Quicken QuickBase: Case Study

Quickbase for Team and Project Management

by Ash Nallawalla

Part 2: The QuickBasics

In early 2003, I was asked to review the "Corporate" Quickbase template options and present a recommendation to the SPM volunteer Directors. SPM had a total of 18 DBs (15 x 500 kB DBs, and 3 x 10 MB DBs) to work with, within each DB one can have up to 25 members. The questions I had to answer were:

  • Should SPM use one large Project DB and then categorize the entries by SPM Group (15 Groups)?
  • Should SPM create 15 separate DBs (one for each of the 15 groups)?
  • Which template(s) would be best to use?
Users per DB
500 kB DBs
10 MB DBs
Total DBs
Total MB
Typical mix
10
15
3
18
250
SPM's mix
50
15
3
18
250

QuickBase Concepts

  1. A Database is copied from a Template, i.e. a template is an empty DB. So, if we need a project database, we find a project template and copy it (or build one from scratch).
  2. An Application is like a super template, i.e. it occupies one DB. Therefore we have to decide how to divvy up the 18 DBs into a mix of Applications and Databases.
  3. File storage limits apply across the whole account, not per DB, i.e. a total of 250 MB. You can obtain further multiples of 500 MB. For example, a full document database could have 500 kB of content (text, dates, links) but, say, 100 MB worth of attachments.
  4. Obtaining additional capacity means setting up a new 500 kB or 10 MB DB – you cannot just increase the existing one. But you can link the two.
  5. Access (the “Role”) can be restricted by group, individual, down to record and field level.
  6. SPM as a whole is a Workgroup named "SPM_Collaboration", i.e. we have one account.

Sizing the Database

Q. How much does a 500 kB “Standard” DB hold?

A. Each character represents 1 byte. Each empty text field is 4 bytes. Each used text field is a minimum of 4 bytes and a maximum of the actual content size. All non-text fields are a minimum of 8 bytes each. Double-click the embedded Excel sheet below (this is non-functional in the Web version of this article) and enter your values in the yellow fields:

 
Calculator
Example
Enter
Below
Extended
Enter
Below
Extended
Number of text fields
4
Average # of chars in a text field
10
40
# of non-text fields
3
Average # of chars in a non-text field
8
24
Expected # of records
8,000
Size of DB in bytes
512,000
Size of DB in kilobytes
500

The above sizing exercise had to be done by each team before we could determine that the Quickbase offering would meet everyone's needs. Alternatively, some compromises would be needed.

->Go to Part 3: Evaluation of Options

CRM

QuickBase Part 1

QuickBase Part 3

QuickBase Part 4


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