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[tdf-discuss] LO Base Enhancements


Hi
 
I was an MS Access developer for about 10 years until I was able to escape to Linux. I used 
OOO/LibreOffice even when I was tied to Windows but it always fell down when it came to database 
access.
 
Base is great as a means of accessing a wide variety of database back-ends, but its form designer 
falls well of short of MS Access, both in features and ease of use. When a new user opens the Base 
designer the first sight is of a fairly familiar-looking interface. This encouraging start is 
undermined once it becomes apparent how difficult macro programming can be, and how little 
flexibility there is over the form's visual design and behaviour.
 
HSQLDB seems to be powerful in terms of its support for complex SQL execution, but it is relatively 
slow and inefficient when there is a large number of records.
 
For the vast majority of users, LO Writer, Calc and Impress already provide everything they would 
ever want from an office suite. Unfortunately the same cannot be said for Base.
 
When I am developing standalone database applications for Linux I use Gambas3, talking to a Sqlite 
backend. The connection can be defined in the form designer or 4 lines of code. There is no 
dependency on Java, and bound controls and subforms are fully supported. In short, this combination 
of FLOSS components pretty much provides a complete Linux replacement for MS Access.
 
Sqlite has a large and well-organised development team. It performs really well even with very 
large datasets. I feel that making Sqlite the default database for LO Base in place of HSQLDB would 
free resources for more development of the front-end.
 
I would urge you to take a look at Gambas3 to see how easy it is to develop a database application 
with it. Perhaps taking it as inspiration for an enhanced Base will finally make LibreOffice a 
one-stop solution for a great many businesses.
 
I'm a big LO fan, so I hope this can be viewed as constructive comment rather than harsh criticism.
 
Regards
 
Nige Verity
                                          
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