Friday, October 20, 2006

DabbleDB

One of the new categories in the emerging Office 2.0 applications is being coined as "situated software". This class of software allows non-techies or rather "semi-techies" create their own mini applications without dragging in the IT department. These mini-applications range from simple registration forms, to more complex databases. Having given a few a cursory look, I decided to test out DabbleDB. I need to say that I was impressed. This app makes sense! See, instead of starting out as you would in IT by analyzing the problem to death, coming up with a data model, then building an interface (which would typically take 3+ months), what Dabble DB allows one to do is to EVOLVE the application.

You start out with a simple spreadsheet. Once spreadsheet isn't enough because you need to share it with other people or do some other data manipulations, you simply import it into DabbleDB. Then as you start thinking about other data you want to collect or separating out blocks of data that have relationships to other blocks ("normalizing" in DB speak"), Dabble is happy to do this for you on the fly. No DB constraints? That's almost human! Again, I'm impressed. It's one of the few new applications that supports the way people think and work and provides a clear upgrade path from existing tools. Definitely 5 stars