What is Cardbox?

Cardbox is a database program. It lets you design your own databases, and you can make them hold anything – people’s contact details, books, abstracts, photographs, biographies, CVs of job applicants, personal records, lists of stolen antiques, museum catalogues, contracts and official documentation, confidential accident reports, poisoning incidents. Databases don’t just store textual information: they can also contain images (photographs, drawings, scanned documents), non-image files of any kind, such as spreadsheets or word-processed documents.

Cardbox is used by everyone from individuals and small businesses to multinationals and United Nations agencies. You can find Cardbox users on every continent including Antarctica.

Cardbox databases can be as small or as large as you like: the limit is 16,000,000 records. Your records can be as simple or as complex as you like. You can have a number of databases open at the same time.

It is easy to get started. You can start with a simple format and begin entering your data. Your data will always be safe even when you expand your format at a later date. The ability to modify format designs like this makes an evolutionary approach to design both possible and safe.

You can design as many alternative formats as you like to give different views on your data: for example, summary reports, standard letters, faxes, emails, mailing labels.

Cardbox comes with a built-in spelling checker.

Advanced features

The sending of emails directly from Cardbox.

Automatic backup and timed intervals (multi-user/networking versions only).

Backup (automatic or manual) across the Internet to Amazon's S3 storage service.

Automatic data validation checks your data for validity before you save a record; it also allows automatic numbering and datestamping of records.

Password-protected user profiles ensure security. You can set up different levels of security so that some people are only allowed to view records while others can edit and update them. The security mechanisms also apply to fields within a record: you can stop certain people from altering particular fields or prevent them from seeing those fields at all. If you want to allow limited public access to your data, you can create a special restricted profile, without a password, for public use.

For added security, optional data encryption using the AES standard.

Cardbox is designed not to need programming but it is programmable if you want it to be. Its internal macro system, using Microsoft's VBScript, allows you to automate most of Cardbox's functions. You can also drive Cardbox from external macros in Visual Basic or Microsoft Office. As a result, many applications that you thought you needed a relational database for can be handled easily with Cardbox.

You can store your databases on your own computer, or you can share them across a network, or even across the Internet.


The better you understand Cardbox, the more benefit you will get out of it. This is why, in addition to a comprehensive help file, we have produced The Cardbox Book, a 300-page manual that teaches you all the concepts of Cardbox and also includes an "Inspiration" section illustrating many uses of Cardbox as told to us by our customers.

There is an additional Macros and Programming manual, and, for multi-user/network operation, the Cardbox Server manual as well.

All these manuals can be downloaded free of charge.

In addition, the Cardbox program itself incorporates a Getting Started manual that quickly gets you up to speed with Cardbox. To read it, open Cardbox and use the command Help > Getting Started.


Number of records per database: 16,000,000.

Size of database file: 1TB (1,024GB).

Number of fields per record: 4,096.

Size of fields: no practical limit.

Number of images per record: no practical limit.

To find out more

Download the Cardbox Book and the other manuals.

Download and install Cardbox.

© 2016 Martin Kochanski
"Cardbox" is a registered trademark.
 Top of page