Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Not Ready for Showtime...Yet

I posted a few weeks ago on Trackvia, which promised to be a more usable, online database. I played around with it for several days, and this reviewer's take is "not ready for showtime yet." While Trackvia has some very nice features, it is effectively a list-management tool akin to Excel. Without the ability to store information in a normalized fashion, it's difficult to buy their claim that it is a database.

Databases enable you to store information in efficient ways such that you minimize the amount of replication (within the database) for any given data element. Trackvia, similar to Excel, makes you repeat the same information with each record you might want to store. For example, if you have a contact database, you must repeat the same information (e.g., customer name, address) for each related contact.

The leap from where Trackvia is to where they need to go isn't that far, but I'd hold off any serious purchase decisions until they mature. And by then....Google or Microsoft can help them enhance the software after the acquisition.