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.
Many spreadsheet applications nowadays have functionality above and beyond the traditional, offering a variety of charts, look-up tables, databases and more functionality than can be mentioned here.
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.
Over time, the spreadsheet grew into what we see today, in the form of Microsoft Excel and a number of similar products on the market. The power of the spreadsheet has grown almost exponentially, allowing the user to create customised formulae, charts, pivots and so on. Worksheets can be linked and updated automatically.
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