AUTHOR'S MAIN SITE  > > > > >  TABLE OF CONTENTS for Open Office database tutorials.       Delicious Bookmark this on Delicious    Recommend toStumbleUpon

Open Office ooBase Tutorials
How To Share a Database

You may find that the database being shipped with OpenOffice (ver.2 and higher) delights you as much as it has me. This page tries to help you use it.

Forget anything you may have heard about Adabas, which came with Star Office, the commercial version of Open Office 1. The current Open Office's database, "Base", aka "ooBase", is unrelated. And remember that Open Office, including ooBase, is free! But don't let that fool you. And it's not new. Big organizations, government and civilian, are adopting it as their standard office suite... and saving million$, but still Getting The Job Done.

There's more about ooBase in the main index to this material.

This page is "browser friendly". Make your browser window as wide as you want it. The text will flow nicely for you. It is easier to read in a narrow window. With most browsers, pressing plus, minus or zero while the control key (ctrl) is held down will change the texts size. (Enlarge, reduce, restore to default, respectively.) (This is more fully explained, and there's another tip, at my Power Browsing page.)

Page contents © TK Boyd, Sheepdog Software ®, 3/10-3/10.

Sharing an OpenOffice Database

First, a word about what I mean by "share" and "database"...

Suppose you've made a database with the characteristics of some birds, and you want to give a copy to a friend. (For instance, the database might indicate the sizes and colors of different species, and if you had a "robin sized" bird, with some blue and some green, the database could help you learn the species by telling you which birds you should consider.)

That's the sort of "sharing" I'm talking about for now. I hope one day to extend this "How To", and tell you about letting multiple computers on a LAN look things up in the database... but that's a story for another time.

By now, you may have inferred what I mean by "database" here, but let's just be sure we're "on the same page"...

"Database" is sometimes, as I am doing here, used to mean a collection of one or more tables full of data, forms, queries and reports which together make it easy to manage some data. The term is also used for the programs used for managing databases. In that sense, Open Office is a database, as are Access, MySQL, Paradox, dBase and other products.

So... How To Do It...

Happily, Open Office "bundles" all the "stuff" for a given database into a single file, extension .odb. You may have sundry text files, or other, which contain your notes on things like the data coding, and if you use a folder for each project, it is easy to keep these together with the database they apply do... but they aren't needed for the database to open. You just copy the .odb, pass that to your friend or client, and tell them to "register" it in their Open Office installation. (They will need Open Office installed on their PC.) The details of the copying and registering are in my How To Clone tutorial.

There is no "run time" version of ooBase. Someone wants to access an .odb file on a different computer, they must install all of ooBase and the Java RTE on that computer, and then copy the relevant .odb file to it.

There is no way to "lock" your databases so that people can use them but not see and manipulate the underlying forms. (Having said that, there are ways to set up forms that a casual user can't change... but those "locks" are not secure, they are just there to prevent inadvertent changes.)

You may want to look into the Switchboard extension if you want to make the database user friendly.

Editorial Philosophy

I dislike 'fancy' websites with more concern for a flashy appearance than for good content. For a pretty picture, I can go to an art gallery. Of course, an attractive site WITH content deserves praise... as long as that pretty face doesn't cost download time. In any case....

I am trying to present this material in a format which makes it easy for you to USE it. There are two aspects to that: The way it is split up, and the way it is posted. See the main index to this material for more information about the way it is split up, and the way it is posted.

Ad from page's editor: Yes.. I do enjoy compiling these things for you... I hope they are helpful. However.. this doesn't pay my bills!!! If you find this stuff useful, (and you run an MS-DOS or Windows PC) please visit my freeware and shareware page, download something, and circulate it for me? Links on your page to this page would also be appreciated!

PLEASE >>> Click here to visit editor's Sheepdog Software (tm) freeware, shareware pages <<< PLEASE

If you liked this ooBase tutorial, see the main index for information other help from the same author.

Editor's email address. Suggestions welcomed!     - - -    Want a site hosted, or email? I like 1&1's services.

Valid HTML 4.01 Transitional Page tested for compliance with INDUSTRY (not MS-only) standards, using the free, publicly accessible validator at

One last bit of advice: Be sure you know all you need to about spyware.

. . . . . P a g e . . . E n d s . . . . .