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Springbase, Alternative to Zoho Creator

Despite the web 2.0 and cloud computing craze most online services are about taking notes or sharing 140 character posts. Springbase is however an interesting application from a business and developer stand-point. In short Springbase is an alternative to Zoho Creator, it has less features but behaves a lot more like Microsoft Access.

The licensing agreement in Springbase is very favorable; it is free for developers and costs for businesses when the application grows in volume.

Compared to Zoho Creator Springbase has very few features. However it makes it very simple to create a database quickly and integrate it into an existing website. For example I created a contacts database in just 15 minutes. Of course it helps if you have worked in Microsoft Access a lot before, since the interface in Springbase works the same way. The properties window is the same as in the Microsoft product, but with fewer options. The Table, Query, Report and Page sections are also influenced by Access. Springbase also has a pretty neat tab-system, which makes it easy to change between tables, queries and reports.

If you or the company you are working for have an old Microsoft Access application lying around it is possible to import it into Springbase. The feature works but the database imported can sometimes be altered, for example after importing a database with a table with one ID column Springbase added an additional ID column.  The Databases in Springbase can be edited by several administrators; it is possible to invite additional people to the database easily.

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As with most other cloud computing applications it is not clear if the data uploaded to Springbase is secured. Since Springbase is not as well known and does not appear to have any backing of big Internet players, it has to be considered a risk to use it for business critical applications.

A great thing for Springbase would be to take advantage of other cloud computing services, such as Amazon S3. Then the data security issues would be gone. However Springbase is very good for putting up a database fast and also for experimenting with databases. It could also be used in an educational setting as it resembles Microsoft Access and the OpenOffice alternative, but requires no installation or licensing.

Published inBusinessDeveloper Tools

3 Comments

  1. Jenson Jenson

    I use Dooster as an alterntive to Zoho.

  2. scott scott

    It’s always nice to know about other applications but in this instance I don’t think that Springbase looks here as if it ever would have been a rival to Zoho. Am I wrong? I’m not familiar with the name; it doesn’t spring to mind with the usual suspects. Because we looked at Zoho when we were deciding on collaborative software and did consider it amongst others even though we actually decided on Dooster which has had pleasing results so far. The security and customer service are good too.

  3. We’ve built a solution called Knack (knackhq.com) that allows you to create web apps and online databases. You can even embed your apps into any website with a simple code snippet. Tons of features and capabilities inline with Zoho Creator, but with more elegance.

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