Online Database

Hi all,

I am in a little confusion to buy a database software in our lab. Mainly I am choosing from Lab life and File maker Pro.

Can someone please suggest me which one I should go for? and why? (like which is more advantageous than the other)

Thanks a lot.

Filemaker seems to be more generic and Lab Life more tailored towards biosciences.

I think both offer free trials.

If you’re Linux-savvy, MySql is a free option (although the learning curve is a bit steep). For Windows or Mac, I would recommend FileMaker Pro.

Thank you.

Any other recommendation will be highly appreciated…

It might help if you could post a little more information about what you need the database for and what your level of computer expertise is (e.g. are you familiar with Unix?). A ‘lighter’ version of FileMaker Pro exists under the name ‘Bento’. This is a much simplified version of FileMaker but still very powerful and useful for many basic needs. If you are familiar with Unix/Linux then sqlite is a free and relatively simple SQL database which is widely used.

Without more information from you it is impossible to recommend a database. The advantages/disadvantages of any one choice will largely concern cost, your level of expertise with databases/Unix/programming, the demands you have from any software, your choice of OS etc.

@ above,

First of all thanks for your reply.

In our lab, we mainly need the database for putting together a database of reagents and clones and kits etc that have been recently bought by other members of the lab.
This is to help those who needs such things in a mighty hurry but cannot get delivery in time for experiments. So this is the main purpose.

And about computer knowledge, I dont have any idea about SQL or Linux.

Your needs seem relatively simple (especially compared to the complexities of some database software). If you use Macs I would suggest something very simple like Bento. I don’t know what the equivalent would be on a PC. But a full-blown database might be overkill for you.

@ above,

Thanks again for your reply.

So do you think, if we use Windows OS, Lab file will be a good option for us? Or we should persist with Bento, as you have mentioned.

Bento is for Macs only. I’m sure there are many similar ‘light’ versions of database software for Windows.

Filemaker is also Mac only (unless they changed it).

If it is just to manage big lists & spreadsheets, you probably can get away with MS Excel/Access or OpenOffice Calc/Base on one regularly backed up computer. Or some google-docs / MS Live cloud-based spreadsheet thing.

Thanks everyone for all of your valuable inputs… :slight_smile:

You should be aware that some database programs save any changes immediately and automatically (i.e., don’t require a save command), so it’s very easy to inadvertently delete an entry. You may want to restrict users’ ability to modify the database (e.g., allow entries but not deletions/edits).


Hmm … 8) ??? ::slight_smile:

I would also add, that there are probably various websites that could be retooled to suit your purposes. E.g. you could have information in a shared spreadsheet using Google Docs. I would imagine that there must be some websites that offer databases as well.

Thank you … :slight_smile:


I have started using LabLife.

I have a question-

Is there any way to provide limited access to my lab members?

For example, I want some lab members just to see my data/ documents but not to edit/ modify them. Is it possible to do that in LabLife?

Thanks a lot…