Database: eWEEK Labs Walk-Through: Dabble DB SAAS Database

 
 
By eWEEK Labs  |  Posted 2009-01-21
 
 
 

eWEEK Labs Walk-Through: Dabble DB SAAS Database

by eWEEK Labs

eWEEK Labs Walk-Through: Dabble DB SAAS Database

Creating a New Category

In Dabble DB parlance, tables are known as "categories." You begin your category building through cut and paste, importing from a Web source, or creating and populating fields by hand.

Creating a New Category

The Data Set

I tested Dabble DB with NBA stats for my fantasy basketball league. The source I use comes formatted for fixed-width column import in Excel or Openoffice.org Calc.

The Data Set

First Crack at an Import

I copied the data into Dabble DB, and I also tried importing via URL.

First Crack at an Import

Import Troubles

As I could see from the import preview, Dabble DB wasn't going to parse the fixed-width formatting correctly.

Import Troubles

Light Data Adjustment in Calc

I used OpenOffice.org Calc to whip my stats into shape for Dabble. I also could have written a script to strip out redundant spaces.

Light Data Adjustment in Calc

Import Back on Track

Once massaged a bit, my data proved more palatable to Dabble DB, and I was able to check out (and correct, if needed) the service's automatic data type detection.

Import Back on Track

Create a View

With my new category created, Dabble DB dropped me off at its view-creation interface, where all the real dabbling occurs.

Create a View

Derived Columns Made Easy

I clicked my way through the process of creating a bunch of derived columns that I needed in order to calculate my player rankings.

Derived Columns Made Easy

Save Your View

Once you arrive at the views you desire, you must save before exporting your data in one of the RSS, Excel, CSV (comma-separated values), plain text or JSON formats that Dabble DB supports.

Save Your View

Freshening Your Data

For future daily stats updates, I chose "new similar" from the Dabble DB import page to conduct an update operation using the same settings.

Freshening Your Data

Navigating Through Your Application

Dabble DB offers good facilities for sorting and filtering through your stored data, but the speed penalties associated with a Web application prompted me to use Dabble alongside my local spreadsheet, rather than in lieu of it.

Navigating Through Your Application

Editing Your Entries

I could step into my data to make changes, and Dabble's knack for sussing out list-based data types came in handy while editing data.

Editing Your Entries

Charting a Course

Dabble DB offers some facilities for visualizing your data. This bar chart is based on the player rating I used Dabble DB to help calculate.

Charting a Course

eWEEK Labs Walk-Through: Dabble DB SAAS Database - Page 15

 

eWEEK Labs Walk-Through: Dabble DB SAAS Database - Page 15

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