OpenOffice 4.0 and Base

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OpenOffice 4.0 and Base

Postby Nocton » Tue Jul 23, 2013 11:47 am

Thank you everyone on the team for all your hard work.

However, a quick look at the release notes suggests that nothing has been done to improve Base. Yet Base is probably one area where much could be done. In particular: some bug fixes and removal of annoyances; incorporation of Oracle/Sun Report Writer features directly so don't need the extension; in-built wizard to create file and server mode databases as well as improved stability for embedded databases. When can we expect some serious development on Base?

Regards,

Nocton
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Re: OpenOffice 4.0 released today!

Postby RoryOF » Tue Jul 23, 2013 11:50 am

Upgrades in any area depend on the manpower available. As this manpower is volunteer based, and volunteers tend to work only in areas of their interest, any change in Base will depend on interested persons with the necessary skills coming forward to join the AOO development team.
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Re: OpenOffice 4.0 released today!

Postby Villeroy » Tue Jul 23, 2013 11:58 am

Nocton wrote:When can we expect some serious development on Base?

The component that claims to be sort of "database application" ("Access equivalent") did not change significantly during the past 8 years. Base should be dropped entirely while keeping database connectivity and form elements so professional IT folks may use this connectivity to prepare simple solutions for "ordinary users" while the latter won't be puzzled by development tools.
The horrible StarBasic lingo and it's IDE with a totally confusing macro recorder would be the second part I would drop entirely for the exact same reasons.
Please, edit this topic's initial post and add "[Solved]" to the subject line if your problem has been solved.
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Re: OpenOffice 4.0 released today!

Postby Nocton » Tue Jul 23, 2013 1:18 pm

It would be a pity to lose Base in anything like its present form. Most home users who use MS Office do not have Access installed, as it costs significantly more. I have developed Base database applications for two clubs - one to handle their membership and activities and the other, a sports club, to handle the match results and conversion into league tables. Were I to use Access, several individuals in each club would need to purchase Access, which is not cheap and not something they would otherwise have had the need for. Base is useful and practical, even with its current limitations, for these sorts of application. A little more development would render it more useful for 'ordinary users'. For example, Base is more convenient than Calc for address lists for mail-merge/form letters in Writer.

Regards, Nocton
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Re: OpenOffice 4.0 released today!

Postby Villeroy » Tue Jul 23, 2013 2:01 pm

Me and my co-workers use Base each and every day.
Nobody needs to buy Access. There are plenty of free databases, and HSQL 2.x is a very good choice. Do your database, configure an office connection, build your office documents (forms and reports).
If Base would go away today (no more f****ng "database documents" nor broken wizards) I could still use all my Base forms and database connections. My productive database is completely independent from any kind of client software. This is how it should be anyway.
With any non-Java database I can even use forms and spreasdheet reports without a bean of Java installed.
Please, edit this topic's initial post and add "[Solved]" to the subject line if your problem has been solved.
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Re: OpenOffice 4.0 released today!

Postby DACM » Wed Jul 24, 2013 12:23 am

Nocton wrote:Were I to use Access, several individuals in each club would need to purchase Access...

Normally just the database application developer requires a copy of Access.
Microsoft Access 2013 Runtime
Microsoft Access 2010 Runtime
Microsoft Access 2007 Runtime
...
AOO 4.1.x; LO 4.2.x; Windows 7/8 64-bit
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Re: OpenOffice 4.0 and Base

Postby Villeroy » Wed Jul 24, 2013 1:25 am

DACM wrote:
Nocton wrote:Were I to use Access, several individuals in each club would need to purchase Access...

Normally just the database application developer requires a copy of Access.
Microsoft Access 2013 Runtime
Microsoft Access 2010 Runtime
Microsoft Access 2007 Runtime
...

Thank you for this hint :!:
Please, edit this topic's initial post and add "[Solved]" to the subject line if your problem has been solved.
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Re: OpenOffice 4.0 and Base

Postby DACM » Wed Jul 24, 2013 3:08 am

Nocton wrote:...in-built wizard to create file and server mode databases as well as improved stability for embedded databases.

The user community already provides such "wizards" in the form of a macro-enhanced Base templates (.odb) which automatically create and/or run a split HSQL database in single-user, file-mode. The resulting database may also be run in server-mode for concurrent, multi-user access. These templates also allow you to move or rename a dedicated database folder without issue. The folder can also be zipped into a single-file for electronic distribution purposes. And these templates uniquely support different versions of HSQLDB running simultaneously with Base, so you can continue to run legacy 'embedded databases.'

Admittedly, the core-developers could integrate these concepts through Base wizards, while eliminating the need to enable macros for split-database folder portability. And much more importantly, they could improve the DDL (schema management) features of Base when connected to an external database, perhaps particularly with HSQLDB through JDBC. The current frozen table-field properties issue is simply ridiculous. This could be as simple as a table of commands similar to the 'Advanced settings' tab we now use for AutoValue support with HSQLDB 2.3.

But you'll never get a reliable 'embedded' database from AOO/LibO. The code-base, in general, is simply too unstable and has a relatively high propensity for file-corruption. Microsoft has some acute problems in this area as well. We don't want AOO/LibO code touching the backend data file(s). Perhaps we could ask the devs to create a "Pack-&-Go" menu item that simply makes a copy of the 'split database' folder and then zips the copy into a single ODB file as necessary for distribution. The resulting archive could include metadata in accordance with ODF v1.2 standards. In any case, Base should automatically "unpack" the embedded database for use as a persistent split-database folder. That way, we can always enjoy the data-durability inherent to the split-database architecture, without risking our data to generate a working copy for single-file distribution purposes.
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