Thursday, November 04, 2004

Journey To The Past (8): Database Application Programming (1993-1996)

4th Generation Tools were specifically en-vogue those days, and heavily applied at university, mainly for their prototyping capabilities. I developed a 4th Dimension application on the Apple Macintosh, which helped university researchers to enter survey data about companies' information technology infrastructure, calculated statistical indices based on alterable formulas, and finally brought up some reports, with all kind of pie and bar charts. I also employed 4th Dimension for my business informatics diploma thesis, when I implemented an information system for university institutes (managing employees, students and course data, automated course enrollment).

We used SQL Windows for building a prototype for a bookstore database application under Window 3.1, which came with a nice multiple document interface. Another prototype was done for a room resource planning system at university. And I did several freelance projects, mainly on MS Access, e.g. a customer relation management and billing system for a local media company. We installed this application in a Windows for Workgroups / LAN-Manager multi-user environment. It is still in use today.

My Access knowledge would also help me later on, during military service, when I could spend two out of eight months inside a warm office (while my comrades were being drilled outside in cold Austrian winter), implementing a database solution for the Airforce Outpatient Department.