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Panorama Sheets for Mac: A first look

Back in the first days of the Mac (in the days when I still had a full head of hair) a developer by the name of Jim Rea created one of the first database apps for the platform, Overvue. That application became Panorama (US$299), which is still around and has evolved through the years to remain a powerful and incredibly fast relational database for Mac.

Sometimes, though, Mac owners need a database management system that isn't as powerful as Panorama but can handle operations that would choke Excel or Numbers. On January 6, Jim Rea's company -- ProVUE Development -- released a new product into the wild via the Mac App Store. That product is called Panorama Sheets (US$39.99) and it uses a spreadsheet-like interface for all data entry, searching, sorting, and data analysis and manipulation.

The app has a feature called Total Recall that can protect your data through system crashes and power outages, and uses the same RAM-based database engine as Panorama for blinding speed in sorts and other operations. One feature that's sure to be popular with Mac users who need to manipulate large address list databases is support for many Avery mailing labels. If a database has standard address fields (first name, last name, street address, etc...), Panorama Sheets will automatically configure the fields on a label. If a field is missing (like the ever-popular "address2" field), the app automatically slides label fields up and to the left so there are no blank areas on the mailing label.

Panorama Sheets also converts raw data into an interactive summary outline with subtotals, averages, and other calculations. Searches can be done phonetically with a "soundslike" operator, combined, and saved for future reference.

If you're interested in trying Panorama Sheets to see if it's right for you, ProVUE has a 15-day free trial version available for download.

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