- Tech Talk 01 Get ready for a new release of GroupWise. Wanna busy search a client's calendar? Go for it. Want more panels on your home view? Track a couple of Web sites in your home view too. Take your pick of these and many more new features in the next release of GroupWise.
- Tech Talk 02 Upgrading from NetWare to the next generation of technology doesn't have to be painful—or costly. Take advantage of all the benefits Open Enterprise Server 2 offers for less and without the pain of retraining your staff. See how this migration path stacks up against moving to the big unknown—Windows Server 2008.
- Tech Talk 03 Try it just once and it'll be the last time you'll want to call support. It's faster, cheaper and unlimited. See how this new support option is going to change the way you want support from Novell.
- Tech Talk 04 Does your enterprise have legacy systems that won't talk to other computers? The hotel industry had that problem-until Novell stepped in. Now, using code that Novell open sourced, the hotel industry can use identity management solutions-on their legacy systems! See how you can teach your old systems to talk.
- Tech Talk 05 The word spin can have a negative connotation—unless it's PlateSpin. Read how Novell's acquisition of Toronto-based PlateSpin is going to give your data center several positive benefits. If you want your data center tasks to manage themselves, welcome to the new Novell technology from PlateSpin.
- Tech Talk 06 For beginners, databases can be frightening. But with a little help in building effective forms, you'll be on your way to populating a database that can almost take care of itself. See how here in our OpenOffice.org series cover the database application included in the free office suite.
- Tech Talk 07 If you're like most companies, your end users' teams are comprised of people across the globe. Yet they want to feel like their teammates are just down the hall. Enter Sitescape. It's now a part of Novell and provides the engine to the new Novell Teaming + Conferencing products. Find out how this recent acquisition benefits you.
- Connection Magazine March full .pdf
- Proof Point Toll Brothers, the leading builder of luxury homes in the U.S., had issues. One was managing desktops across 300 locations, including construction site trailers across 22 states. Keeping them in standard, working order was quite a problem. See how Novell automated that, increased the security of sensitive financial data, and much more.
- Trend Talk Are you up on your backups? Are you a synthetic backer upper? What about your recovery objectives? How will you recover after the crisis strikes? Learn what types of backup and recovery procedures are available, so when the crisis strikes, you'll be up on your backups and know just how to recover.
- Laura Chappell Analysis Session: TCP Connection Loss
Building your carefree database in OpenOffice.org—made simple with forms
Tech Talk 6 by BrainStorm, Inc.
In the first article in this series on OpenOffice.org Base, I hoped to tempt you into trying out this database app that's included in the OpenOffice.org suite. In the most recent article, I explained Subforms. But now it's time to take a step back and look at just plain old forms for those of you who aren't as familiar with databases.
As you know, databases can seem pretty daunting at first. If you're new to the concept, you might even find that your first attempt at creating one is less than successful. But don't let that deter you. A properly functioning database will save you a lot of time in the long run. This is especially true when it comes to the forms feature of OpenOffice.org Base. Inputting large amounts of data would be more than just a little frustrating if it weren't for forms. Since you know how to build tables, create unique fields, link common fields from separate tables, and from the last article, create subforms, let's take a look at populating tables with data using simple forms. Obviously, this can be done by manually entering data in each table; but forms are really what you'll want to master.
Let's review our scenario: You're the IT director for a company with a slew of employees, and you have a lot of hardware to manage. Therefore, you're going to build an inventory database to help you manage and track the printers, laptops, desktops, scanners, fax machines and other important equipment floating around your company site. You want to include serial numbers, purchase dates, user information, vendor details and lots of other data about each item. You're also just starting out, so none of this information is really in one place, meaning it can't be easily exported from a spreadsheet to the database; we'll cover that in another article. What you need is a simpler, more straightforward way of getting the right information into your tables. (For more information on more advanced form features, check out the most recent article, Great Form: Discovering the Power of a Subform.)
In the first article, I recommended that you carefully plan each table for your database. Then I showed you how to create those tables. And now it's confession time—and advice-giving time—after setting my database tables aside for a few days and spending some time boning up on forms, I decided that my tables needed a little tweaking.
Why? Well, sometimes a table contained information it didn't need, and other times two tables contained too much redundant information. I simply wasn't being specific enough. But that's okay. It's also exactly why I suggest that you create your tables, set them aside for a few hours—or even days—then come back to them for some fine tuning.
For example, I made these tweaks to the Status table: I added a few fields, namely the maintenance and comments fields, where IT
employees could make notes about a certain product or provide details and dates about the maintenance history. I also added a description field, where I could enter a simple term to identify each product (laptop, desktop, etc.).
I changed the Manufacturer table to a Vendors table because what I really want to know is where we purchased the product. The manufacturer is secondary to this information—and I added a field called make/model for it to the Status table.
At this point, I realized that the Inventory Details table was, at best, redundant, so I scrapped that too and moved vital fields from it to the Status table.
For the most part, this is what I had left, and what we'll use to move forward:
- Product Status table, with fields for each product's description (laptop, desktop, etc.), the product's serial number, the product's make/model, the vendor's ID, the purchase date and price, the user's employee ID number, the estimated product life, the current condition (new, fair, poor) and fields for comments and maintenance issues. (See Figure 1—Product Status Table.)
- Employee/User table, with fields for the employee's ID number, first and last names, department (marketing, sales, accounting, IT, product development, etc.) and phone extension, as well as the serial number of each product that employee is using. (See Figure 2—Employee/User Table.)
- Vendors table, with fields for each vendor's ID, name, address, contact name, phone number, e-mail address, etc., as well as the field for notes that replaced the old field for discounts. (See Figure 3—Vendors Table.)
- List tables for the department and condition fields in the first two tables