numbering scheme.  But it also seems to have some Access-like capabilities.  I just don't get it.  It seems like an odd pairing of features.

So, what kind of applications is this program used for?  Why would I use it instead of Access, or Excel, or a regular notetaker, or other outliner software?  Actually, there aren't many ecco-like outliners, so I actually understand that part.

I'm the designer of SQLNotes (code name) so I'll gladly answer. I've been meaning to start a SQLNotes thread, so thanks to you superboyac !

The ideal information management app must be an excellent outliner with multiple parents support (when required), an excellent linker (i.e. like the web), an excellent tagger, an excellent editor supporting rich text editing in the outline AND in a second rich text window, support flat and tree-structured display with or without a data grid, usable as a flexible database supporting user-defined fields, calculations (both equations and user-defined functions), reporting and an have excellent search engine. Finally, it needs to have a customizable UI, support drag-drop and have links to all other major apps. Idealy, it should be able to pull information from external sources as well.

IMO, ALL these features are required to adequately organize all kinds of information (not just a specific kind of information), and this for just about any user.

Ecco is/was an excellent outliner+data grid, but had no item to item linker, and forced structured tree representation, which may or may not suit the specific information or the way a particular person wants to work/organize its information. It had rich text outlines and customizable UI but for the rest, the above features were not great or not there at all. Specifically, it does not have an editing pane (i.e 2nd pane).

As for 2 panes outliners, zillions of them, they lack the data grid to enter useful data in the outline so they are mainly good at text editing (i.e. reducing the number of word processor files). When the outline only represents text, a grid is not necessary, but when numbers, categories, notes, etc are required, a grid and a properties pane is a must. None can perform calculations (neither row nor column calculations) and data analysis.

Finally, no other product I know makes its data available to other apps. SQLNotes data is accessible to all Office apps and other suites (through ODBC links). No one want his or her information locked in a program. Exporting is just not enough nowadays.

SQLNotes has ALL of the above features.

SQLNotes development started 4 years ago. As a flexible database/ouliner/grid it is being used by a number of companies for more than 3 years. It is now in beta tests as a PIM (actually closer to alpha stage). It takes the best of Ecco, and improves upon it, taking the concept much further.

The current beta available at is very stable. You are all welcomed to download a free copy.

Very intriguing.  It's a very ambitious project you've started.

I agree with just about everything you've said.  What I doubt is if what you are trying to do can actually be accomplished effectively.  I'm having enough trouble finding the best notetaking software for myself (handling lots of plain text notes, "reducing the number of word processor files" as you say).

I know there are a lot of PIM programs out there that try to do much more that text editing, by including addressbook, calendar, todo lists, alarms, etc. modules in their programs.  I don't like these programs because they inevitably will struggle to do any of them well.  SQLnotes, however, applies this concept a little differently.  it sounds like the user can use the program to create his own specific modules based on his specific needs.  That is very unique and cool, indeed.  Very ambitious.

I am going to try this program for a while and see how it feels.  if you read the big notetaking review I wrote, I think I mentioned somewhere that even the simple notetaking programs can benefit from an ecco-style outliner rather than the normal rtf outliners.  i never used ecco, but I always loved its outliner.

I've been one of the beta testers for quite some time.  I'm also really familiar with ECCO.  One of the intriguing things for me has been the ability to outline and use other fields as I choose to work with information.

It's really easy to create hierarchical to do lists and contact lists ala ECCO, but since it's also a database, the ability to create calculated fields and actions is really good.  I'm a database programmer and SQLNotes will be able to connect to ODBC data sources, which means the information won't be locked inside a proprietary container.  It also permits the software to be used as a front end for data systems, such as SQL and others.

Also, coming soon will be an integrated calendar, but Pierre is also working on Gantt charting for project work and he already is able to put in pivot tables and charts.  All of this puts his program beyond ECCO.

What makes it a winner is the ability to customize the system with fields that meet the specific needs of the user.

I hope others give it a try.


Looks intimidating for a person w/ simple needs like me.


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