I love a product that shows ingenuity and innovation.
Consider the humble (grin) computer. When it was first introduced, it was truly simple and almost childlike. The same goes for many things, like a car or washing machines or millions of other great ideas that evolve and grow over time.
One item, intended to make our lives more organized, was the computer database. Initial database types of information were rudimentary and left much to be desired. They had a significant learning curve, and required the client to determine what they needed, in advance, and was a guessing game for most users.
I could go on and on because, for three years, I was the ‘database facilitator' for a major state agency. I saw the disappointment and frustration of those who needed to input data and get out information that was useful to them.
Enter CatalogIT. In order for a database to be successfully used, several things need to be in place. Here are some of the issues, in no particular order, and is not a complete list by any means:
- It needs to be easy to learn - a complex database may look good on paper, but a good database works with the user, not against them.
- It needs to be flexible - starting out and ongoing, it needs change to be easy to do.
- It needs to intake the appropriate information and a relational manner. This means that some info is entered only once and other is entered multiple times. i.e., Name of item, address, part numbers versus colors under a single item or size under a single item.
- It needs to output information in a simple and recognizable fashion. i.e., Select only red items or Select only items that are in stock.
- It needs to be understandable by others who may need to access the information but are not directly involved with the information.
So, you can see that programming a Catalog such as this is a daunting and complex task. However, when used by the end user, it looks like a walk in the park.
Enter CatalogIT. It is all the above and more.
Let's say that you have not been able to arrange your designs at all and you have 1,000 of them in one file. Remember that some items, like alphabets, will have multiples up to 55 - 70 within the file, so it does not take a lot of time to assemble a large number of designs.
Do you really have the time to go through all 1,000 designs and determine where you want them to go? CatalogIT has a ‘preset' series of possible criteria for your designs.
The good news is that they have spent the time and effort to think through what can be of significant to you. The bad news is they have spent the time and effort to think through what can be of significant to you. The problem is that they may or may not think the same way you do.
To understand my statement, you need to have a little information about a computer term "Properties." If you have ever right clicked an icon on your pc, you have seen this as an option. In a nut shell, and very condensed, properties mean the underpinnings of an item.
For instance, in this case you might have a design of a little girl with an umbrella playing in flowers with her puppy. The ‘tags,' which are often part of the properties, might be:
- And a dozen or more adjectives.
CatalogIT might be using this type of tag to determine that this design belongs in one of their categories. Possibly they would choose the top most item and your design will be placed into that group. Therefore, it may be placed in "Children," subcategory "Girl."
So, the good news is that your design will be in someplace logical, but again, not necessarily where you might place it.
Enter again, CatalogIT, and their smart programmers. They allow you to use your own criteria to set the ‘properties.' This allows you to use your own method of placing designs where you are most likely to want it to be. You may still use "Girl," or you may choose something else, like "Family."
The following are the photos of the process. You can see the exceptionally good Wizard they have created for you. Wizards, in computer terms, are mini programs that point you in the right direction to your goal. You don't have to look everywhere and figure things out for yourself. The work is done for you!
NOTE: To activate the Auto Catalog Wizard, choose Design Depot and Select your designs.
This flexibility allows you to create your own database with their tools. This is only one example of the thinking that CatalogIT is using to help you keep organized and in control of your thousands of designs.
Be sure that you take a look at this software.