I've had the idea of cataloging my images for quite a while now and looked at a few different options, one of which was iTag(nothing to do with Apple mind you! )
it kind'a worked ok, in that it created a database of my 'lots of images' in about a few hours.

I wanted to search my images for specific keywords and it found what I wanted.
Then I delved deeper into the program and the free version is severely limited in that it only allows you to view 50 images after doing a search.
Searching is basically all i wanted it for anyhow, and the pay for version is cheap enough and I thought worth the expense.. BUT I didn't do it.
Database file type was one factor as well as other features of the program that were limited when compared to the competition.
So I searched more, and I remember reading that IDImager was one of the better programs for catalog creation.
IDImager also make a few freebie programs like BDSizer(good), so I downloaded the trial(30 days) and that's where the problems started.
The problem is temporary but man-o-man is it annoying, and has been annoying me for the past few days.. over 4 days to be exact.
Creating the database is (currently still is) hogging my PC. you know.,. uber fast quad core fast (non SSD) hdd's and all that which flies at the speed of inifinitron particles!

More than 4 days after I clicked the [create database button], on my 90,000 images it's still creating! Now am I stupid or what.. don't answer that!! .. because I made it worse for myself in that I also added the other two drives to the database creating kit-and-caboodle!
The other backup drive also holds 90K images and the current years drive worth of files only holds 11,858 images that I've taken since 01-01-10. This is the drive I work off on a regular basis as it's a fast internal drive.. they're also backed up to the major backup drive as well on a regular basis. At the end of the year I delete the internal drives contents as they're backed up, and I also have the back up drive backed up to another lesser used drive.
if you;re wondering why so many backups.. well I nearly lost at least 100 images(most likely much more, that is going to take a long time to sift through).. original NEFs.. on the main backup drive. I hate losing images that I don't deliberately lose and some of those almost lost images were of a good quality that I treasure, and would never delete.

eg. DSC_1170.jpg

and DSC_1293.jpg

now the jpgs were all fine, but there was series of about 20 NEF in the 'NEF folder' that got corrupted, and not openable by any program. Luckily I had them backed up to the other backup drive, and I transferred those working versions to the main backup drive. These drives hardly ever get accessed other than to backup the images to the particular drive.
I'm sure that the files got corrupted by the old backup drive that the new main backup drive replaced. (replaced a USB drive with a faster and larger eSATA drive). I'm sure the files got corrupted whilst on that drive, and I'm slowly discovering more corrupt NEF files on the eSATA drive as I delve through the 7000+ folders in 7000+ folder in there .. yep lots and lots of folders too. So make sure your backup drive is working properly folks.
I have an almost fanatical personality disorder that leads me to believe that the world runs on NEF power, so NEF are my paramount concern. Why couldn't the stupid useless jpg files have been corrupted instead!

anyhow.. i've yet to see what this IDImager program can do, but apparently the version I want(Pro) creates a database that is accessible by other software(database software i guess) and uses some SQL stuff.. which Io know nothing about.
Almost all other programs seem to produce a database for the catalog based on some proprietary format readable only by that program in many cases.. IDImager can convert to and from other formats apparently(not that this is a feature I'd explore). The program has so many knobs buttons switches and handles, I'm massively confused as to what it's really supposed to do.
I have to be honest though.. with (4)CPU cores at 80%, 100% of the time, and used RAM running at over 3Gb all the time, viewing and accessing the files already done(on the current, every day, year to date drive... looks really cool).. so it seems to be worth it(about $100 for the pro version) and $70 ish for the home user version. There were some limitations in using the home version, but not really enough to worry about.. it's just as good except that it doesn't do the SQL thing, which I'm told is a good long term feature.

I know absolutely nothing about database operations and stuff like that, but I believe that once done, the database file should be accessible by everyday database programs like Access, et al??

I'm sure that I think the reason it's taking so long to database itself is because it's creating images along with the data of the image, whereas the iTag program only created a database(only readable by itself) linking to the location of the images(ie. cross referencing only).

I was just curious as to whether anyone else has ever gone through the process of collating their image store into a database(for whatever reason) and what did you use, does it work, is it accessible by any normal software as well.. etc, etc.

Once this is done, and it seems the 30day trial will be taken up fully by the database creation tool alone!.. but I think I've already convinced myself that this is $100 odd that I'm going to spend anyhow.
The program is not only a catalog creation program, it also does other stuff like upload to your favourite website too(for those that like that kind of seamless integration ).. etc. Haven't yet really touched the program much(it's too busy :P) but it'd be nice if it could be configurable to upload to a site of your own making too.. I don't youzensmugflckoffr my images.. once again, useless features that should really be more configurable for all users.(ie. create the template to upload to anywhere and name it.. <whatever>).. anyhow, I'll look into it more after it stops freaking cataloging one day.... soon!

From what I have quickly seen too, it does have a feature where you can download keywords from various keyword sites(but you need a paid subscription for those keyword sites). One of my biggest problems is trying to conjure up keywords for images. I know they exist, I just can't think of them 99.9% of the time, and apparently keywording is a great aspect of photography to know and understand properly. Once the program has finished cataloging the images, the real fun starts... keywording my images!