Workshop on database management with open source tools


When: April 8, 2014 from 9:30AM – 4:30PM (English) and April 15, 

 9:30AM – 4:30PM (French)

Where: Computer room N4/17, Stewart Biology bldg., McGill University

Workshop content

Database management systems (DBMS) provide a very powerful way to organize data, perform complex queries and interact with other tools for graphics, statistical analysis or dynamic web applications. MySQL is the most popular free, open-source DBMS and is used by thousands of companies and individuals worldwide. This full-day workshop, offered in English, will provide a short description of what DBMS can do and how full fledged DBMS such as MySQL or PostgreSQL compare with software like MS Excel or MS Access for storing and querying scientific data. Topics that will be covered during the workshop include:

  • When to (not to) use a DBMS
  • Concepts of database management and organization
  • How to organize biodiversity data in databases
  • Installation of PostgreSQL/MySQL
  • Importing data into PostgreSQL/MySQL
  • Basics of the SQL language
  • More advanced SQL functions
  • Connecting LibreOffice Base with MySQL/PostgreSQL
  • Creating forms in LibreOffice Base
  • Interacting between MySQL/PostgreSQL and other programs such as R.

The workshop will focus on hands-on learning through exercises with an example database related to biodiversity science. Short presentations will be given by the lecturer to introduce each section. Participants are expected to bring their own laptops to the workshop and to install MySQL on their computers. Detailed instructions will be given to the participants one week prior to the workshop.

For any questions, please contact Guillaume Larocque (


This workshop is FREE for QCBS members, both students and researchers. Non-QCBS members will be charged 75$+tx (students and NGOs) or 125$+tx (others) to attend the workshop, payable on line by credit card prior to the workshop. Registration of non-QCBS members might be restricted depending on the number of registrants. Participants are not expected to have any prior knowledge of database management or computer programming.


Please register using the form below: (for the workshop in French on April 15, click here).