Information can be stored in notes and there are many apps, but they lack structure and a database application is much better at handling large amounts of data. This one works everywhere.
Notes are great for some things, but they lack structure, they are hard to browse and they are hard to search. Imaging your contacts where each person is a separate note. It just wouldn’t work.
A spreadsheet can be used as a simple database and you can use Excel, either on the computer or on the OneDrive or Office websites. Google Sheets is another useful spreadsheet that can be used to store information like a database.
Each item is a row and in this simple contact manager each row is a contact, a person. The columns are used to store each bit of information and there are fields for the name, phone and address. More columns could be added to store more information about each contact, such as notes, their birthday, workplace and work phone.
If your needs are very simple, consider using a spreadsheet. When the sheet is stored online, like OneDrive or Google Drive, it can be accessed on any computer, phone or tablet. You will always have access to your data.
In some ways, a database is like this, but there are also differences and they are better at handling large amounts of data and better at searching. A database is a different sort of storage and information is stored in a more efficient way. They contain one or more tables and each of these have one or more rows (records) containing items. Each row has one or more columns (fields) for each bit of information about an item.
EZ Database is a basic database application that is designed to be easy to use, yet powerful enough to store the information you want. It runs on everything and is in the Microsoft Store, Mac App Store, Google Play Store for Android and iOS Store for iPhone and iPad, and as a direct download for Windows, Mac and Linux.
This database software is free to use if you don’t mind an ad banner in the app, but you can pay to remove it for $1.99. The registration key works across all apps on all platforms. I downloaded the database software for Windows ran it in free mode.
Create a database
On the home screen is a large plus button and that creates a database. In the screenshot above, I created a database to record my home contents for insurance purposes. Any number of databases can be created. Tapping the database opens it.
After opening a database, the big plus button is used to create tables. In my home contents database,the intention is to create a table for each room. The tables you create will completely depend on the type of data you want to store. A simple contact manager would need only one table, but other databases may need multiple tables.
Add columns and data
Open a table and initially it contains nothing, but the Add Column button in the top right corner is used to add columns or fields as they are called in databases.
Columns can be Text, Integer (whole numbers), Real (numbers with decimal points), Checkbox (true/false, on/off, yes/no), Date, Relationship (a field linked to a column in another table), or Color (similar to Relationship).
After defining the columns you need, you can start entering data by clicking the plus button at the bottom of the first column.
The good and the not so good
I like the simplicity and the visual design of EZ Database and it looks good and is easy to use. The Relationship field means you can create some complex databases with tables that pull in data from multiple sources. The search feature is useful and you can quickly find data in any table and field.
I found Real fields to be a bit temperamental and sometimes they would not accept a decimal point, as in 3.12. It would be nice to have a money field with a money symbol. You should be able to print tables, but it didn’t work on my PC for some reason.
EZ Database can import databases and I created one in the OneDrive folder on one computer and accessed it in EZ Database on another computer. I even put EZ Database on my iPhone and managed to access the database in OneDrive through the iOS Files app. This is brilliant, but…
It does not actually open files, it imports them and makes a local copy. This means that you can view the databases created elsewhere, but you cannot update them because updates are saved locally and not to the original file. EZ Database would be so much better if it opened files instead of importing them, then databases could be viewed and updated on any computer, phone or tablet.
This is useful database software for home use or even for simple work tasks. If it squashed a bug or two and could open rather than import databases, it would be a great database app for anyone wanting a simple way to store data.