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Database apps on Mac are dead, right? Not this one



  Ninox Over the years, I have written more than my share of deaths on the personal Mac database app. Even Apple's own company, FileMaker, decided to ditch what was arguably one of the more popular Mac database apps, Bento.

Here, here, and here I worked out the benefits of a personal database and how they just don't cut it in the Golden Age of Apps. Why not? Actually, it's more of a "why bother" question. These days apps make all the heavy lifting, and there is an app available that does just about anything you want, so why create your own custom, personal database?

Why climb to the top of Mount Everest? Because it's there. Why laugh at painful gyrations from politicians during a debate? Because we can. This is the case with Ninox, a personal database for Mac. That's right A database app that lets you build your own database. Ninox is easier to use than typical relational databases, but has a lot of power, including custom listing screens, customizable data tables, and even chart generation options. With a click.

 Ninox

Setting up a personalized, custom database is not as difficult as it may appear on the surface. In fact, Ninox makes it quite a simple process to create database fields, lets you enter data into each record, search for data, and the field types themselves are able to create a complex database of numbers, rich field types and layout relationships between tables.

Ninox can handle fields from single line to large text fields, including formats. It does number fields (good for currencies, percentages, etc.), plus date and time fields, images and much more.

 Ninox - Charts

Data can be collected from multiple fields and formal creation is graphical – drag and drop. Data can be imported and exported, stored on Dropbox or iCloud to sync with other Macs.

This is what makes a database creation tool so valuable. It's the easiest way to create custom applications that fit your needs when you can't find another app that does the job. Not only is Ninox available on Mac, it is also a version of Ninox for iOS; iPhone and iPad, so the custom database comes with you, and easily syncs between devices over Dropbox or iCloud. To be fair, there is work involved in creating your own custom, personal database, but the results may be worth the effort.

The only thing missing is a way of putting databases online so they can access everyone, but it's a whole different exercise.


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