What is Database Publishing?

Database Publishing (or Data Publishing) is the art of taking unformatted data and turning it into a formatted publication. Part or all of the process is automated by software.

Examples of data-based publications include:

  • Telephone Directories

  • Catalogs

  • Price Lists

  • Membership Directories

  • School Yearbooks

  • Classified Ads

Source Data

Typically, the source data is a spreadsheet or a database such as Access, SqlServer, MySql, etc. But it might also be XML, a csv file, or any delimited text file. For example:

Publishing Options

The data is published using a pagination program of some sort, such as page layout or word processing software. Typical solutions include:

  • Adobe InDesign

  • Microsoft Word

  • PDF

  • QuarkXPress

Usually, a template is created with the chosen publishing destination, and then the data is inserted into the template. Here is an example of an Adobe InDesign template:

Note the big empty space in the middle of the pages. This is where the published data will go. This kind of design is fine when your data needs to be free-flowing, as in, for example, a product catalog where each product might have a different number of pictures or descriptions of different lengths.

Often, though, the formatting of the data needs to be more regimented. Consider as an example name badges for conference attendees. Each name badge must be a certain size, with the attendee's information set in specific places on their badge. In that case a different kind of template will be needed, in which specific data will be placed into specific areas on the page.

For a more detailed description of the steps to create a publication, see our How to Produce a Catalog tutorial.

Database Publishing Handbook

Download a free copy of our ebook, The Database Publishing Handbook, for lots more info about database publishing!

How can CatBase help?

CatBase is the ultimate Data Publishing solution.

It's a fully-featured Relational Database Management System (DBMS) which has comprehensive and flexible options for publishing data. 

Rapidly turn your database or spreadsheet data into a perfectly formatted publication - such as a catalogue, price list, directory, etc. - with pictures, tables, and  wide variety of formatting and styling options.

Find out more about CatBase!

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