By Michael Caton  |  Posted 2006-04-10 Print this article Print

For organizations that need a fast way to create and deploy database applications, new members of Intuits QuickBase family of products provide a flexible solution with good security options.

QuickBase for Corporations adds security controls to QuickBase that will appeal to companies concerned about sensitive data hosted through an ASP (application service provider) and managed by users. QuickBase for Corporations also adds the ability to manage user access through directory integration and to maintain corporate password policies.
QuickBase for Corporations is priced at $100 per user per year; QuickBase for Corporate Workgroups, which lacks the directory support, is priced at $60 per user per year. The baseline QuickBase product costs $249 a month for a 10-user license.

Intuit keeps its QuickBooks enterprise package slanted for SMBs. Click here to read more. eWEEK Labs tested both QuickBase for Corporations and QuickBase for Corporate Workgroups. We found that both editions do a good job of giving an IT department control over security policies, while still giving users broad control over creating and maintaining applications.

In terms of ease of learning and use, anyone who can build a spreadsheet application can build an application using the QuickBase family of products. Since eWEEK Labs last reviewed QuickBase, in 2003, Intuit has added the ability to create an application through a spreadsheet interface that simplifies the getting-started process considerably. Users also can build an application from supplied templates by using QuickBases database design tools or by importing existing data. Even the database design tools are easy to master—we just needed to name a field and pick a field type to get started.

The key difference between QuickBase for Corporations and QuickBase for Corporate Workgroups is that the former has the ability to tap into LDAP directories and has support for password policies and account branding. LDAP integration is handled through an API, which authenticates users directly with an LDAP server. LDAP integration is a valuable feature not only because it simplifies password management for users but also because it gives administrators a way to manage third-party access to QuickBase.

We also appreciated that both QuickBase for Corporations and QuickBase for Corporate Workgroups provide a way for companies to block access through a single list. Since a QuickBase account can include hundreds of applications, this "deny list" allows administrators to globally lock out a user without having to look at every application.

Intuit has made a couple of good administrative improvements as well. We could easily add large numbers of users by uploading a comma-delimited file or adding users e-mail addresses in list format through a new text box. Intuit also has added a support-level permission to account administration, giving administrators the ability to add and deny users and to promote a user to application manager without promotion to full QuickBase administrator.

On the user side, QuickBase makes it much easier to integrate data across applications. This cross-application data integration extends to reporting, where QuickBase data can now be imported to another application for creating custom reports and dashboards.

We also liked that reporting has been improved to allow building more complex queries that allow users to drill down in cross-tabulated views of data. Reports that have been generated using the new cross-tab view can be exported to spreadsheets for pivot table analysis.

Next page: Evaluation Shortlist: Related Products.


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