I’m not sure how many of you know what I do for a living. I’m a Systems Administrator / Computer Technician / Business Systems Analyst / Computer Jill-of-all-Trades. Originally though, I was trained as a software developer. Yes, I’m a bona-fide computer geek. It’s been close to 10 years since I’ve done any real development, but I decided a few weeks ago to dust off my old skills, and it’s for good reason.
Rummaging through the closet in the sewing room, I realised how many times I’d bought the same fabric that I already had, or a pattern I already had. Deciding that this year is a good year to begin to shop my stash, I began trying to find a program for Windows that would help me catalog my stash(es).
I didn’t like what I was seeing. There aren’t a lot of Fabric Stash / Pattern Stash / Notions Stash software programs out there for Windows users. I saw great inexpensive options for the Mac, and for the iOS devices (iPad, iPhone, iPod), but pickings were slim for the “rest of us”. Really there was one program that I saw that looked like it might be pretty good, but it seemed a little complex.
All I wanted was something simple that I could add info to quickly and easily. After all, if it’s not quick and easy, what are the odds I’m going to sit down and do the data entry every time I come home from the fabric store, quilt shop, thrift store, reuse center, etc?
Initially, it was a simple database that I created in Access (which actually means that it may work on a Mac as well) to see if I would use it. Gradually, it has grown into a full set of requirements. If I’m going to spend a lot of time developing a project like this, I’d like to know if it would be useful for others out there. I can’t be the only Windows user with an organizational problem and looking for a simple solution, can I?
Eventually, if this ends up being something that I use, or others use, I plan to move it to something other than Access. A database platform that’s possibly web-based (so not dependent on any operating system, meaning it could work on any device that has access to a web browser and an Internet connection) and less buggy than Access would be the best scenario, but it will take some time for me to get used to developing again.
Today, I would say that it’s almost ready for some testing in a limited capacity:
- The user interface is built and fairly user friendly
- The fields I thought were important are there
- There are reports to get the data out
- Technical documentation is 95% complete
- And it works.
What I still have to work on before it’s ready for any sort of public consumption is:
- Data validation – this means making sure that the type of data the database is looking to store is the same as what we’ve input. Without this, there can be data loss, or corruption of data. This is a “bad” thing.
- A user manual of some sort.
- Packaging it in some way so that people don’t need Access installed on their computers to run it.
If there’s any interest, I will begin posting the requirements that I’ve drawn up and looking for input.
Please let me know below if this is something that you would use, and what you’d have to see in the software to even consider trying it out.