Seeing services with the aim of simple database creation online has always struck my interest. Maybe it is because I work with databases everyday, or maybe just because I find them very useful. I have reviewed Dabble DB (very powerful), TracksLife (simple and more personal), tested ZohoCreator, and now there is a new online database service called Lazybase, that is so simple, it only takes a few clicks to get going. What I like about Lazybase is that its uses are endless and just about anyone can use it. It’s not better then Dabble DB and probably isn’t too good of an option if your looking to store sensative information, but it’s aim wasn’t meant to be. It’s aim was allow anyone to go to Lazyweb, instantly create a database by just entering a name, and record data for whatever you may need, whether it be for recording notes, saving a database of members, or maybe even for simple recording of expenses. What’s more is that you can share them with anyone, stick them on your website, subscribe to RSS feeds, and my favorite feature, creating custom bookmarklets to instantly save data on the go. For the most part, it works great, but there are a few things here and there that could use some work. Lets take a look.

As I have said, getting started is very simple. Just go to Lazybase and fill in a database name on the right along with your email (you can also select a pre-created database if you’d like). Click create, and you good to go. No passwords, confirmations, or anything. Just a “secret” URL for managing and another for sharing. Once you are in your database, you will need to create an item, which is how you make a structure for recording specific data. For example, take a look at the above screenshot. I’ve planned to make an item called Bookmarks for saving interesting bookmarks that I come across that I want to share with a friend. So, I filled in the name “Bookmarks” and added fields that I want to record data to when saving a bookmark. Simple enough, but the one thing that I did not like here was that the Name and Keywords field are automatically created and cannot be renamed or even deleted. Sure, both fields are useful, but I would have prefered the option to manage them.

Once you have created an item, you will then be directed to the overview page showing recent data for your items in the database. Under the item you have just created, you will see a link allowing you to add records. You will notice that all fields you have added when creating your item will be present when adding a record, but the fields may very in function. For example, if you have added a date field, you will see a date selection box and if you added a rating field, you will see five stars that you can click to set the rating. Easy enough.

After adding some data into your item, you can then view your data in a nicely organized table with sorting like you see in the above screenshot. Just go to the main page by clicking on your database name at the top and select “view all” in your item’s area. On this page you will also find a link to an RSS feed that you can subscribe to or share with others that will update as you add records to your item. This is great because say you are managing a book club database. Once you add a record or modify a record, anyone subscribed will be notified. You will also see an option on this page that allows you to actually insert your database on your own website that will remain up to date. Lazybase will give you a few lines of Javascript that you just enter into your page and anyone can then keep track of it right through your site. And lastly, If you want to modify or remove a record, just click on the name of the record you want to manage and you will be given the option to either edit or delete the record.

I have gone through all of the basic functionality of Lazybase with you, but there is one feature that I found to be very helpful, although relatively hard to spot at first glance. This feature is the bookmarklet generator. If you are familiar with using bookmarklets for bookmarking, you will probably like this feature because it allows you to generate a bookmarklet just for adding data to any item in your database on the go. Say you are making a listing of contacts and you are recording the contacts name, email, web address, and a basic description. You can easily create a bookmarklet that when viewing any website and then clicking the bookmarklet will automatically add the information to your database. So, lets make a bookmarklet. Browse to the add page of an item. You will see a tiny link above the form that says, “create a bookmarklet,” along side a link for importing excel data. You will then see a page similar to the above screenshot. You will see a list of each field for your item followed by a drop-down list. For each field, you can select if you want to record the title or address of the site you are viewing, or record any selected text on a site when clicking the bookmarklet. To test, I created a simple bookmarklet for my bookmark item that when clicking the bookmarklet will automatically save the sites title, url, and any text that I had selected on the site. I am sure there are many other uses as well that you can think of.

Overall, I like Lazybase for its simplicity, instant database creation, and its unique use of bookmarklets. It gets the job done and anyone can use it. Although, it was a little buggy at times and also lacked of a few features that I feel are too important to not have. Specifically, when adding multiple Yes/No fields to an item, it doesn’t function properly allowing for selection from one field only. Another issue that I had was that the Change/Delete types area under Options, it states you can change an item’s fields. So, I assume this means I can edit the name of a field or remove a field, but you can only add to it. I had a typo in one field and I had to delete the whole item and restart just to get it right. Other then that, everything seemed to work fairly well. One feature that I would love to see is the ability to link or connect one item’s field to another item. For example, If I create an item to store members and the another item to store member data, it would be nice to be able to connect the two. Lazybase is not perfect, but it gets the job done and is a simple solution for anyone in need of basic storing of information.

One more thing. If you wanted to see an example of a shared database, here is my public database with some test data.

Lazybase – Instant Online Databases (via Lifehacker)


10 Comments on “Lazybase – Instant Online Databases”

  1. Joe Anderson says:

    It’d be nice to see something like this developed as a WordPress plug-in.

  2. Brian Benzinger says:

    Hrm. Very interesting thought, Joe. Certainly would be something to have an easy manageable database inside WordPress for making lists, storing post ideas, references, etc.. Definitely is possible as a plugin. I like your thinking ;-).

    But, if you wanted it embedded into WordPress to show a list of records on your site, then really you could just use Lazybase and their Javascript code to insert the list into your site.

    Would be cool to see something like that developed. Thanks for the comment, Joe.

  3. Saul Weiner says:

    Great post. I’ve been testing dabbledb for a while and I’m very impressed. I’d be keen to see if lazybase can offer the flexibility of dabbledb.

  4. Brian Benzinger says:

    Thanks for the comment, Saul. Dabble DB is very impressive, but is far more advanced and flexible the Lazybase. Lazybase is meant for simple databases like saving records of members, favorite books, todo items, etc.. Both work great, but they are very different when it comes to capabilities.

  5. A Zulu In Silicon Valley says:

    Lazybase – Not there yet…

    This is a short post, but it interested me, so I’m writing about it.

    Bryan Benzinger wrote a great post about a new application creator called Lazybase. He does a good overview and like him, I’ve been testing the service out. He spells out what ….

  6. Saul Weiner says:

    Yeah, I’ve done my testing. Great idea, but they have a while to go, in my opionion. Great post though.

  7. Toby says:

    Thanks for the review! I’m already addressing a lot of the issues people have found, and I have a lot of other plans for web-integration (like the bookmarklets, etc.)

  8. gabinetedeinformatica.net » says:

    [...] Acabo de encontrar por la blogocosa una base de datos online, Lazybase, que tiene muy buenas pintas, sobre todo por lo fácil que es acceder a ella y lo sencillo que supone crear quitar y crear campos. Especialmente para soluciones sencillas de bases de datos. Otros servicios web de este tipo: Dabble DB (pronto haré un pequeño análisis, el más completo hasta ahora), TracksLife, JotSpotLive(es muy hibrido ya que aparte de poder crear aplicaciones también crea un wiki) o ZohoCreator. [Vía Solution Watch]   [...]

  9. jim says:

    Thanks for the very informative post.

    Possible problem, this site is in the very early stages, it appears to be run by one person. I’ve seen many interesting sites like this over the years appear. I’d start to use the site and one day it would be gone and all my data lost. It seems that small sites like this have a harder time staying up and running. There appears to be a csv of your info which can be used to backup your database, which helps.

    Also, there doesn’t seem to be a way for your site visitors to input new records, which means they would have to email you the info and you’d have to input it.

    If you and your users put a lot of work into the database, how are you going to feel if it just disappears one day?

    Nice idea though, I do hope it succeeds.

  10. sally says:

    i have two tables one for client and the other for trainer
    i would like to have a single field (or log in) for the two
    how can i connect two database to a single field and if a client or trainer logs in it will identify a user ID and direct them to a correct page.