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Re: Grant Databases Douglas B. Wilde 23 Oct 1996 07:58 EST


I highly recommend you develop your own database.  I developed, in
Paradox, a system akin to what you propose.  Tracked proposals, awards,
deliverables, provisions (such as FARs or other conditions of the award),
and even provided for multiple PIs so no one felt left out of the annual
Most database packages are surprisingly easy to use.  As with most
software, once you learn 10-15 commands, you can do 90% without looking in
a manual.  You would have to invest the same amount of effort in an
off-the-shelf product that would be harder to customize to your exact
These database programs usually have good report designers so you can
create documents that are nearly identical to those you presently use.
As an example of what you can do, when an award came in we entered all the
deliverables into the database.  Once a month we queried the database and
automatically generated memos to all PIs with something due.  It listed
what was due and when.  We then checked a field when the deliverable was
presented.  A month or so later another query was made, another memo
generated, to remind those who had not delivered.  Similar savings in time
and effort are possible throughout the office.
And annual or special reports are a snap to generate.
So please give serious consideration to developing your own database and
getting _exactly_ what you want.

Standard disclaimer: I have no financial or other interest in Paradox,
other than being a very satisfied user.

Doug Wilde
High Density Electronics Center
University of Arkansas