What software should I use to build an online property development database?

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Further details of question

We currently manage a large database of property developments in an excel file, but we need to migrate this to a bespoke database, which will give us more flexibility to build our business processes around the data, and to add more columns and related items, such as photos, files, notes, version history, edit user permissions, etc.

We currently manage our data in excel, and then export a small subset of that data to a wordpress front end. We would like to create a hosted database, which initially we use to manage the data and export manually to our wordpress front end, and have the flexibility to eventually link the two so they can sync directly.

Our existing database is in an excel file and has about 900 items each with around 35 columns of data. Some of these columns need to become a separate table of linked items, for example, the list of developers of each of the properties. We need flexibility to add new data columns ourselves, and an easy way to import and export data from our excel/csv files.

We would like to build this using a system or platform which will allow us to build up from this data, in terms of adding workflow process, user editing rights, and which we could perhaps eventually link to our wordpress front end via an API or similar, to allow direct syncing.

We have had various suggestions, including, Laravel, google doc, but we would like to put this job out and here from experts with suitable experience, with an outline of their intended solution. We have not found wordpress to be suitable for developing the database, as it tends to be difficult to edit and manipulate the data in volume.

Note that this project does not require a public facing front end, this is purely a solution for us to manage our data.

 


Answer

Initially, I’d thought that using hosted database software like Airtable or Coda would have been the best solution but the additional need for database workflow automation, user editing rights and direct syncing to a WordPress front-end means that you might find it more beneficial to use another solution. I’d recommend that you check out Airtable and Coda (you could even use Notion) but also check out the option of using Podio with the add-on of a front-end user portal software. Using this setup, you’ll be able to import your property database as a csv file into a custom app then create workflows based on the options selected. You can then set up your portal to display the information you want on a subdomain of your current website. This portal will be accessible to logged-in users and even has the option for users to be able to update the property information in the database from their portal.

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Rich Peterson

Founder of Generous Work. Heads up the service design, software advice and process automation side of the business. Get in contact.

By Rich Peterson

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