Over the years I’ve penned more than my share of missives on the death of 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 extolled 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 do all the heavy lifting, and there’s an app available that does just about anything you’d want, so why create your own customized, personalized database?
Why climb to the peak of Mount Everest? Because it’s there. Why laugh at the painful gyrations of politicians during a debate? Because we can. So it is with Ninox, a personal database for the Mac. That’s right A database app that lets you build your own database. Ninox is easier to use than typical relational databases, but features plenty of power, including custom entry screens, customizable data tables, and even options to generate charts. With a click.
Setting up a personal, custom database isn’t as difficult as it might appear on the surface. Ninox actually makes it rather simple process to create database fields, allow you to enter data into each record, search for data, and the field types themselves are capable of creating a complex database with numbers, rich field types, and setup relations between tables.
Ninox can handle fields from single-line to large text fields, including formats. It does number fields (great for currencies, percentages, etc), plus date and time fields, images, and much more.
Data can be aggregated from multiple fields and formula creation is graphic– drag and drop. Data can be imported and exported, saved on Dropbox or iCloud to sync with other Macs.
Here’s what makes a database creation tool so valuable. It’s the easiest way to create customized applications that fit your needs when you cannot find another app that does the job. Not only is Ninox available on the Mac, there’s also a version of Ninox for iOS; iPhone and iPad, so your customized database goes with you, easily synchronized between devices over Dropbox or iCloud. To be fair, there’s work involved in creating your own customized, personalized database, but the results can be worth the effort.
The only thing missing is a way to put databases on the web so they can be accessed by anyone, but that’s a different exercise entirely.