Plant information records are stored in a highly efficient and reliable database. They are organised by name but also can be located by other data data elements. No technical knowledge is needed to use the database.
The database is supplied ready loaded with thousands of plants. It is also possible to begin with an empty database for user-entry of custom information.
The same database file format is used on all operating system platforms. No additional software is needed.
All the plant information and pictures stored in Plant Base may be changed, deleted or new records added. New pictures are easily added from standard image files. Records changed by the user are tracked, so that they can be copied out for transfer to new versions or other computers.
The Plant Selector facility allows searching for plants that match any combination of criteria such as size, colour, growing conditions and hardiness. It includes a free text search to scan for information held in descriptive notes. All plant record data items are searchable.
Pictures are associated with plant records but held in separate library areas. No specific restriction is made on number of pictures per plant or size of images. There are up to three separate libraries, allowing greatest flexibility. Each picture library is kept in a separate disk file. Plant Base does not need all, or in fact any of the picture libraries to run. (More about the picture libraries ... )
A few example pictures can be viewed on the Gallery web pages, these images are exactly the same as those used in Plant Base. (note that the images used for our online database have been reduced in size and quality)
Each plant may have references to additional information. These may be internal to Plant Base or external, such as web-sites, document files or paper sources. Hyperlinks are used where possible, either to jump to another database record or connect to an external website or file.
You can create and save personal lists of plants. Individual plants or the results of a Plant Selector enquiry can be added to a list. Each list entry can be used to record additional data details - such as location, size, cost or other information.
At any one time a single list is 'active', but a different list can be selected quicky and easily. There is no limit to the number of lists saved.
Personal plant lists could be used as a log-book for your own garden or as a planning and buying list. Each listed plant links back to the main plant data record, so a personal list can also be used as a bookmark facility.
Personal Plant Lists can be exported to standard text files, either as a simple list of names or with all the detail columns as a Comma Separated Values (.csv) file. These files enable use of the data by other applications such as spreadsheets.
Customised plant data reports may be created as disk files, which are suitable for further editing if required. Plants to include in the report are selected via plant lists. Direct printing of displayed data is also provided.
User modified data, that is: lists, new or changed plant record or pictures, may be extracted to a separate disk file. The Import function can read these files. This provides an efficient method to share information with other Plant Base users or allows easy database recovery, for example when updating or moving Plant Base to a new computer.
The Import function allows new or updated records to be added from another Plant Base file or a specially prepared update file. The action of the Import can easily be controlled, so that you can prevent it overwriting records which you have customised. Plant Lists can also be imported.
Pictures can be displayed in sequence as a slide show. For each image shown, a click of the mouse will bring up the main data record for that plant. Either all pictures can be shown or they may be selected by a list.
An optional Screen Saver module is included which randomly displays plant images from the database when your PC is idle. more information about the free screensaver >
The Plant Base program is self-contained and has mimimal external dependencies, it is intrinsically portable software. Licensed installations do not access the Windows Registry. A Portable configuration option enables localised opening of the database files. This means it can be easily run from a plug-in USB drive.
Plant Base has its own "Compact Database" housekeeping function. This optimises disk space and speed of access for databases which have been in use for some time.