The Problems with “Online Database” in Conversation & In this Blog


Whether or not my headline grabbed your attention, in all likelihood it caught the attention of my bosses and co-workers. So before anyone hunts me down, let me clarify up front just exactly what I mean.

I love our solution, TrackVia. I truly believe it’s going to change how business people will use technology in their everyday jobs. And smart folks like Gartner agree. What I don’t always love is using “online database” to describe what TrackVia is or does. Although technically accurate, I think labeling TrackVia as an online database has two major flaws.

First, it’s too limiting. Too narrow. Technically speaking, virtually any piece of business software that holds data has an underlying database. Yet we don’t call QuickBooks an “Accounting Database”. We don’t call a CRM database. TrackVia is so much more than an online database.

The second problem with calling TrackVia an online database is that I think it can be a turn-off or intimidating to some people. Some people hear “database” and they instantly think of Oracle or other complex systems. It just sounds complicated, when in reality TrackVia is fantastically simple and easy to use. Just ask our customers.

Of course, we’ve tried coming up with alternatives. I’ve tried describing TrackVia as “An online application platform for business people.” But that still sounds a little too “techy” to non-techy people. On the opposite end of the spectrum, I’ve personally tried describing TrackVia as a “Do it yourself software builder for business people.” That suffers from the opposite problem, sounding a little too simplistic, minimizing TrackVia’s power, versatility and scale.

In the end it doesn’t really matter what I think TrackVia should be called or how to best describe its unique features and benefits. In the end, it’s the users’ opinions that matters most. So, I’ll ask all of you out there. How do you describe TrackVia to your bosses, co-workers or even your casual friends? If you’re not sure, maybe tell us how you discovered TrackVia? Were you doing a Google search for an “online database” or something else?

Let us know. We’d love to hear from you.


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