Sunday, 2 February 2014

GUI object data application

This is probably an anathema to database people, but to my mind spreadsheets are a cousin of relational database management systems: data is stored in tables, there are lookups between them (e.g. vlookups in Excel), there are rows and columns. Often data is stored in spreadsheets that should be stored in RDBMSs, but the flexibility of spreadsheets and their relatively easy GUI mean that they're used instead. They're a gateway drug to RDBMSs, but a lot of people don't progress onto the strong stuff.

It seems to me that there's no such equivalent to spreadsheets for NoSQL / object databases (and even graph databases). There's nothing (to my knowledge) in common office suites for storing object type data (i.e. with a less defined schema) with a user-friendly interface. And this is a gap that should be filled.

Each document (file) would contain combinations of lists and objects similar to JSON. In the GUI, the user would be able to add objects and lists to the document, and remove them and delete them. And then with these elements the user would be able to add items to the list, and add properties to objects.

I would also envisage some kind of ability to do formulae like in spreadsheet programs. For example, the property of object B is calculated by reference to a property of object A. So the user would be able to specify unique identifiers for the object and then be able to look up objects and access their properties.

Such a program would be able to save data in XML and JSON for easy transfer to other applications.

No comments: