Artwork Database Software

Does anyone have a good suggestion for cataloging artwork into a inventory database. I am currently trying eArtist and Artist Butler. I was wondering if anyone had a preference as to what software to use? Also I wanted to get opinions on paypal POS?

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  • Here are some of the things I do in Excell which you may be able to do in Quickbooks. I just switched from Peachtree Accounting to Quickbooks so don't know much about their inventories. For popular items I list how many I want to have for stock (displayed at show), description if one-of-a-kind, how many I want in reserve ( under tables or back at studio). If inventory is full it is highlighted in yellow. If I need to make up something it is highlighted in red. Retail price is listed and total retail value is listed. I also maintain all of my supply inventories and do job costing/pricing in excel. Business article CD for leatherworkers on my website covers how to do this, but applies to other mediums as well. website:
  • Thank you all for the advice, I have a lot of research to do!
  • Most of the commercial offerings are based on Filemaker Pro. I tried eArtist, but found its features didn't really work for me. I ended up writing my own in Filemaker. The best thing about being your own database author is that you can customize reports and add fields or calculations when you need them. After 7 years, it's ready for a major rewrite. I have threatened several times to release it as commercial software, but in reality don't have the time do it properly.

    My suggestion would be to write down on paper every single requirement that you want in a database: what fields you want to store, what calculations you want to make, what types of data you want to track, and what reports you want to be able to pull.

    Paypal is useful, and can be added to almost any website using PayPal's button system. When you say PayPal POS do you mean point of sale (front end sales) or back end (shopping cart sales)? It can be used for both, but they are different applications.

    • Was it difficult to create from scratch, can you import contacts?
      • It's not difficult to import contacts if they are in a standard format, like comma-delimited or tab-delimited. You create fields that match your word or excel document, then save in one of those text formats to do the import.

        From that question alone, it sounds as if you want to also track sales to specific customers, which isn't strictly an inventory database. While Filemaker is fairly easy to set-up as a "flat" database, if you plan to use it for a long time, it's better to use its relational features, something that really didn't exist in its current form when I started with mine. Now I have a giant set of flat tables that aren't linked at all, and it's a major mess from a developer's standpoint. It works fine for me, but it is more work to maintain.

        The biggest drawback I have is importing data into Quicken for accounting purposes. The two systems don't talk to each other. They probably could, but I haven't looked into it in years. So I end up with double entry on my sales figures. I don't bother with cost of goods in the Filemaker database, but if I rewrote it, I probably would incorporate a set of tables for that. I end up keeping loose track of that in Excel, per sale, before the inventory database gets updated. But I have thousands of records, built up over time, and it gets cumbersome.

        • I know that intuit, which makes both Quicken and Quickbooks, does have a contact management system that integrates with QB, I have never looked far enough into it to see if it could do the other features I want it to.
          • Quicken does not do inventory. If your needs are simple, Quickbooks might work.

            Again, start with a list of requirements, and prioritize them. Then look for a solution that meets the high priority and medium priority needs. The rest you can usually work around.

  • I use QuickBooks for tracking inventory.  I do limited editions and I use Excel to track which number is next.  QuickBooks is great because I can do reports about what has sold in the past year, month, quarter.

    PayPal is great.  Using Mels ECommerce I was able to set up my own shopping cart on my website instead of paying big bucks for someone else to do it.

    • I did not-for-profit accounting for many years. We also use quickbooks for our rental real estate program. It is a great program. How long did it take you to set up each item in inventory? Do you keep track of work in progress and raw materials or just finished goods? I am already using QB for expense items, but the inventory is a bit tricky.
      • I just keep track of finished inventory.  The only problem I have is when I make new pieces I have to update the inventory manually.  

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