A Place for My Stuff. (database application development software) (Software Review) (Evaluation)
by Kathy Yakal
A Place for My Stuff is just what its name implies: a place (relational database) for your stuff (random information you want to store). Since it's not a full-blown database like Access or FoxPro, it requires no programming knowledge. This makes it easier to use but more limited than a more structured database.
Adding an entry to a database is as simple as typing a sentence. The program converts the sentence into grammatical elements and places the words in their appropriate fields, cutting the extraneous verbiage. For example, you could activate the sentence template and type 101 Dalmatians is a great video for kids, create a new category called Videos, and start tracking your videotape collection. Or you could use the name-and-address template to enter address data.
You can view your records one at a time in detail or in a list format. You can set filters to search for items that share common characteristics. Unrelated items can be linked by clicking on them in a list and saving them as a group.
Reports are easier to format than in a traditional database, but they aren't completely automatic. You'll still have to define headers and footers, margins, column width, and spacing.
A Place for My Stuff uses a standard Windows interface, with pull-down menus, dialog boxes, and pick lists for commonly used responses. Data can be imported from and exported to other copies of the program, or in ASCII format.
By sacrificing power and customizability for simplicity, A Place for My Stuff cripples itself. Its sole notable advantage over low-cost PIMs lies in its ability to interpret complete sentences. But even users who appreciate not having to learn a database language might be frustrated its limitations.
Still, it's capable at what it does. It's easy to use, once you understand its structure. And if you're more enamored with writing a sentence and viewing data in that format than more rigid database screen shapes, it may be a good choice for you, especially with its low street price of about $79.
Quadrangle has compiled several add-on databases that contain information on topics like PC software and hardware, vacation and travel, and sports. These range from $9.95 to $17.95, and, if they sound useful to you, might make A Place for My Stuff the right place for your database information.