Friendly Database Interface
May 16, 2023 11:14 AM   Subscribe

Can anyone recommend something in between BaseRow/AirTable and "build a webapp from scratch"?

I'm looking for something that will provide a visual interface for storing, querying, and generating reports from a large dataset that's friendly to non-coders.

The best thing I can come up with right now is MediaWiki with the Cargo or SemanticMediaWiki plugins and PageForms, but it seems like overkill to build a DB interface on top of a wiki.
posted by sibilatorix to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Obsidian has a plugin called Dataview that lets you run SQL-like queries against a flat-file text database and display the results inline. It really is basically "build a DB interface on top of a wiki" except someone already did it.
posted by grobstein at 11:33 AM on May 16 [2 favorites]

Can't promise how different it is from AirTable, but I came across Sortabase yesterday. There's always the "shared Google sheet" as a starting point too.
posted by yerfatma at 11:54 AM on May 16

What do you mean by "between" AirTable and a custom webapp? If you mean that AirTable is missing features you need, then which features is it missing?
posted by caek at 12:15 PM on May 16 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I guess I can't speak to AirTable - I'd strongly prefer FLOSS for this application, so I've been looking at BaseRow as an AirTable alternative, and... it works, but it doesn't have much scope for customizing view or generating reports. It also doesn't seem to have a map view option for geodata, which will be a high priority for this project at some point in the future.
posted by sibilatorix at 12:55 PM on May 16

Maybe Datasette?
posted by foxfirefey at 1:30 PM on May 16 [1 favorite]

Shiny is kind of a custom web app, but very approachable if you are an R (or maybe python?) programmer.
posted by rockindata at 2:44 PM on May 16

Maybe Plotly Dash? Fully 100% customizable but you (as the app creator) need to be able to write Python code. (Dash is FOSS)
posted by mekily at 4:19 PM on May 16

Unless you are planning on using dash on Plotly’s service, I would recommend against using it. It is barely open source, and it is very difficult to find documentation for how to host it on alternative platforms.
posted by rockindata at 4:35 PM on May 16 [2 favorites]

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