Designing an Inventory software

I work in a Electronics lab and we have lots of spare parts that need to have a proper inventory. We tried to make an excel sheet one and I find that rather tedious and cumbersome.
As our organization is against use of unregistered softwares I cannot download any Inventory Management Software from the net.

I am planning to make an Inventory Management Software whereby I can sort out the spares on the basis of different criteria like partnumber, date of receive, the quantity ,also would like to add to it a small pciture which would enable to be used as a comparative analysis on the spare as well.

Any one can give me the tips from where to begin which platform to use to make it a robust and user friendly yet simple system which can also be given share rights to different users to login.

Who is Participating?
I am unable to find any open source code to achieve any of the parts. May be i didnt search hard enough, but reusing code is the best option.

However if u decide to build it from scratch, here is the way to do it
1) First i suggest you design the DB for representing all the data you want to capture and also a user table to store authentication/ authorization information. This can be done on Microsoft Access itself

2) Since this is going to an enterprise application i suggest the building a website instead of a windws application. You can use Visual Studio 2005 to create a new asp .net website and design the forms

3) write queries to fetch the data from the database and bind them to the form design so they are displayed

4) Write queries to store the data to the database

5) Write code for authenticating and authorising the users

You probably have to make a decision to go for Windows application or a asp .net website first
After u decide on this, you will have to create a new project in Visual Studio and implement all the three forms/ pages

Hope this is the kind of information you are looking for.
I'm currently building a retail system based on SqlServer 2005 and .NET Windows clients. The project is close to finish, and our expirence is that it is a robust and very flexible platform for building datadriven applications with a maximum flexibility to give the user the look-and-feel the want.

Best regards,
Kaj Bromose
tejas_jyothiAuthor Commented:
so you would recommend that right? is that programme difficult to learn?
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No it is quit easy - but a littel hard to find examples on at the moment (Office 2007 is very new).

Here is some code showing how to add your own XML to a word document:

        private void MakeWord2007File(string documentPath, string customXml)
            // Open the document in the stream and replace the custom XML part
            Package pkgFile = Package.Open(documentPath);//(memoryStream, FileMode.Open, FileAccess.ReadWrite);
            PackageRelationshipCollection pkgrcOfficeDocument = pkgFile.GetRelationshipsByType(strRelRoot);
            foreach (PackageRelationship pkgr in pkgrcOfficeDocument)
                if (pkgr.SourceUri.OriginalString == "/")
                    // Get the root part
                    PackagePart pkgpRoot = pkgFile.GetPart(new Uri("/" + pkgr.TargetUri.ToString(), UriKind.Relative));

                    // Add a custom XML part to the package
                    Uri uridata = new Uri("/customXml/item1.xml", UriKind.Relative);

                    if (pkgFile.PartExists(uridata))
                        // Delete template "/customXML/item1.xml" part
                    // Load the custom XML ref data
                    PackagePart pkgprtdata = pkgFile.CreatePart(uridata, "application/xml");
                    Stream dataStream = pkgprtdata.GetStream();
                    byte[] xml = Encoding.ASCII.GetBytes(customXml);
                    dataStream.Write(xml, 0, xml.Length);
                    //Getref dataFromSQLServer(pkgprtref data.GetStream(), ddlCustomer.SelectedValue);
            // Close the file

In your Word document you make "Content Controls" and bind them to your customer XML. When the Document is opened, your XML data will be shown in the content controls - I use this feature to make business documents (f.x. invoices).

Hope this gives you an idea.

p.s. The workflow part of .NET 3.0 looks very interesting - I think it has a lot of potential for business applications.
Dear Tejas,

Why don't you buy a ready-made software. There are plenty in the market and you need not worry about writing one and supporting it. The software supplier will take care of the hassle and it'll save lot of time.

I would like to recommend you, one of the company developed using .NET 2.0 and SQL Express. If you are interested then write to me at

tejas_jyothiAuthor Commented:
Thanks Yamiho

That one would be an easy solution. But for such a small purpose the company wouldnt approve the above. The legal hassles behind running all of these would depress us.
The best and easiest setup would be to develop one using the resources available . And then innovate upon it.
Thats why I came to EE to meet an expert and learn on how to create a new DBMS simple and consise one which is also effective.
I would request anyone who has hands on experience with DBMS to advice me from start to help be begin this project and complete it effectively.
Instead of looking for unregistered software you might wanna look at Open source software. you might find parts for making your inventory software :) from sites like source forge. net. That way you can get to look at the code and customise it the way you want it.

For the DBMS part i would suggest you use a DBMS like MS access that does not add to the cost of your software if you already have MS office suite on your company's software.

Please let me know if you need more details.
tejas_jyothiAuthor Commented:
ok suraj
i will look into the DBMS which is supported and will get intouch.
Actually,there's a banch of free soft. solutions:

May be Your company will approve one of such free solutions based on MS Access and You could just customize that solution for Your needs?
tejas_jyothiAuthor Commented:
ok suraj

I have oracle 8i. which is supported.  Any links on that . Better still if there is anyone who is experienced enough to guide me to complete the above project

tejas_jyothiAuthor Commented:
dear oleg

Your first link doesnt work as the file is not present to downlaod.
The second link all the sources are not even open source and they cost too.
Hi Tejas,
          When we are talking abt inventory software, it means a load of things. If you can list down a few core things that you want your software to accomplish, we could either suggest a whole open source possibility or give you bits and pieces of the software which you could put together.
tejas_jyothiAuthor Commented:
Hai Suraj

If you scroll up and see my initial question you will see that it is really n detail and that is what i would like to accomplish and if the software can be tweaked for Long term use then well and good too.
>I can sort out the spares on the basis of different criteria like partnumber, date of receive, the quantity ,also would like to add to it a small pciture which would enable to be used as a comparative analysis on the spare as well.

Let me put the whole application interpretation from this requirement.
1) A form to add a new spare part. Where i can give the part id, a load of predefined specs about the spare part and a browse for picture option that allows you to associate the picture with a part
2) A form to filter the parts by the specifications added in form (1) and as and when the filter criteria changes the list of part matches are displayed with their picture
3) On clicking on a filter match a form opens which displayes complete details and allows editing.

Will these three forms achieve what u want to do?
tejas_jyothiAuthor Commented:

Yes that is clean and concise as it can get. Great work ..So could you detail me on how to go about it?

I also would like to  add some users . so each user can update the record and there would be a time stamp or log by which it can be know which guy has debited or credited a part from the account.

Adding in 50 pts for this simple solution.
A suggestion from left field..

1. Install Redhat Fedora ( on a machine. (You can make a separate login for each user if you want).
2. Choose the apache web server and mysql server software during your install.
3. Use PhpMyAdmin ( to provide an easy front-end to manage your database and tables.
4. Use Access, Excel, Visual Basic, Realbasic, or whatever you have or want to create your front-end (application languages work best).

Obviously I skipped a few setup steps there where you need to configure Apache, MySQL, and PHP properly but it's not hard.
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