Intuit updates QuickBase with spreadsheet-style skills

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Intuit this week rolled out the newest version of its QuickBase web-based database development tool with features aimed at business users trying to wrestle spreadsheets into database-like chores.

Intuit this week rolled out the newest version of its QuickBase web-based database development tool with features aimed at business users trying to wrestle spreadsheets into database-like chores.

QuickBase, which Intuit hosts for a monthly fee of US$249 (10 users), now has tools that let users build simple applications with either spreadsheet-style rows/columns or database-like fields/tables. The latter has been available since QuickBase's debut, but the new spreadsheet approach, said Intuit, mimics the approach many take when they want to share data quickly with colleagues.

"The spreadsheet and email combination is the easy-to-get-started, customisable solution for data and process management," admitted Jana Eggers, the general manager of QuickBase, in a statement. "But it creates high costs in consolidation work, communication hurdles, and security concerns."

Intuit pitches QuickBase as a low-cost alternative to such kludgy solutions.

"We're seeing a 25-to-1 payback...considering direct time saved," said Michael D'Amico, an executive project manager for NCR Professional Services. "The real advantage is QuickBase's ability to simply manage data and process together, rather than using spreadsheets for data management and using meetings, email, and valuable time for process management." The just-released edition, dubbed Fall 2004, also includes new email reminders, a simpler email customiser, and eight new ready-to-use applications for real estate, property management, and legal workgroups.

Intuit offers a 30-day QuickBase trial at its website.

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