Category Archives: all things mobile

PortoDB: An adequate database for my phone

One of the most used apps on my Windows Mobile devices was ListPro by llium Software. It was one of the first apps I installed to any Windows Mobile device I used. I even purchased the desktop version of ListPro that I still use. I waited and waited for Ilium Software to make a version of ListPro that ran on Windows Phone, but it never happened, and then I waited some more for an Android version, but I’ve given up waiting (there is an iPhone version of ListPro). I really wanted a simple app that I could use to manage and reference all of the various lists I make from my phone.

I looked around for a list keeping app that would work on Android and decided to try out the PortoDB Database app. This app has been around for a long time and I remembered fiddling around with it several years ago when I was using a Windows Phone so I figured the developer was committed to the app and would continue supporting it.

PortoDB isn’t as feature rich as ListPro and it’s “relational” capabilities are questionable, I haven’t found any useful documentation for the app, but I’ve created some lists and am finding it easy to use and good enough to meet my immediate needs.

So far I’ve created a grocery shopping list, a book inventory list (I have a lot of books), and a fitness tracking list with the app. (The Misc list is where I’m trying out features and not a real list or database).

I create most of my lists on a desktop computer and I wish there was a desktop version of PortoDB, but the app provides a CSV import and export function which makes it easier to transfer lists that I create on a computer to the app on my phone:

Import: This function allows me to import CSV files from the PortoDB/Export folder in the device memory or from another source, such as another location in local device memory or from cloud-based storage such as Google Drive, OneDrive, or Dropbox.

When I created my Book Inventory list, I used a CSV file that I created from a desktop application I’ve used for years to maintain my book inventory. Then I uploaded the CSV file to my Dropbox account, created an empty PortoDB database on my phone and imported the CSV file into the database.

Export: This function allows me to export all the rows in a list to a PortoDB/Export folder in the device local memory.

PortoDB also provides a backup/restore feature. Since I have more than one Android device, I’m glad to have the option to backup a database on one device and then restore it to another device:

Backup: This function backs up lists to the PortoDB/Backup folder in the device local memory. From here, I can share the file to my preferred cloud-based storage account (i.e., Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive)

Restore: This function allows me to backup/restore from a local folder on the phone or from a cloud-based storage area such as Google Drive, OneDrive or Dropbox.

PortoDB has several other features that I’ll explore and document in future blog articles, so stay tuned….

PortoDB is free and ad-free and you can download it from the Google Play store.