|★ APPLICATIONS ★ BUREAUTIQUE ★ CHIBASE V3|8000 Plus) ★|
|Chibase v3||Applications Bureautique|
Chibase 3.0 is the latest, updated version of the database with a difference. Conventional databases are great for constant format data such as names and addresses but useless for variable format data such as chunks of text. Chibase is a ‘free text' database aimed at writers, researchers - anyone who needs to keep textual information on disc and draw from it.
The ‘free format' plus indexing facility is the same as before; now, however, an import/export ASCII option has been included as well as a Chain Delete facility. You're offered the choice of either browsing through an ASCII file of text that has been prepared in a word processor and importing selected parts of that into the database, reading an entire ASCII file and importing it all into the database, or alternatively, writing text to an ASCII file within the database to be then exported into a LocoScript document.
The Chain Delete option lets you work your way methodically through a database, record by record, deleting the ones you don't want any more whilst keeping the ones that you do.
Chibase basically consists of a database of records each of which contains a number of keys (or highlighted words) to make an index with. Say you wanted to create a database of recipes; each record would consist of a recipe. In each recipe, you might choose to highlight certain of the ingredients for inclusion in the index.
Then, by listing the index, you'd be presented with an index of all the ingredients highlighted throughout the database preceded by the number of records in which they appear. Shark fins, for example, might appear in only two of the recipes whereas butter might appear in thirty of them.
Back at the Main Menu, you ‘recall'; by typing in an enquiry (say, CUSTARD) all the records containing that particular highlighted ingredient will be listed.
The great thing about Chibase is that it is a ‘free format' database; you decide your own record format simply by typing text into a box on screen using the usual keys for editing.
The program also incorporates a useful Form format which acts like a record template. Basic information prompts can be displayed on the screen like a form which you can fill in: you might want Title, Ingredients, Directions and Cooking Time ready and waiting in each record in which to insert the variable data.
You have to leave Chibase through the [L] option at the Main Menu. You can't just reset your machine because you will lose all the data files that the program needs to locate its various records. In an emergency the program has incorporated a Rebuild utility which can automatically regenerate the indexes.
Chibase is expensive and it does have its inflexibilities: you're forced to work with large files, you can't run it from the memory and it's only ever going to be of real use to you as a reference package. You also have to make all your own adjustments to the PROFILE.SUB file. On the other hand, its ability to amend, sort and recall records make it a well-rounded and useful tool if you're stuck with a large amount of data where the subject matter is highly variable.