This chapter describes the Brilliant Database interface and main principles of work with the database.
Database Files and Sharing
After the program has been launched, a welcome screen allowing you to create a new database or open an existing one will appear:
In Brilliant Database, one database is a single file. In this file the structure of the database, all records, folders, pictures and so on are stored. Therefore, if, for example, you need to create a backup copy of a database, you can simply copy the database file to a USB-flash or another location on your computer. By default, all new databases are located in 'My Documents' folder.
If the database file is already open and you need to get access to the database from another computer (in case of multi-user work), you should select Open networked database instead of Open local database. To learn more about the multi-user work, see the Network chapter.
Once you have opened the database, the main application window will appear:
The main window is intended for work with the database. Creation and adjustment of the database (creation of forms, adding of reports, editing of scripts) is performed with the help of visual editors.
The appearance of the program in many aspects is determined by the opened database, but it almost always has the following elements:
List of Folders
In Brilliant Database, all records are stored in folders (as regular computer files are stored in Windows folders). All folders in a database are displayed in the tree-like list in the left part of the window.
The structure, names and folder icons are specified by the user. Usually, in one folder there are records of the same type. For example, in Books folder there are records of the Books type; in Orders folder - of the Order type and so on.
However, nothing prevents you from storing records of different types in one folder. Or, vice versa, records of one type in different folders. For example, you can store records about orders in three folders: New, In Work, Completed.
By default, all records can be easily moved between folders; however, you can disable this option in the folder properties. Beside simple folders for storing data, there are special folders that can contain graphs, reports, calendars and web-pages.
You can add a folder to the database using the Add menu.
To choose a folder (make it current), click its name. The properties of the current folder can be changed from the Folder menu; the content of the folder is displayed in the central part of the application window. In case there are records in the folder, they are displayed as a table or a form:
Table View/List of records
In this window all records that are stored in the folder are displayed as a table. For every type of records there can be several types of table presentation (so called Table Style) that differ by columns and their order, colors and so on.
To change or set up the Table Style, select Folder > Table View or right-click any non-selected record.
Selected records are highlighted with another color. To select several records, press and hold the Ctrl or Shift key and click all necessary records. If you right-click a record, the window of record operations will be opened.
To create a new record, use the Add menu. To delete a record, use the Record menu or simply drag it to the Recycle Bin.
Current Record/Form View
In the lower part of the main window the current record is displayed for more detailed viewing and editing:
On the form there are fields for entering/viewing data and static elements (labels, buttons).
To start editing a record, simply change the value of any of the fields. At that, the record will become inaccessible for other users (if several people work with the database). To finish editing a record, simply click on blank area of the form or select another record. All changes will be automatically saved and the record will become accessible for other users.
The behavior of fields can differ depending on their types and scripts underlying them. However, there are some basic principles of work with fields:
Every record can contain file attachments and unstructured links to other records. To access these functions, right-click anywhere on blank area or use the Record menu:
Note that all file attachments are stored inside the database file itself. That is, if you copy the database file to another computer with Brilliant Database installed, you will be able to work with files attached to the record.
File attachments significantly influence the size of the database. The restriction for the maximum size for one attachment is 128 Mb, the maximum possible size of a database is 4 Gb.
In contrast to many other programs, in Brilliant Database the appearance and actions performed by clicking toolbar buttons are fully defined by the user and are a part of the database. In other words, every database can have its own toolbar. For example, for the product catalog these can be buttons such as 'Print Catalog' and 'Export to Web', and for the address book - the button for quick search by the name.
You can change an action or a script that will be performed at clicking the button, add or delete a button in the toolbar editor. The easiest way to open it is to right-click the toolbar. You can also create your own toolbar separately for every folder.
In Brilliant Database, you will not find a list of hot keys as they can also be specified by the user to make work with a specific database more convenient.
By default, only two hot keys are specified - Print (Ctrl+P) and Add Record (Ctrl+A). You can also change or add your own hot keys in the toolbar editor.
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