Order management software

I run my little jewelry operation using a filemaker pro database
that I wrote years ago. It grew from an older flat file Claris
database. I would like to look at other relational database
solutions. It can be cloud based or local (ideally free), but I need
to be able to easily modify tables and layouts and do lookups that
will auto populate related fields based in unique ids. I know that
this is not a typical Orchid post, but there must be others out
there who have researched this need with the types of data that we
typically manage in mind. I also need to find a Windows based web
editor similar to Sandbox as I may be moving from a mac to a windows
(hopefully not 8.1) environment and these are the only two problem
areas that I anticipate. I am sure that there will be more. Any
suggestions are appreciated. Thanks and Happy Holidays to all. Rob

Rob Meixner

HI Rob,

In a prior life, I did a lot with variable printing using database
driven software.

Which doesn’t really relate to your problem, except to say that you
absolutely do not want any sort of cloud solution.

The data isn’t yours if it’s not on your machine. (Offsite backups to
the cloud are one thing, if properly encrypted, but not the running
files) I looked at taking my files over to Quickbooks online, and
finally decided it wasn’t worth it.

If it’s to do with customer data, or things to do with money, you
really want to make sure it’s on your machine, not somebody else’s.
What if they decide to shut down? It’s happened. Ask the people with
years of emails backed up on Lavabit and Silent Circle. They went
down with no notice at all, and no route to recovery.


I’m another one against a cloud solution. After 30 years programming
computers for research one thing became perfectly clear.

Network (internet) down no data for you. This can come from a cyber
attack, power outage, company shutdown, or any number of reasons.


Brian mentioned –

If it's to do with customer data, or things to do with money, you
really want to make sure it's on your machine, not somebody

What if they decide to shut down? It’s happened. Ask the people with
years of emails backed up on Lavabit and Silent Circle. They went
down with no notice at all, and no route to recovery.

Or has happened to one commercial hosting provider. The FBI waltzed
in with seizure warrants and grabbed all their servers and backups,
because One out of several hundred companies using the service was
serving up child Porn. Eventually the hosting company got their
equipment and tapes back (Minus the offending material), but only
after a period of months and going to court to have the FBI be
ordered to make forensic copies and release the hardware etc.


Also remember if it is not on your machine and protected then other
people have access to your data so how much do you trust those
people hired to maintain the servers of the cloud, the janitors, the
random people milling about? I don’t trust them at all.


Your point about the cloud is well taken. Right now I am just looking
for software suggestions. The only ones I can find, other than
FileMaker Pro and Access are cloud based. I know a bit about
FileMaker and an less about Access. I need the table and layout
control that I have with them, so I am not looking for a canned
solution that someone might want to sell me with yearly subscription
costs and tech support contracts. I would need to be making changes
in a short period of time and that would either not be possible or it
would be expensive. Locally installed applications would be fine, I
just can’t find any and am looking for suggestions from others who do
what I do. Maybe I should go back to school and learn SQL. As a side
note, prior to retiring, I was an academic Director of Technology for
several large educational organizations and have seen the good and
bad of how we manage large amounts of data. Thanks. Rob

Rob Meixner

Hi Rob,

Now that I’m done ranting about the cloud, what exactly are you

The jewelry biz being what it is, I’m having trouble picturing what
sort of dataset you need that isn’t going to be handled by a stock

Ex DB guy

I maintain 4 main tables: orders, customers, serial numbers, item
descriptions and several others used just to populate fields in the
main tables. In the end, I just need to be able to document orders
and relate them to specific customers, item descriptions, and serial
numbers and create invoices as a view of the order table. I know
that I could buy Quick Books or any number of generic or jewelry
specific commercial solutions, but I kind of like to be the master
of my data. I shouldn’t need the power of FileMaker or Access and I
am just looking for a locally hosted or, with many reservations,
cloud hosted database that allows me to create tables and layouts
that meet my needs. When we discuss the short comings of cloud based
services (and I am sure that there are many), we make the assumption
that we are maintaining the safety and security of our own data when
we manage it locally on our own computer. I am fairly confident that
most of us aren’t and that a managed local network or cloud type
solution will, in the end, be more secure than many of our locally
hosted solutions. I look at it this way: do I want my data on my own
computer connected straight to the internet where the physical and
virtual backdoor is left unlocked most of the time, or on a server
farm in the cloud where we are told that there is all kinds of
physical and virtual security (this may or may not be true). In both
cases, there is much left to be desired. I think that, in the end
(ten years from now), we will be using a lot of subscription based
software with much of our data maintained and manipulated in cloud
base solutions. In many ways this is a return to the dumb terminal
networks of the 80s and 90s or more recently thin clients, chrome
books and other solutions with the server room being replaced by the
cloud (local or internet). These are just my thoughts. While I made
my living worrying about this stuff for years, I no longer have to,
other than to meet my own immediate needs. In the end, I would be
interested in hearing what specific software others use to run their
businesses. Thanks. Rob

Rob Meixner

Robert, If you are up to building your own tables and working some
with SQL check into Open Office. It is free and the relational data
base in it is somewhat like Access. When you get ready for SQL check
out the for dummies books and online reference. It is not that hard
once you get a handle on what it is doing.

Just a thought that it might fill your bill.