Import Data from Practically Any Source
You can either enter your catalog data manually into CatBase's database, or you can import it from another source – for example, a delimited text file, an XML file, DBF file or (Data Chameleon edition) an ODBC-complaint data source such as a MySql or Microsoft SqlServer database. Find out more about importing data here.
Publish your data with InDesign, Quark, FrameMaker, XML ...
You're in control when it comes to publishing your data. CatBase works with all the most popular page layout software (QuarkXPress, InDesign, FrameMaker, PageMaker) and also with Microsoft Word. Your data can also be published as an XML file, a delimited text file, or (Data Chameleon Edition) it can directly update an ODBC database such as MySql or Sql Server.
When you publish with a page layout program you have complete control over the formatting of the data. You simply create Style Sheets which tell CatBase what data you want to publish, how you want it sorted, and how each part of it should be styled. CatBase can make intelligent choices about what to publish, or how to style it, based on criteria that you st. For example, for products that are on special offer you could set the product name in a bigger, bolder style, or in red, or include a "Special Offer" logo. Find out more about Publishing Styles.
Click here to see a brief movie that gives a quick overview of publishing a catalogue with InDesign. Or if you'd like to see the process in a little more detail, take a look at this Tutorial.
Automatically update published data ... or update the database FROM published data
"Roundtripping" is what we call it! Does this sound familiar: You've published your catalog using InDesign or QuarkXPress. You've checked the layouts, fiddled with the placement of graphics, made sure there are no widows and orphans, inserted fillers and placed ads, and you think you're ready to go. But then you find out that many or all of the prices have changed. Or perhaps you knew from the start that you wouldn't have the pricing details until the very last moment. You wouldn't want to update them all manually, and neither would you want to re-publish all the data! No worries ... with CatBase and a little forward planning you can simply update the prices in the database and then publish them to a specially formatted text file. That text file is then applied to your document and all the prices are updated automatically. It's also possible to update the other way round: if you've made changes in the document you can update the database. Find out more about roundtripping.
Keep in touch through letters and emails
With the "Quick Letter" word processor (included with the single-user versions; an optional extra for the multi-user versions) you can send letters to your contacts if you've got their names and addresses in one of the tables. Merge data from the database to customise and personalise each letter.
If you've got contact names and email addresses - for your suppliers, for example - in the database you can send emails to them. Include attachments; format emails as plain text of HTML; merge data from the database; automatically create a Memo when each email is sent. You can also RECEIVE emails that are sent to a specified email address and save them in the database. See more information about emails.
Print mailing labels - you can easily set up the label format to fit any laser or inkjet label format.
You can attach a Memo to any record and use that to keep notes or reminders of things that need to be done ... for example, if you're talking to a supplier about one of their products and they mention that they will be coming out with a new range of colours in a month or so, you can set a Memo to remind yourself to check back with them around that time.
Automate Repetitive Tasks
The Event Scheduler enables you to set up Events that can automatically occur every hour ... once day ... on a certain day of the week or month ... or pretty much whatever schedule you want! You can use these Events, for example, too import updated data at the end of each day; publish updated data at the end of each day; check for emails; run a script (we can create scripts to perform all sorts of tasks). Find out more about the Event Scheduler.
You can quickly create columnar reports and graphs in various formats.
CatBase may well be the only catalogue system you need to manage your catalog!
What do do next ...