I am creating a database from scratch for a scrap metal company in the uk, i have limited experience in MSexcel and have created some sort of database, however i reckon their are loads better software packages out there that are simple to use for a novice like me - any suggestions?:lol:
It sounds like you're new to the database world, but you may benefit from a data modeling tool to help you conceptualize how the database will operate, and to identify things that could use some normalization. I know some who use Visio for some rudimentary schema design, but Toad Data Modeler is free, powerful, and can target a large number of databases (like Oracle, MySQL, Access, etc).
After you create the diagram of your database, you should choose a database engine to use. If your accustomed to MS Office, then then natural progression would be to use Access. It's just fine for small databases. Another popular database that is also free is MySQL. It might be overkill, however, for something that won't be heavily utilized.
For free, you have several tools available. I'd suggest staying with the "name" brand databases.
MySQL is probably the easiest to get installed and get started with. It will limit you in the long run.
The other three, Oracle, DB2 and Postgres are all comparable in functionality. You'll find minimal third party support for db2 express. Oracle has massive support online but to scale up, should it ever be required, takes a lot money. Postgres is completely free, always. Lot's of third party support.
I'd say choose between Oracle and Postgres. Check with the company to see if they have any on house experience and go that way.