Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Windows Program Uses Icons to Tap Database

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Windows Program Uses Icons to Tap Database

Article excerpt

As long as people need to share data, the quest for the best way to do so will continue. One of the newest methods is embodied in Iconic Query from IntelligenceWare Inc., based in Los Angeles.

Designed to work with dBASE or Paradox database files, Iconic Query is an innovative Windows program that requires little knowledge or training on the part of the user.

If you haven't converted DOS-based dBASE files to a Windows database program yet, Iconic Query may provide an effective and inexpensive way to do the job. IntelligenceWare - (800) 888-2996 - sells the program for $290, but you can get it for half that or less through discount software dealers.

The task of retrieving a particular set of data from a database is done by issuing a "query" as in, for instance, asking for customers with unpaid balances of $1,000 or more that are 30 or more days past due.

As the name implies, Iconic Query uses icons and other graphics symbols to ease the construction of a query. Icons depict the subjects of each table in an application of related tables. Lines between the icons indicate how data from one table are related to the others.

It is more than just a gimmick. You can't really create a query, especially one that spans several tables, unless you can mentally visualize the relationships of the data. Iconic Query's icons make that task easier.

To get the right answer, you also have to specify the right conditions for selecting records. The program allows you to browse the data in the midst of defining a query to help you.

The programs allow anyone to query a database application, even if they have little understanding of the data structure. But before that can happen, someone who is quite familiar with the database and computer programs has to design an Iconic Query application for that particular database.

If the designer builds the application properly, all of the relationships of data in one table to that in others will be built-in, so the user issuing a query doesn't have to worry about that level of detail. …

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