Collaborate: An Examination of Tools for Groups Working in the Cloud - DabbleDB
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If there is a single application that lends itself perfectly to the idea of cloud collaboration, it is the database. By their very nature, databases draw their content from a variety of sources, are dynamic and interactive, and benefit from having more than one person involved in data entry, management and maintenance.
As a collaborative database tool, DabbleDB more than fits the bill. It allows you to build and share fully-featured relational databases, and includes a whole range of innovative tools to enable this process. For example, rather than forcing you to manually code the relationships between different tables, Dabble will analyze the tables and automatically suggest meaningful relationships. It is capable of simple data cleaning, intelligent data handling, and has comprehensive reporting tools.
From a collaborative point of view, Dabble supports multiple users with four separate access levels: Read/write/build, Read/write, Read-only, Pages-only. This means that a true collaborative system can be devised with proper controls over data entry and modification.
The system also supports Safari Mobile, meaning that access is possible on the go from virtually anywhere. It's even possible to collect data from the public, using the system's built-in data collection form building tools.
Dabble has few limitations, but those it does have are potentially significant. Web publishing, for example, is severely limited, in that once databases are embedded in web pages, their content becomes fixed, making Dabble unsuitable for sites that need to be dynamically updated. There are also no scripting capabilities, and although Dabble can be used for free, a paid plan must be purchased if data privacy is required.
Summary: Dabble represents a serious collaborative utility that, for a small fee, provides unparalleled database functionality.
Pricing: Free commons plan with public data supports up to fifteen users. Paid plan with private, secure data costs $8 per user per month.
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