DB/TextWorks Still A Popular Choice for Teaching in Schools

by Jonathan Jacobsen Saturday, October 28, 2017 7:44 AM

Inmagic DB/TextWorks continues to be a popular software application taught in schools. For example, the Library Technician programs at Langara College and the University of the Fraser Valley in B.C, as well as at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, each include it in some of their cases.

Yesterday I had the pleasure of speaking to students in the Library Technologies and Information Management class at Langara College. These budding library techs will learn to create a database for a class project using DB/TextWorks, hopefully with a bit of inspiration from the ideas I was able to share with them.

The image above shows screens from the Andornot Starter Kit, a ready-to-use DB/TextWorks database suitable for a small library.

Not all software has such longevity as DB/TextWorks, but I think this popular app endures because it remains unique in the market. For clients of ours with a modest budget who need to manage diverse kinds of information and don't have programming skills, it remains an excellent choice, once we heavily recommend to many clients.

We see it used in law firms to create and manage databases of experts, memos, precedents, boilerplate documents, corporate archives, and of course a traditional library catalogue. In hospitals, it's used to manage patient education materials, and libraries with a strong circulation component. Elsewhere, we see it used to manage museum artifact collections, archival documents, databases of digitized historic documents and audio-visual recordings. In municipalities, it manages bylaws, real estate development applications, council documents… the list is endless. 

There are many highly-specific database applications available, tailored to the needs of particular organizations (e.g. Inmagic Genie for specialized libraries, Lucidea's Argus for museums, etc.), but few tools that are as easy to use as DB/TextWorks that can be applied to managing any kind of information. Anyone can learn to create a database and snazzy search and edit screens and have a functional, aesthetically pleasing database in a very short time, with little technical aptitude needed. Managing this information is easy with the many built-in, pre-programmed features, such as validation lists, batch modifications, the URL checker, and so on.

Two other long-standing database programs are of course MS Access, included with almost every copy of the MS Office suite, and Apple's FileMaker. The former is practically free and so ubiquitous that many people use it out of necessity, while the latter is quite visually appealing and with many useful features. However, in our experience, both require a higher level of technical skills to really make useful. DB/TextWorks simply has more of the programming already done.

It's reasons like this that cause it to still be an excellent choice in many cases, when budgets and user skills are modest, and thus is well-worthwhile learning to use in a library technician or similar programm. Paired with a search interface like our Andornot Discovery Interface, VuFind, Omeka, or Inmagic Presto, it becomes a perfect back-end to a highly functional front-end, a great combination for managing and searching information.

Contact us to learn more about any of the above, or if you're a school or student and would like a trial version of DB/TextWorks to use.

Join us at the SLA Western Canada Chapter 2017 Year End Event, Featuring CBC's Johanna Wagstaffe

by Jonathan Jacobsen Friday, October 20, 2017 3:40 PM

Andornot is delighted to be once again sponsoring the SLA Western Canada Chapter Year End Event, on November 27, 2017.

This year's guest speaker is is CBC Vancouver’s on-air meteorologist Johanna Wagstaffe. As a prominent woman in STEM and a podcaster for CBC's Fault Lines and 2050: Degrees of Change, Johanna will be addressing her experiences communicating specialized information and research to non-specialist audiences.

Catered snacks and a beer or wine is included with your ticket and will be available from 6:15pm. A cash bar will also be available.

When: Monday, November 27th, 2017. Doors at 6:15pm, keynote address at 7:15pm.

Where: The Post @ 750, an event space located at 110-750 Hamilton Street in downtown Vancouver (on Hamilton, between Robson and Georgia).

Tickets: Purchase your tickets online today and your name will be added to the guest list at the door. Students and SLA members receive a discount but all information professionals and interested students are welcome to attend. Should you wish to sponsor a ticket for a student, you may purchase that option at the link above and event organizers will contact you with further details.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Tags: events

Andornot's Professional Development Grant Available for 2018

by Jonathan Jacobsen Friday, October 20, 2017 3:23 PM

Andornot strongly believes in the value of attending conferences to foster professional development. We attend events across Canada and the United States all year long to learn about new trends and technologies, meet with clients, and share our expertise with like-minded folks.

Last year, we introduced the Andornot Professional Development Grant, a new, annual grant to help you attend a conference or event as part of your ongoing professional development activities. Of the many excellent applications we received, Mark Goodwin of the BC Cancer Agency was selected, and attended the Canadian Health Libraries Association Conference in Edmonton.

We are very pleased to be able to offer the grant again this year, to help you attend an event in 2018.

One grant of up to $1,000 is available, with an application deadline of January 31st, 2018. The funds can be used for registration or travel related expenses. We hope that this grant will provide an opportunity for someone without access to funds from their organization to network and enrich their knowledge.

Read more and apply online here.

Be sure to check out our list of all the conferences and events we’re planning to attend in 2018 as well as our list of other grants and funding options that could help you with project to improve your collections.

Tags: events | funding

Month List