Electronic Design and Family Site

"Formulary" - An Electronic Parts Database

Main page of Formulary the Lazure Electronic Parts Database

Download Formulary HERE

New - V3.0.0 - No more duplicate entries in search results!!

I have a lot of parts in my Radio Shed. So much that I literally can't keep track of them all. A few times so far, I've bought parts for a project only to discover I already had those parts. I got sick of the waste and decided to put my parts into an inventory.

I started out using Microsoft Excel. I used that for many years, but found that after it grew to a certain size it became tough to search and sort. Plus, adding lengthy comments made the sheet tough to navigate.

Next I tried a commercial database program. It worked very well, but was only searchable within the program, not from my desktop search app. I have a pet peeve about databases that lock your information in their proprietary vault: your data is held hostage to their coding and business decisions. I much prefer plain text-based files for all of my data.

Thus was born the idea of developing my own database. By developing my own, I could incorporate features that were sometimes not available on commercial databases (Like pictures to show locations), and I could use XML format so I could read the data from any plain-text reader. By developing my own, I could also customize its look and feel exactly as I wanted.

I was lucky enough to learn some Visual Basic in college. Luckier still, Microsoft offers various versions of Visual Basic Development Studio for free. Between those two events, I was ready to design my own program.

I am roughly following the design concepts of a similar program called PartKeepr in that I use a tree to navigate the part categories, a grid to choose individual devices within the chosen category, and a separate popup form to edit the part. Another tab on the popup form enables new part entry and the category for this part is chosen from the tree.

The program is being "Alpha" tested. It should be available for download soon.

Download the PDF Help File

Formulary Data Entry and Part info page
Formulary Search Page
-Bill Lazure