According to Wikipedia, “A database is an organized collection of data, generally stored and accessed electronically from a computer system.”
Creating databases is generally complex and requires technical knowledge of coding. However, there are multiple tools available out there that are simple, user-friendly and help you prepare simple databases in software that can be set up within minutes.
One such personal database software is Symphytum which allows you to manage and organise data in an easy way without the knowledge of complex database languages and software user interfaces.
Let's get started on How to Create your Own Simple Database on Linux:
Install the Symphytum App
You can install the Symphytum app in many ways from multiple programer websites.
Once you finish installing the app, launch Symphytum and you’ll find a dummy database that’s been already prepared to make you familiar with the program. In that, there are two views available- Form and Table.
Form view is for data entry and review of individual records.
Table view enables you to view all the records at once along with the option of editing the records.
Before we get into creating the database, let me address the most asked question.
Where does Symphytum store my Data?
Symphytum stores all your database entries into a single file named data.db whereas binary files like images and documents are stored inside a files directory outside the database file.
In Linux, the directory path used is:
If you wish to save or move the file at some other place then
- Choose Tools
- Click Preferences
- Click Browse
- Choose your destination and Click Save
Let's set up your first database without coding, shall we?
Set Up Your Database
There are a few steps that you need to follow and your database will be prepared within minutes.
Step 1: Create a New Database
- Simply click on the create a new Collection icon placed right below the File Tab.
- The new database will be created and will appear on the left panel. Name the database as you like and proceed.
- The database will be shown in Form View and you’ll see a few shortcuts available for you.
Step 2: Set up your Field
- Now, click “Add a Field...” to define the first field for your database. When you do so, the Field Wizard will pop up.
- It will ask you to choose a Field type. Define your Field by selecting from a list of 12 choices available for you.
- Give your Field a Name and click Next
- If you want the field to be always filled in then click the required checkbox and then click Finish.
- Repeat the same process to add more fields to your database and select field type as per the data expected to be entered into the respective fields.
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Step 3: Add Records
- Now that you’ve set your fields in place, its time to add records to your database.
- To add new records, click the New Record icon or press the Ctrl + N keys.
- Add as many records as you deem fit in the same way.
Step 4: Customise your Form
- Once you add records, the form will switch to show all the fields in your database who would be positioned dynamically.
- To rearrange the records in the order of your choice, click on a field’s title which will reveal its borders.
- You can now click and drag the field to move it where you like.
- To resize the fields as required, you can also use the drag handles on the right and bottom bars.
Step 5: Modify or Remove Fields
- To modify or remove fields, the form should be in Form View.
- Right-click on the field you wish to modify and choose the change you want to make.
Note: You cannot change the Field Type of any field.
- There are several options like delete a field, change the name, create a duplicate field, etc.
You can also add, modify, and remove fields in Table View. Just use the New Field button to create a new field from scratch in the usual way, or right-click an existing field column to access options for modifying, duplicating or deleting it. Once created, switch back to Form view to arrange the new field’s position as required on-screen.
- You can also add, modify, and remove fields in Table View. Just right-click an existing field column to access options for modifying, duplicating or deleting it.
- To highlight a value, double-click inside a value.
Step 6: Make changes to the Form Design
- To change the look of your forms, click on settings in the Form View.
- You’ll get several options like change the background colour, font style, font size.
- It also provides you with an option “Strategy for unused space”- wherein you can command Symphytum to spread your fields to fit the available space.
Step 7: Lock the Form Design
- Once you are happy with your form design, click on the Lock button on the toolbar to lock the form design.
- You can always edit the form later if it needs any changes by clicking on the lock button again to unlock it.
Step 8: Other Options
- Search and Sort:
- You can search the data you are looking for by simply using the search box.
- To sort the data, simply click on the field and the list will be sorted in descending order and clicking again would reverse the order.
- Share and Export:
- You can print the entire database or select an individual record to print by clicking File>Print Menu. You can also save it as a PDF. Although, Symphytum doesn’t allow you to choose a selection of records to print.
- You can export your database as a CSV file by clicking File>Export Menu. You can also share your database with other Symphytum users by syncing your file to the cloud. Here you have an option to share it in Read-only mode too by selecting Tools>Cloud>Read-only mode to do so.
Symphytum doesn’t allow relational databases. Relational databases are databases that share a common field that links them together. It can only help you make simple, flat databases.
If you think you’ve outgrown this software, you can try advanced software that allows creating Relational Databases.
Let us know your views in the comment section below.
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Contributor: Ayushi Vanzara
Ayushi Vanzara is currently pursuing Chartered Accountancy. No secrets there that she loves to read! She believes words have the power of healing and is a medium that can convey like no other. She hopes to connect with people through her empathy, thoughtfulness, and by adding value to their lives.