Quicken QuickBase: Case Study

Quickbase for Team and Project Management

by Ash Nallawalla

Part 4: Assessment and Recommendations

Assessment of the Offering

SPM had a total of 18 "containers" to store its data. At first glance it would seem convenient to give the 15 small ones to the teams and keep the 3 big ones for SPM-wide needs. It turned out to be a little more complicated.

For instance, each team would probably want one of the Team Project Tracker templates. That left only three big containers for SPM management and, therefore, some useful templates would have nowhere to go. See the table below to visualise the offerings:

Application or Template
Possible Use
Project Manager Application
SPM-wide tracking  
Team Project Tracker Template
One shared by all teams Link to additional ones when full.
Document Library Template
Project Issues Manager Template
One shared by all teams Link to additional ones when full.
Contact Manager Template
Database of employers and recruiters  
Job Candidate Tracker Template
SPM-wide Do we want to track our members and track their success in finding jobs when they leave?

To Be Determined

We need to ask these questions:

  • What fields are needed and are they really necessary?
  • What types of fields (text, date, etc)?
  • What do we want to put in these databases and can some content be stored more efficiently? E.g. Use Word 6.0/95 rather than Word 2002 if possible.
  • Can two or more teams share a common template?
  • Are there teams whose database would have radically different fields?
  • Who needs access to which database (bearing in mind that there is an absolute limit of 50 people per database including the administrator if he/she is to have access)?
  • If we want candidates to key in their own data, how can we keep the data clean, i.e. no vandals, e.g. import from Yahoo group subscriber list if available?
  • Which custom databases need to be built from scratch?


Minimising training, design and maintenance will be necessary, given the transient, inherent nature of SPM's volunteers. Sharing one database template among many teams is one way towards this end.

The three large databases appear to have likely homes (subject to agreement by Directors) but the remaining 15 represent a scarce resource. Only three templates for them have been identified. Close examination of the needs of teams may well refine this recommendation; for example, there might be teams with similar characteristics and needs, so they could share one 500 kB DB and others might share a different one. This may tie up one or two more DBs but it avoids building one template with dozens of fields covering everybody's needs, but most rows would have lots of blank fields, which will exhaust the 500 kB limit quickly and inefficiently.



Groups make it easy to set database access permissions for several different users at one time. After you create a group, you can use it to give many people access to a database by referring to them with one group name instead of typing each user's screen name or e-mail address.

Suggested Groups:

  • Administrators
  • Directors
  • Volunteers
  • Members


Provisioning allows you to create QuickBase user accounts for people who have never registered with QuickBase. All you need to do is to specify the e-mail addresses of the people for whom you want to create QuickBase user accounts. These new user accounts will automatically be members of this Workgroup.


The Team Project Tracker has the following roles:

QuickBase Role
SPM Title
Administrator: As per Project Manager but has total access Administrator
Project Manager: Can view, add and delete all deliverables, add views, and change fields. – Can have exactly same privilege as Administrator or have some limits. Director
Team Member: Can view, edit, and provide updates on all deliverables. Volunteer
Viewer: Can view all deliverables, but cannot add or modify. Member

->Go back to Part 1: Executive Summary


QuickBase Part 1

QuickBase Part 2

QuickBase Part 3

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