While data can be entered directly into BRAHMS, RDE is recommended for entering larger numbers of records and also as a first step when importing or transferring data from other software packages such as Excel. RDE files are entirely separate mini-databases linked to your main BRAHMS database.
You can store data in one or more RDE files and use these data to create summaries, maps, reports, manage images, and in general, use many of the BRAHMS tools and functions. Some users continue to work in RDE as it does all they need. However, RDE files are more like Excel spreadsheets with BRAHMS features and a series of separate RDE files does not constitute a ‘database’. Data held in separate RDE files cannot be combined for reporting or mapping - unless the RDE files are merged into a single large file – a process which is possible but inefficient for long term data management. Most projects gather or add data to RDE files – and then transfer these files into their database.
Normally, you will create an RDE file for a particular task, for example, for logging data from a field trip, entering data for selected specimens, gathering data for a botanic garden inventory, etc. If working in a larger museum, your project may have numerous RDE files stored across different folders each of these with different access permissions.