24 June 2008

Lip-DB now with Super-Easy Install

Lip-DB version 0.1.2 has been released with the major new feature being the Super-Easy Installation feature. It is now no longer necessary to perform complex configuration to set it all up - allowing any non-expert to set it all up quickly and simply.

Other new features include better cross-browser support, links added for related records and better filtering for invalid user input.

Version 0.1.2 can be downloaded from here.

5 March 2008

Lip-DB version 0.1.1 Released!

The latest version of Lip-DB has been released and is available for download. Important bug-fixes have been included which will ease installation and allows it to run on PHP 5. If you had difficulty running version 0.1, please try again!

Security was the primary driver behind this release: login is now required to use the database. A user management function has also been added. Images are now viewed as thumbnails on the search results/table browsing page.

What is Lip-DB?

A free, easy-to-use Data Management Tool

Lip-DB is a small, free, and easy-to-use tool to allow you to manage your important data with a minimum of fuss and computer knowledge. It doesn't matter how much data you want to store, Lip-DB is as quick and easy-to-use as an Excel spreadsheet for storing data - without all the disadvantages.

Why not use Excel?

It's easy to see why people reach for Excel when they suddenly realise they need to store important data such as customer's names and addresses - it's almost certainly there at the moment, it's very simple to use and at first fulfills all your data needs. So why shouldn't you?

It doesn't scale well

Excel is great when you only have 10 customers. But what if your hobby business starts to grow? Excel becomes more and more difficult to use as you put more and more data into it. Even with just 50 customers, Excel can be trying and you start to run the risk of losing data accidently. Lip-DB is just as quick and easy-to-use as Excel, but it will work just as well with 10, 50, 500 or 5000 customers.

Only one person can use it

One of the biggest problems with Excel is that only one person can use it at a time. When more than one person needs to access the data, it's very easy to lose data. Lip-DB provides easy access to anyone who needs to use the data at any time, with no risk of data loss.

It's a pain to migrate

The above two problems with Excel are the most common ones which cause people to realise that they need a better solution. But if you started off using Excel, you have all that important data which needs to be migrated to your new solution. This is often very difficult without computer expertise. It is necessary to avoid using Excel for data storage altogether to avoid this problem. If you don't start with Excel, you won't need to migrate. Lip-DB is a free, simple alternative to avoid these real issues.

Microsoft Access has the same problems

Don't think that you can avoid the above issues with Microsoft Access either. Although Access is better than Excel when it comes to scaling, as databases go, it is an inferior solution. Lip-DB uses MySQL, a free, high-powered database which allows scaling just as good as the most expensive database that you can possibly buy. Furthermore, many people can use it as once, which is not possible with Access.

Avoid the Excel/Access traps right from the beginning!

To avoid the traps with using Excel and Access, you need to use an alternative right from the very time you think to yourself "I need to store this information somewhere." Lip-DB is a free, open-source alternative that provides you with the easy-to-use data storage capability that you need now - and the scaling and multi-user access that you'll need later.

Try Lip-DB right now!

A working demo is available right here! You can easily download the program from Sourceforge. A super-easy installation walkthrough is provided for people who know nothing about webservers and databases, as well as a custom installation walkthrough for those who have existing databases they wish to use with Lip-DB. The Getting Started page tells you how to begin using Lip-DB. If you need help, you can contact me at dox96 at, or post a question on the forum.

Important Security Information

Lip-DB has some basic security capability which, with a little care by the user, should prevent access to the database by unauthorised users. However, as data flowing to and from the server is not encrypted, if it is used on a public website, it is not suitable for storage of highly sensitive information, such as credit card details. Usage on a stand-alone computer or on a private internet should provide adequate protection.