Code release!

I don’t have time, and my knowledge is not even near sufficient to develop ecDB to the point i wish. Therefore I have now decided that the best is to release the ecDB code, and hopefully get help from the community to continue the development of ecDB! :)

So if you want, you are more than welcome to check out the Github repository! Please contribute if you are able to. It would be a shame if the development stopped. https://github.com/ElectricMan/ecDB

It is now possible to run your own ecDB database. Please use it for your local network only. Download the latest version here: https://github.com/ElectricMan/ecDB/downloads

If you have any questions, please send me an email at info@ecdb.net. Or join the IRC channel at #ecdb@freenode.net.

 

Best regards
Nils Fredriksson, aka ElectricMan.

Happy coding! ;)

About the backups

We have got some questions about our backup system for ecDB. So I thought i’ll let you know how it works.

As I told you in the previous post, I have a server at my home, called Satellite.

On Satellite I am running a backup software called “Rsnapshot”. Rsnapshot takes secure incremental backups over SSH of the ecDB.net server every four hour. So six times a day total, these hourly backups is stored for one day. Every day a “daily” backup is taken, stored for one week. Every week a “weekly” backup is taken, stored for four weeks.

And above that the backup-server, Satellite is running on RAID1 (mirrored) drives, and is constantly backed up.

I take backup as a very serious thing, so I hope this makes you calmer.
But still, the next feature is a personal export function for ecDB so you can feel extra secure.

 

/ Nils Fredriksson

Suggestions. Questions and answers

I didn’t really expect this much fuss about ecDB, we have been on many large internet newspapers and blogs. The member count is now over 1100 members. Extremely fun! :)

So I created this blog where I can reach out to you guys and answer your questions and suggestions, and also announce when we update ecDB with new features.
As you can see on the right we have a Twitter feed. If you like you can follow @ecdbnet, or RSS subscribe to this blog, and you won’t miss a single update and new feature of ecDB.

I have received a ton of mails and comments with great suggestions and feedback. There have been a couple of questions which have come up more frequently than other, so I will try to answer some of them here:

 

The most frequent question is if i will release the source code for the site. I can really understand you guys who want to run the database on your own servers. I am also a person who love to control my own stuff and services (ecDB is developed on one of my servers I run in the closet!) . But I have decided not to release the source code for ecDB _yet_. I want to make ecDB a bit better before I do that. I hope you understand.

Second question, create a “social part” of ecDB where you can trade components:
As you can read on the “Public Components”-tab there is a “public” button when you add a component. That button will soon make the component public searchable and visible to other ecDB members. So if you are searching for a obsolete, or just need a few components and don’t want to order from a large company. You can just make a quick search on ecDB and contact the owner of that component. Hopefully he is friendly and will sell or trade the component to you!

So, this feature is almost done! I just need to create a view where you can search from the public components and a smart and anonymous way to contact the owner.

 

I have also got the question to make a import and export feature, so you easily can import an excel or CSV file to or from the database. For both those people out there who doesn’t trust the “cloud”, and for easy export to create BOM’s to use when you order components. Apparently the main distributors, like Mouser, Farnell, ELFA, Digikey etc. have a API for importing of BOM’s, I will check this out.

The list of currencies is hard-coded in HTML right now. But I will create a database of all world currencies so you can choose your personal currency.

Bar codes, QR labels and RFID. I really like the idea to print out specific labels to label parts bins and easily add or subtract component you use. Definitively a feature i will add. Imagine the geek level to use your phone to scan the parts bin and then change the quantity or component preferences “on the fly”…

As Imrahil tipped me about, Octopart. With a quick glance at their API it seems perfect for automagically get datasheet, pictures and data when you add components. I will look in to this and see if it is possible integrate. A real killer feature is you ask me. I personally hate searching datasheets, so this would cure that. ;)

Share CAD libraries for KiCAD, Eagle etc. I think this would be possible. A function where you upload your hand crafted library, specify component name and other data. And then when someone adds a new component it automatically somehow shows up that there is a lib available form the ecDB database. This function need some thinking, but I like it!

 

So much great ideas and feedback.
I think I have to start coding some new features tonight! ;)

Please leave a comment or send us an mail if you have any ideas for ecDB.

/ Nils