A professor at my workplace wants to setup a server for a database.

Users should be able to access the server with a GUI and create entries, add files to entries and edit metadata that is associated with entries.

Users should also be able to create "links" in the software that direct the person clicking on them to other entries and in the files in the database.

Do you know something free and open source that can accomplish this as client-server setup with multiple clients working together on something?

  • 1
    Ahem, actually it's rather a bit unspecific ;) What you describe is what every RDBMS (Relational DataBase Management System) does. You "link" to other entries via "referential keys". How you collect inpout and work with your data (checkboxes, input fields etc) is defined in the application – the database mostly serves as storage. // So if you are looking for a complete solution, you'll need to tell us what exactly you want to achieve. And maybe also the OS running on the server/clients, whether it can be web-based etc.
    – Izzy
    Jan 30, 2022 at 17:08
  • Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer.
    – Community Bot
    Jan 30, 2022 at 21:10

3 Answers 3


If your university has a central file storage server that all your users have access to, then LibreOffice Base may be satisfactory just by storing the file in a central location.


FileMaker does exactly what you are asking for.

It's a RDBMS that allows you to connect to the DB through a GUI and you can edit data but also create a web interface and dashboards.

Is actually the only RDBMS owned by Apple.


This does not really sound like a traditional database. This sounds like more of a job for google sheets.

You can do it with offline spreadsheet apps like excel/calc but they will all have paths to other places in a shared file system that all will have to have access to, and it does scale well if you later decide you want a real DB.

Multi user access will be the weak spot with file based, and sheets handles that with ease.

To answer the question literally, yes, pretty much all database systems. IF you want to go true database, you can design in something like MSAccess and then upscale that to a central SQL server accessible to all clients. Do not try the everyone shares a access db from a central file share, it ends in misery... IF you are going to do access, do it with intent to upscale. That way you leverage MAccess for the UI/Front end and SQL for the back.

Past that the next easiest would be SQL and MVC/Entity framework in Visual Studio community edition, tons of youtube tuts on it, and its application forward DB design principals can make a SQL backed web front end almost effortlessly as mocking it up in a flowchart editor.

  • I am finding this too generic. How about recommending one or two with your reasons Aug 30, 2023 at 2:24
  • ts hard to recommend something past what I have, google sheets, recommending any of the others would require more knowledge of what the OP actually wants to pursue. The recommendation for access was entry level "Database" and if considered how to do sanely, and the suggestion for MVC/Entit framework was the same, because it is easy to drive construction of simple databases. So I do not understand the request? (Notice other comments on specificity, it was a hard stretch on a vague question, where the forum will not let me comment for clarity unless I wrote the question...) Aug 30, 2023 at 2:33
  • @GeneMoody-Action1 if you're not sure at all what OP wants, it's a job for comments. And yes, I know you can't comment, but it's better to answer questions that are clear to gain that priviledge.
    – Destroy666
    Aug 30, 2023 at 22:06
  • If I could post a comment I would, new account, I assume to get the requisite 50 to ask a comment you have to nail answers? SO I am contributing where I can to acquire that in order to BE more productive. That is a limit of this system, if y cannot comment until you get points the only way to get points is try to answer. I am not new to Stack exchange and do not need direction, been member for 11 years with plenty of rep, this is just a new account because I do not mix my personal and business. Just trying to help, why we are here... Aug 30, 2023 at 22:31

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