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Searching for a database program

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Question: I need to update all our procedures and policies in a consistent format that the entire department can access with read-only capabilities.

I need a program that people can search by one word or the complete title. What works the best, Excel or Access? Are there other programs that work better? We are a large company and a large department.  -- JG

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If you are referring to creating a Policy Manual, I know that many have used Microsoft Word to create the policy and then saved it as a read only in Adobe Acrobat Format, the newest version of Adobe allows many to "look up" or "find". I hope this is helpful.

Our policies and procedures, and even our Employee Handbook, is done in Word first. Once past the approval process, we then take those documents and convert them into an Adobe PDF document using the Adobe PDF Professional 7.0 version. That version converts the document to a fully searchable read-only document. You can search by phrase, Subject line, one word, whatever you can think of.

Using that version, you can also save your Outlook emails into a fully searchable document. There is no limit as to how many emails you can incorporate into that document, and you can search by sender, by word, by subject and by date.

The bonus? PDF files are less corruptable than most databases and archived emails. So your data is safer, longer.

I know when they were creating a p & P for my last workplace they were very successful with the program RoboInfo. You were able to add, edit, and delete items easily and people could check out the information and not be able to add items. Also, if you have different people in charge of different parts of the book, you can give them acces to just their part and they can update regularly and then you can update the master.

I know when they were creating a p & P for my last workplace they were very successful with the program RoboInfo. You were able to add, edit, and delete items easily and people could check out the information and not be able to add items. Also, if you have different people in charge of different parts of the book, you can give them acces to just their part and they can update regularly and then you can update the master.

Adobe Acrobat Professional is the version you will need to create .pdf documents. They should be searchable. With Professional, you can add .pdf pages to the document (ie the emails or addendums) without having to "reprint" the entire document. Acrobat also makes it possible to create on-line fill-in forms that you could include. It has many other uses as well. I feel no office should be without a copy.

Good Luck!

It depends on how in-depth your database is. If it is fairly basic, Excel works well. We have had issues with Access with read/write privilages and upgrades when Microsoft would no longer support earlier versions of Access. Also, most people in the office know how to use Excel whereas most have to be trained on how to use Access.

In Excel, you can use the automatic filter at the top which enables them to filter the list to see only certain lines and you can easily search for words and phrases using Edit, Find. The access capabilities can be handled by file access privaleges.

If you go the PDF route you lose the filtering capabilities, and the person who makes the changes would have to update the PDF file everytime they made a change.

I hope whatever you choose works well for you!

Our policies & procedures are all done in Word. They're set up with specific permissions so that most employees can only read and print them. We have one "master folder" that holds other folders, one for each section (such as Human Resources, Corporate Compliance, etc.) There is also a table of contents done in Word that includes links to each policy/procedure - this is a convenient way to find what you're looking for. We also use the search function in Windows Explorer to find what is needed; it's pretty standard stuff and easy to use. Your IT people could help you set up permissions if you'd like to go this route.

You might want to look into a "wiki." You can learn more at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wiki. Also, the best one that I've dealt with so far can be found at http://wiki.splitbrain.org/wiki:dokuwiki. It gives fairly accurate instructions on how to get it installed on a private web server for your company. You can tell the software who has access and give all of your employees access, and change the document at any time. If you have any other questions, please feel free to e-mail me at rrs@meridiantitleonline.com.

Try creating each policy item in a separate read-only Microsoft Word document -- for example, dress code policy in one, absenteeism policy in another.

Then, create a master document that incorporates all of your policies. Here's some info about how to do it from Microsoft http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/word/HP051870021033.aspx.

That way, you can update any independant policy document without affecting the rest of them.

Best of luck!


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