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What's so Special about CatBase?


There are plenty of database publishing solutions available.

But none of them offer all the power and flexibility that CatBase does! Here's why ...


You set up any number of Publishing Projects to publish your data in various ways - eg as a catalog, a price list, an order form, a directory, product labels, etc.

Each Publishing Project determines what data will be published (eg everything, or just a certain category, or a certain region, etc.); what content will be included; and how to format the data.

Then when you are ready to publish, just go to the appropriate Publishing Project, click a button, and your publication is created.

Peace of Mind

You can be confident that all your data is published correctly; you don't have to check that each product has the correct picture, or each Member's name is in bold, etc. - as long as your data is accurate, CatBase will publish it correctly.


Creating a publication is extremely fast with CatBase. You can produce your catalogue or directory in a fraction of the time it takes to produce it manually.


Database Setup

You define the tables and fields needed for your database, and the data entry forms and list views.

Define the relationships between tables. For example:

  • Products and Parts: Each Product can have any number of Parts linked to it

  • Customers and Ads: Each Customer can have any number of Ads

  • Listings and Addresses: Each directory listing can have any number of addresses or locations

  • Listings and Personnel: Each directory listing can have any number of Personnel


Some data publishing solutions require a standard design for your publication: for example, each listing has a title, a product image, a description, and a price, each formatted in a certain style. But with CatBase each item can have different content depending on which fields are populated and which options are selected.


Each entry can be published with different content depending on rules that you define.

For example:

  • If it's a new listing, insert a special icon or set the name in a different style.

  • If they have paid for an upgraded listing, include their email address, brief description, or whatever; otherwise, leave that out.

  • If they have paid for a 'display ad" listing, set their entire entry in a box with a border.

  • If a product is on special offer, set its name in a different style.


CatBase allows you to define any number of images for your publication and to specify the formatting for each one. Perhaps each product's main image is a certain size, and then if it has any additional images, these could be smaller.

You can create Rules to determine whether an image should be published, and how to style it. For example, if a product is from a certain manufacturer, include the manufacturer's logo. Or you get create a "Highlighted product" option and if this has been selected for any product, then apply a certain Object Style to that product's main image (if publishing with InDesign).

Images can even be embedded within table cells (InDesign only).

Learn more about Publishing Rules.


CatBase can dynamically create tables according to the data available for an individual product. For example:

two tables example

Tables cells can even contain images! (Adobe InDesign only.)


You can define Rules to tell CatBase what data to include or leave out, and/or how to format it, based on criteria that you specify.


  • If it's a new product, set the product name in red instead of blue.

  • If the product is on special offer, insert a "Special Offer" image.

  • If a company has paid for an enhanced listing, set their company name in bold and include their logo.

  • If a product is recyclable, include the Recyclable icon.

  • If it's an even-numbered entry, align the picture on the left of the page; otherwise, align it on the right.

Find out more about Rules.

Bar Codes and QR Codes

Dynamically create all kinds of bar codes and QR codes and publish them. For example, create a QR code linking directly to each product's page on your website. For example:

Go on - scan it! 

Find out more about creating Bar Codes.


Create hyperlinks dynamically. 

For example, link each part number to its product page on your website.

Find out more about creating hyperlinks.


Perform calculations on the fly. For example, calculate a 10% discount on each product price when the data is published (does not change the actual data - only what's published).

More info about Calculations.

Scripts and Custom Modules

If you have a special requirement that isn't already available within CatBase, we can create custom scripts and modules to do just about anything.

See the Analox Case Study for an example of Custom Modules.

Find out more about Scripts.

Find out more about Modules.

Multiple Publishing Options

Most Data Publishing solutions offer one publishing destination option - usually QuarkXPress or Adobe InDesign. With CatBase you can publish to any of a variety of destinations:

  • QuarkXPress

  • Adobe InDesign

  • Microsoft Excel

  • XML

  • csv file

  • Tab-delimited text file

  • RTF (Rich Text format)

  • Microsoft Word

  • An ODBC-compliant database - eg MySql, SQLServer, etc. (Data Chameleon Edition)

  • and - coming soon in Version 8 - publish directly to PDF!

Updating a Finished Document

Your 300-page price list or catalogue has been published with QuarkXPress or InDesign. You've added some graphics here and there and maybe reorganised the pages a little. And now you need to update all the prices. 

CatBase works with the InCatalog and xCatalog plugins for InDesign and QuarkXPress to create links to your source data. So when the prices change, you don't need to republish the data - just publish an update file and apply it to your existing document!

More info about data updating.

No other Data Publishing Solution offers so many features!

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