Missing link between PIM and DBMS found

Alventis introduced what it presents as a new kind of application, a cross between a personal information manager (PIM) and an industrial-strength database management system (DBMS).

The Canadian company considers that it is the first application in the industry to cover the full spectrum of data management needs, ranging from those of individual computer users - to those of the small or medium enterprise, while not requiring the database designer to have any programming or development expertise.

Alventis starts by offering the user a variety of tables and data-entry forms that are usable "out-of-the-box". This alone would constitute a fairly competent PIM, but Alventis goes far beyond that.

All tables and forms are fully user-customizable. A user can make changes to the existing forms and tables, as well as create new ones from scratch using a highly-efficient integrated development environment (IDE) called Alventis Designer.

This standalone development application uses a novel approach to designing tables, fields, and forms (which does not rely on property sheets, coding, or macros) to accomplish essentially the same application development tasks as such well-known environments as Microsoft Access, FileMaker, Alpha Five, or Oracle.

The user starts by specifying the fields to be included in a table. This is performed by simply filling out a spreadsheet-like list. Once this is done, the form is created or modified with drag-and-drop ease.

Advanced formatting and sophisticated layout control is afforded by tools that work very much like their counterparts found in many modern word-processors. As a result, even relational database solutions can be implemented in mere minutes, all without writing a single line of code.