When your spreadsheet start to hit its limits, what options are open to you? Perhaps the best option is to consider the conversion of your spreadsheet to a database solution. Relational databases became viable not too long after the spreadsheet was well-entrenched as the affordable and quick means of gathering data and performing calculations.
Early databases available for the PC market were simple two-dimensional solutions and were essentially designed as a record-keeping system. However, when computing power increased, the advent of the relational database became an affordable option. Applying the rules proposed by Edgar Codd, the Database Management System (DBMS) became a reality, with products such as dBase being widely implemented in the desktop market.
Today, there are a large number of options to choose from. The downside to upsizing your spreadsheet to a database system is that databases require fairly in-depth knowledge, especially with regard to extracting data in queries, form construction and reporting.
When VisiCalc hit the scene back in the eighties (in the last century), the relatively small group of Apple II users went crazy. It was like manna from heaven for the poor accountants, scientists and engineers who were used to filling in enormous analysis sheets with a pencil. Now, they could use VisiCalc to do the same task, AND calculate the result automatically.
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