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By David Coursey  |  Posted 2004-06-29 Print this article Print

If I were king, QuickBase would be my best hope for relational database apps made simple. Sadly, my understanding is that Intuit isnt too keen on taking QuickBase in that direction. Thats sad because if anyone could make building many-to-many relationships simple, Im sure Intuit could. Whats needed is an interview process that determines what the user is trying to do and then builds a database schema for accomplishing it. Drop in some sample data and the user could play with the new database and make limited changes before finalizing the application. The database would do the heavy lifting while the user could make tweaks where needed.
As all things seem to, this eventually circles back to Microsoft. Its made Access the default database of choice for corporate America, even though FileMaker is probably the better choice for most users.
For more insights from David Coursey, check out his Weblog.

Access is a failure, at least from my viewpoint, because the program has never really done anything to help make building database applications very easy. Rather, its been Microsoft Excel thats become probably the most-used desktop database of all time. Sure, Excel is a spreadsheet, but Excel tables probably contain more corporate information than most companies enterprise databases. If Microsoft, Intuit and FileMaker cant make this happen, maybe the open software movement could take it on, though simple user interfaces have never really been a strong point of "free" software. I know this is a tough problem, but I dont think my request—simple many-to-many relationships in a database for the masses—is all that unreasonable. Check out eWEEK.coms Database Center at for the latest database news, reviews and analysis.

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One of technology's most recognized bylines, David Coursey is Special Correspondent for, where he writes a daily Blog ( and twice-weekly column. He is also Editor/Publisher of the Technology Insights newsletter and President of DCC, Inc., a professional services and consulting firm.

Former Executive Editor of ZDNet AnchorDesk, Coursey has also been Executive Producer of a number of industry conferences, including DEMO, Showcase, and Digital Living Room. Coursey's columns have been quoted by both Bill Gates and Steve Jobs and he has appeared on ABC News Nightline, CNN, CBS News, and other broadcasts as an expert on computing and the Internet. He has also written for InfoWorld, USA Today, PC World, Computerworld, and a number of other publications. His Web site is

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