In previous versions of StarOffice, the suites constituent applications featured fairly good database integration options and came bundled with the back-end database component Adabas D. However, the suite lacked an approachable front end that would provide easy access and the ability to organize these capabilities. New in StarOffice 8 is such a database front end, called Base, with which we could link up to a range of existing data sources, including dBASE, Access, MySQL, LDAP, Mozilla, Thunderbird, Outlook and Windows, as well as to data sources accessible through ODBC or JDBC (Java Database Connectivity) drivers.Next Page: Impress, Calc, Writer get gussied up.
StarOffice still comes with the Adabas D database, but the suites chief native data source option is now the Java-based HSQLDB relational database engine. HSQLDB is open source, which means it will also ship with OpenOffice.org 2.0, whereas Adabas D did not. We found it fairly easy to build data stores using Base, which offers wizards for speeding the creation of database tables, forms, queries and reports.