Question

Need Help Finding an Appropriate Database for my Needs

Apr 30, 2018 2:18AM PDT

##-The Issue
I have a collection of books, articles, & papers numbering into five digits XX000....that I have amassed over the last ten years. Till now I have used dedicated external drives using Windows filing systems. Iv got to the point where directories are too long and accurate backups are impossible


##-What I want in a database

1/ A simple interface with simple functions
2/ [Ideally] allowing me to plug and play the external drive on other computers and still have access to the database information/sorting system
3/ To have all the materials on one directory level so I don't have to worry about access or copy problems
4/ To be able to categorise into subject matters and assign individual files to multiple categories
5/ To be able to use simple entry tags, name, date, book/article etc
6/ Search

- Portability is important
- It's for private not business use
- It needs to be reasonably priced or free

Ps. Even if your responses do not cover ALL my needs I am still interested in answers relating to products

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Comments
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Answer
Re: database
Apr 30, 2018 3:02AM PDT

I would recommend using a document management system. There are free open source ones.
https://www.google.com/search?q=open+source+dms seems a good start for you.

Of course, these systems reply on the OS for the storage and on you for the backup of all your files. I've never seen a backup system that couldn't make an image copy or even an incremental copy of a disk with too many directories or files. Since you're mentioning external drives, let me tell these are unreliable for storage and need extra care for backup. Why not use internal disks in your PC?

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Re: database
Apr 30, 2018 7:20AM PDT

Thanks for taking the time to respond.

I"'ve never seen a backup system that couldn't make an image copy or even an incremental copy of a disk with too many directories or files" - the problem is not the sheer amount of files, the issue is when a directory gets too deep/long i.e. Folders within folders....strings of subdirectories - there is a limit of pathways of 260 characters https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/aa365247(v=vs.85).aspx#maxpath ....... sometimes even these files don't copy properly.

"Why not use internal disks in your PC?"
I work on three PCs in total, it's ineffective and requires me to back up two other PCs when I add files to one of them - I'm not totally against it but the new situation of organising my files would have to be worth it i.e. the database would have to be good

I'll check out your suggestion Happy

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Re: database
Apr 30, 2018 12:23PM PDT

Two remarks:
- If your 3 PC's are in a network, you can access files of any or them on any other of them. It's just another drive letter.
- The maximum path length shouldn't be limiting only in a backup, but in normal use also. And on an image copy it's identical as on the original.

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Re: database
Apr 30, 2018 2:31PM PDT

- No network
- All the pathways are limited, and from experience, I know they vary in length so it would seem from device and system. Quite unintuitively I can have two blank hard drives, copy data over to both at the same time and end up with a different amount of files.

- I use what I currently do now because it is the simplest way of doing things - I need no software etc - if I did not have the path too long issue I would continue with the strategy I am currently using. Alas that is not the case

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Answer
If the files have valid LFNs (long file names) then
Apr 30, 2018 1:17PM PDT

I've been successful for years using a ZIP program. It also reduces the number of files to just one in a backup set.

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If the files have valid LFNs (long file names) then
Apr 30, 2018 2:33PM PDT

I have tried copying from one drive to the next zipped but the files are still missing in the target directory

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Then why is the question.
Apr 30, 2018 2:40PM PDT

When I do this I usually find there is a reason. Permissions, invalid name, file is locked by another process and so on.

There's always a reason, but what it is changes with the machine.

In parting, I find Roadkil's Unstoppable copier sometimes gives me a clue which file and why it didn't copy.

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Answer
Database suggestion
Jun 28, 2018 6:03AM PDT

Hey,

Have you heard of zenkit? It's project management software that can also be used for personal use. Their database feature sounds like the ideal tool for your requirements.

It has a simple interface with simple functions. Their label field feature allows you to categorise as your heart desires. It's also cloud-based which means you can access it from just about anywhere.

Not working link removed by moderator.

Post was last edited on June 28, 2018 6:39 AM PDT

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Re: database suggestion
Jun 28, 2018 6:38AM PDT

The link didn't work, so I disabled it. And I doubt if project management software is very well suited for a document management system.

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Answer
Well Access is a database system that
Jul 25, 2018 9:42AM PDT

comes with MS Office. It's is Office 365 Personal for 69/year and Home for 99/year.

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