Archiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2010-03 > 1267453058

From: "Diana Gale Matthiesen" <>
Subject: [DNA] dbms v. spreadsheet
Date: Mon, 1 Mar 2010 09:17:38 -0500
References: <><>
In-Reply-To: <>

> -----Original Message-----
> From: On Behalf Of Bart O'Toole
> Sent: Sunday, February 28, 2010 6:20 PM
> To:
> Subject: Re: [DNA] Call to participants in ALL
> geographicandhaplogroupprojects: fill in your ancestry
> While a DNA project administrator may not require knowledge
> of data base manipulation, a DNA project administrator with
> a large project should have access to someone who knows
> how to work with the data.

Why? As a project admin, what am I going to do with the data that requires a
dbms? Even if you decide to use a dbms, you don't need to go so far as to learn
SQL. If you can learn to use Excel, you can learn to use Access or some other
dbms that doesn't have remotely the learning curve.

> Spreadsheets can only work with so much data - Mike Walsh has done an
> believable job with his spreadsheet, but eventually his
> spreadsheet will max out.

I haven't seen Mike Walsh's spreadsheet, so I can't comment on it. As far as
being a project admin at FTDNA, I see no project remotely reaching a size that
Excel can't handle (viz., 256 columns x 64K rows). If someone is data mining
the online DNA databases and doing research on vast quantities of data, that's
another issue. What we're talking about here is the needs of FTDNA project

> I used to do a lot of data base programming, so on this issue,
> I know what I am talking about with spreadsheets and data bases.

So do I. The main reason most people are using Excel for their projects is that
it comes with Microsoft Office, while Access only comes with Microsoft Office
Pro, a more expensive package. They end up using Excel as their database
manager, not realizing database management isn't its purpose. However, for the
simple needs of most project admins, it does all they need to do.

So, coming full circle here, what is it that a project admin would need to do
that couldn't be done with Excel?

> This is the first time I've responded to a message from a
> digest, so I hope it comes out properly.

You did fine. The important thing is to delete the other messages, and you did.


> Bart O'Toole
> > Date: Sat, 27 Feb 2010 22:01:11 -0500
> > From: "Diana Gale Matthiesen"<>
> > Subject: Re: [DNA] Call to participants in ALL
> > geographicandhaplogroupprojects: fill in your ancestry
> > To:<>
> > Message-ID:<7201D9D119F14587BE8CD8E81C69200B@HP>
> > Content-Type: text/plain;charset="us-ascii"
> >
> > SQL is a computer database query/maintenance language. I
> > can think of no reason why a DNA project admin would have
> > to know how to use it.
> >
> > Diana
> >

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