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> > I'm involved in a project to develop a medical database for clinical
> > images. We are considering Filemaker 6.0 (which is for the
> > non-professional, much like Access, but has the ability to export and
> > import XML).
> > What would you recommend? Which is better (for medical data)?
Step one is understanding whether your data is "mission-critical". That's a term
you'll often hear when developers speak about software and databases. If your
data is mission-critical, then it represents a health and safety issue or a
"bet-your- business" proposition if it is lost or corrupted.
Junior's football roster and the company's list of parking permits might be
important, but they are not normally mission-critical data. Radiation surveys at
nuclear plants, aircraft maintenance records, and account information for a bank
the mission-critical category -- lives could be lost or businesses fail.
You've used the term "clinical images". If you're referring to clinical images
to publish in a continuing education newsletter that's not the same as patient
records. The latter are mission-critical. If you are storing data on a
departmental computer, but the images are downloaded from a central medical
records database, then your application isn't managing the mission-critical
If your requirement is to store and retrieve "mission-critical" images, you'll
need an industrial-strength database product. FileMaker and Microsoft Access can
import and export XML, but that's not as important as features needed to
maintain data integrity. Some of these include journaling, tools for backup and
error recovery, protection against partial (incomplete) updates, concurrency
control (if you will have multiple users), and the ability to define integrity
constraints (rules about your data).
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