WorkMap: a Lotus Approach Alternative

If you still have any Lotus Approach databases lying around, it is definitely time to upgrade them. In 2013, IBM stopped selling and supporting Lotus 1-2-3 which includes Lotus Approach.  Additionally, Lotus Approach databases may become increasingly difficult to maintain and update with new versions of Windows which are no longer compatible with this software. can serve as a great, up-to-date alternative to Lotus Approach with many additional features that make the solution more user-friendly.

WorkMap offers a much friendlier user-interface for creating forms, viewing data, and creating reports.

Creating Forms

In order to enter data through a form on Lotus Approach, a user must have access to the Approach file, which is opened locally.  When entering data through a form on WorkMap, a user can share the form through a public link or embed it on a website, making it possible for information to be submitted by outside users directly into the database.

Lotus Approach Form (found inside file)
WorkMap Form (as seen when shared by a link)

Viewing Data Tables

In terms of viewing data in existing tables, WorkMap offers both tabular and modal views which can help users visualize all of their linked data without having to constantly jump around between tables.  The multiple views are a unique feature of WorkMap that is not supported by Lotus Approach.  The modal view can help save time for users as well, since less reporting is necessary to view all linked information in a database.  Additionally, WorkMap is much more visually-pleasing, as different columns can be color coded and links can be directly clicked through in each table.

Lotus Approach Data Views
Tabular View of Data in WorkMap
Modal View (able to display information about Student from both Guardian and Class Tables)

Reporting Capabilities 

WorkMap also offers reporting capabilities which are very user friendly.  Users can display records based on any combination of conditions about the data.  WorkMap is a no-code solution, meaning that users can simply select these conditions from a list and generate reports with ease.  Additionally, users can opt to only display relevant fields from each record in a report.  In the example shown for WorkMap below, students who have yes in the allergies column are displayed by their name, grade, and allergy description.  WorkMap presents reports with a colorful and clear representation of the data.

Example of a Lotus Approach Report, which must be accessed locally
WorkMap report (as shown from a publicly shared link)

If you are still looking for more reasons to make the switch from Lotus Approach, here are some comparisons between the two products:

Lotus Approach VS. WorkMap

Lotus ApproachWorkMap
Hardware dependency – functionality depends on your system configurationsNo dependency on hardware or system configuration
Windows-only software that functions best in 32-bit environmentsAccessible from any web browser on any device (both PC and Mac)
Outdated and no longer supported by IBMLatest web technology and consistent support from HyperOffice
Cannot support a large number of concurrent users thus inhibiting collaborationCan easily sustain concurrent users and is updated in real-time since it is cloud-based
Forms are only accessible through the desktop applicationForms can be accessed and completed by anyone with the public link 
Only operates on a single PC or a local network Completely web-based and can provide real-time updates on any device with internet access
Mediocre security – not ideal for handling sensitive dataEnterprise-grade security

In conclusion, WorkMap is able to offer extensive reporting capabilities for the data stored within applications, meaning that users do not have to sacrifice these features when making the switch to WorkMap.  WorkMap also offers many enhancements to collaboration and security that are not available through a solution like Lotus Approach.  Additionally, WorkMap offers the latest web technologies and will allow your business to continue moving forward.  Unlike Lotus Approach, which requires a Windows device and local file storage, WorkMap can be accessed by any member of a team from any location, so long as they have access to a web browser.