|★ APPLICATIONS ★ BUREAUTIQUE ★ KWIKFILE ★|
There have been more Amstrad databases than almost any other serious program and a fair few of them seem to have been on Amstrad Action covertapes. So what makes this one worth buying when you already have a free one? MARTIN YOUNG finds out...
Flexibility, that's what While Kwikfile may cause you to pull out a large amount of hair, some of its features will have you busy glueing it all back in All the basic stuff is iere files made out of records, records made from fields and fields being either numeric or alphanumeric. Sorts and searches can be performed, the file can be viewed on screen or dumped to a printer and of course loading and saving to tape or disk is possible.
So far so bog standard The most sinking advantage of Kwikfile over lesser systems is its spreadsheet like ability to perform calculations between fields. For example, if a record was being kept by a company of all its employees then one field would be "Hours worked" and another "Hourly rate" With Kwikfile a third field could be included which would be defined as "Hours worked" multiplied by "Hourly rate' to give 'Weekly wage'.
Nice, but perhaps just a little too simplistic to be of any real use as only one basic operator may be used.
One ability guaranteed to save threatened follicles is being able to add an extra field to an existing file There isn't one database user who hasn't spent hours entering multiple kilobytes of data only to find it all wasted because there was a field missing Kwikfile will kindly let you put the error right - but only once. mind, so use it carefully.
Simple printing is nice and easy. Output can either be across or down the page, with fields in any order The arrangement of fields on the paper can also be set by the user in a rather limited way. and without a guide; you get the feeling of painting in the dark.
As with other databases a whole bunch of records can be picked out to be dealt with in whatever way you see fit Kwiklile handles this in asomewhat longwinded way. though. Rather than marking records, they are transferred to a sub file' Once there, very little can be done to them until they are saved off and reloaded as the mam file - a real pain if youare using the tape version Also, there is no easy way to carry out more complex operations like finding all the people who are single' AND rich' AND generous' OR 'senile'.
Up to this point, everything seems OK Kwikfile is a nice enough, simple database However, closer examination reveals some major problems Fields, for example, can only be 28 characters long. Anything over this corrupts the screen display. It is going to be a real squeeze to fit a ‘comment' field into such a small space.
The program has a heart. Well maybe not but it does have a jugular - the" " on the key pad Press it on a menu screen and watch the computer die! (And watch all your data go with it) Kwikfile crashes a great deal but does at least manage to catch itself on most occasions One or two of the bugs are even documented in the manual If SD Microsystems knew about these then it could have sorted them out before releasing the program onto an unsuspecting public.
Written in BASIC, everything happens rather slowly so that, what with the bugs and limitations. it's difficult to recommend Kwikfile over any other database even at the very reasonable price asked.
MARTIN YOUNG , AA