Small-Business Software

Database Software

Microsoft Access 97 for Microsoft Windows 95/NT 3.51

Overview: This database program stores a variety of information which can be readily accessed. It tracks the status of projects and updates them as you input information. New features make creating databases easier and less time-consuming. The Database Wizard automatically builds more than 20 types of custom databases. The Simple Query Wizard finds answers to questions, regardless of how data is structured. Other time-savers include the Performance Analyzer Wizard, which automatically recommends the best way to speed up database applications. This program also converts data into Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), so users can create interactive database pages for a company intranet (a network that allows workers within a company to interact with a repository of company data) or for the World Wide Web.

Minimum IBM-Compatible System Requirements: 12MB RAM for use on Windows 95; 16MB RAM for use on Windows NT Workstation; 28MB to 60MB hard-disk space required; 40MB required for typical installation, depending on configuration.

Suggested Retail Price: $339 for new users for CD-ROM; $109 for upgrade.

Lotus Approach 97 for Windows 95/NT

Overview: This relational database (a database that stores information in relation to other information) provides an easy way to query, analyze and report on data. This program allows the user to create a central repository of information (such as customer mailing lists and billing information) that can be exported into other programs (such as word processing), so that form letters can be generated. SmartMasters provide templates of precreated databases. The user can track, manage and analyze business information, regardless of where the data is stored, providing seamless connectivity to all popular database formats. This program allows users to save a document as HTML and post it onto a Web site, without having to learn the language. Default forms and worksheets are created automatically. The Action Bar provides quick access to the commands most frequently used. PowerClick Reportwriter generates professional reports easily, showing how data will appear before printing.

Minimum IBM-Compatible System Requirements: At least 8MB RAM for Windows 95, 12 recommended; 16MB RAM for NT; 18MB hard-disk space minimum for installation.

Suggested Retail Price: $105 for new users or upgrade. Available on CD-ROM or diskettes.

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This article was originally published in the May 1997 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Small-Business Software.

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