Not to long ago I was in a very similar situation. I walked into a new
job where they were using Lotus Notes to take care of all of there phone
lists (telemarkers) and were using this dbase file to weed out all of
the do not call lists for particular states. Well, I was looking at the
data and the places this company wanted to go and realized several
First: Limits within Lotus (and excel) is that once you begin to add
large numbers of data it slows the results greatly.
Two: I did try at first to look at other options such as Access and
Excel (I wasn't very familiar with Lotus and a little uncomfortable with
it) Excel will eventually stop keeping records passed 65 something
something rows. 
Three: Any data can be exported to Excel or Lotus and made "pretty".
While the database can be used to keep things stable and up to
date...with multiple excel sheets all over the place you may never know
who is up to date and who isn't. All that has to happen is a new release
of the excel data named the exact same as the last time it was released
and you have a problem.
Four: In my experience there seems to always be data that you don't want
people to have...usernames, passwords, and the list grows and grows. In
a database you can choose what to give them and what not to give them.
What I would suggest for your problem would be this create a multiple
set of tables to handle the data that you have, create a script to
output the data into whatever format you want, and tell your boss it's
as easy for you to add fields to the database as it is for him to add
them to excel :D. 
These of course are just my opinions so you can always take it or leave
it as if I said nothing at all.
David Smith
On Tue, 2003-07-22 at 22:35, Ow Mun Heng wrote:
> Hi,
>       I'm having a problem convincing my boss of the benefits of using a
> database vs just using excel as a way of tracking events.
>       The boss' stance is that excel is more 'simple' columns can be
> expanded as and when it's wanted. You can put links into excel that points
> to files residing in the system (within the web server's reach), can be
> mailed out to distribution lists (some ppl are lazy to need to open up a
> browser, log on etc.. to view the data). It can be stored on the web server
> for retrieval later etc..
>       For a database, actually a database can do all of the above but to
> me, it's makes more sense as it can store all the above and provide
> additional functionality (as long as The code is written to make it more
> functional).
>       Can anyone help me out and give me a few pointers on why using a
> database makes more sense then excel.
> What's needed:
> 1. Method for tracking sequence of events (sort of like experiment results)
> 2. Links embedded inside to relevent files (results of experiment)
> 3. Can be mailed around
> 4. additional fields can be added whenever wanted
> something like that..
> Cheers,
> Mun Heng, Ow
> H/M Engineering
> Western Digital M'sia 
> DID : 03-7870 5168
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