In search of a database app


I’m looking for an offline-/local-first (yet icloud-syncing) database app. For both iOS and macOS.

Like some brilliant combination of Airtable and Data Jar.

I would use Airtable except I want it to be accessible offline and always locally available (so it’s included in Time Machine and Backblaze backups). Ideally something with great Apple ecosystem support (e.g. Shortcuts, widgets, etc.).

This is not for any one particular use case. I would just love to consolidate so many disparate things that are currently scattered across various apps, Google Sheets, etc. into one place. And there are a lot of future things I’d like to organize and track.

I’ve often looked into what it would take to create such an app, and I’ve toyed with the idea of building my own, super-simple “micro apps” for all my intended use cases, but I’m not an iOS developer (I’m a Google Sheets/Apps Script developer) so there would be a hefty learning curve. It would be nice if someone had just already made this so I can heartily support them :slight_smile:

Do you know of such an app?

Tapforms maybe an option?

AppStore link

Have a look at Ninox

well - quite expensive but you might consider Filemaker…

or maybe MAMP with MySQL


Not sure if it will meet you iOS need though.

Thanks everyone for the suggestions! I’ve heard of some of these before and will give them another look to see if they’d work for my use cases/preferences.

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also mention filemaker GO…

For documentation’s sake, here are a couple promising options I’ve found:

I’m a big fan of airtable. Mainly a web app but there’s an app which is handy for quick data entry and viewing records. You can do quite a lot with a free account too.

Airtable ios app

[Airtable site]

I also like Airtable a lot, but the original poster mentioned already why Airtable is not a viable solution (not “offline-/local-first”)

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EDIT: I was totally wrong, please see below

I’ve tried Collections, but unfortunately it’s pretty difficult to get good filtering out of it due to a clumsy UI for formula building. I ended up scrapping my projects that were going to use it because of that and no quick entry. There are no Shortcuts actions at all, not even for getting data in.

I also struggled to get my head round their formula building setup, but the saved views filtering works well for my use case.
The latest update added Shortcuts support. I haven’t tried it, but it looks pretty comprehensive.
If you’re struggling with a feature it is worth contacting the developer. I have found him to be very responsive to feature requests.

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My two favorites not in any order. Both have server versions if you need to grow. Panorama is amazingly fast as it’s a in memory db, but can store millions and millions of records in todays computers.


Panorama X

I guess I have to eat my words. I just redownloaded Collections and sure enough, there are tons and tons of Shortcuts actions, enough to cover pretty much any use case. They even include the new kind of filtering.

Thanks for pointing out my error! I think I’ll be revisiting Collections in the next few weeks. I’m glad to see that it’s being actively improved, and I think I didn’t give it a fair shake last time.

No problem. I do agree that there are aspects of Collections’ UI that are a bit clunky (it looks more at home on iOS than the Mac), but I find it much easier to use than Airtable.
I just saw on their Twitter page that there’s a further update that adds more Shortcuts actions, plus an improved formula editor. I’m not able to download that yet so I haven’t tested it.