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I'm researching the best way to do the following but haven't been able to come up with anything. I'm trying to build a small (probably 3 or so tables with at most 200 records each) relational database that is hosted online. If it could be hosted offline, I'd use Access and call it a day, but I can't figure out an equivalent that is online.

Requirements are:

  • accessible online via anywhere
  • ability to restrict viewing of certain information to certain users
  • once setup, is very easy to use

Preferable:

  • not a lot of coding - I'm not fluent in any server side coding and don't want to spend the time learning for this small of a project - e.g. Access can do a lot without coding
  • free though cheap is an option (since this is a small project, it shouldn't cost more than 5-10$ a month)

If this isn't possible, I'd be obliged if someone could direct me to the closest thing to it. Thanks.

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If you need to strictly access the data stored within your tables, you could just create a public, Google spreadsheet. This isn't a database, but it will allow you to share/access your database from the web. However, if you want to create these tables and want to consume this information in GUI (i.e. some form of formatted table or a web form), you will need an online, DB solution. There are many options and, unfortunately, we would need to know a little bit more about your project to make a good recommendation. –  RLH Jan 3 '13 at 16:15
    
What specifically do you need to know about the project? Part of the problem I'm having is that I don't know what I'm looking for. –  Josh Jan 3 '13 at 16:22
    
You've mentioned that you want to have cloud-access (i.e. data available from the internet) but you haven't explained your intent. Is this back-end data, used to populate an interface? Is this just reference material? I know you are not a coder, but will you need to implement an interface that calculates other data-points and displays the derived information, rather than the underlying data in the tables? There are many uses for "just a few tables". Understanding the point of this project can go a long way in helping you solve your problem. That's all I'm asking. –  RLH Jan 3 '13 at 16:30
    
Here is another question that might help. What's wrong with the Google Spreadsheet option? What additional functionality do you need beyond that? –  RLH Jan 3 '13 at 16:34
    
You know, I think Google Spreadsheets with a web interface front-end might work. I wasn't sure whether I had access to the web interface, but it turns out I do so that will work. Would you like to create an answer with Google Spreadsheets and I'll accept it? –  Josh Jan 4 '13 at 4:02
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If you are needing simple access to tabular data, from the web, then Google Docs has a spreadsheet document option which should suffice. Granted, this isn't a database but it's easy to use and does not involve any coding.

Also, Google Docs are stored on your "Google Drive". Therefore you will need to have a Google account and you may have to accept a series of terms and conditions for multiple accounts before you can begin using Google Spreadsheets.

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If you are strictly interesting in

  • setting up a quick-and-dirty database
  • free to use and setup
  • not worrying about a lot of administration
  • not being tied down to Storage Engine configuration/tuning specifics

then I would recommend the Xeround Cloud Database service.

I just wrote a post about Xeround's limitations in terms of MySQL and its configurability. Since that is not a concern, Xeround gives you a fairly easy Database to setup and tools to manage it. You can literally create a Xeround MySQL Instance in under 5 minutes.

The free service will give you room to create a 10MB DB. If you need slightly more space, there are pricing options.

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I think a database is going to end up being too complicated for my needs. A simple series of Google Spreadsheets with a web front-end is going to be easier. Thanks though. I'll keep this in mind for any future projects. –  Josh Jan 4 '13 at 4:04
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