No Palm OS syncronizble HandDBase?

Discuss HanDBase running on various Palm OS devices and synchronization with desktop computers.

No Palm OS syncronizble HandDBase?

Postby sbrown » Wed Jul 08, 2009 10:17 am

I just got an email from DDH that DDH will not be making a synchronizable version of handDbase for the treo Palm OS? Even using “Classic”? Is that correct?

HandDBase re-wrote the program for the iPhone, but a couple million new Treo Pre owners is not a compelling market????
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Re: No Palm OS syncronizble HandDBase?

Postby dhaupert » Wed Jul 08, 2009 9:46 pm

sbrown wrote:I just got an email from DDH that DDH will not be making a synchronizable version of handDbase for the treo Palm OS? Even using “Classic”? Is that correct?

HandDBase re-wrote the program for the iPhone, but a couple million new Treo Pre owners is not a compelling market????


Hi,

Thanks for writing. I think you may have gotten a few things confused:

As of now, there is no Hotsync function in Classic, so there is no conduit currently. You can move databases back and forth by mounting the device via the USB cable and manually copying files. The Newsletter said that MotionApps is working on adding Hotsync to the Classic program and at that point we should be able to offer a sync solution. If they don't offer this, we can implement a conduit based on the mounted drive technology.

So that should cover the Classic questions you raised.

You mentioned that we re-wrote the program for the iPhone. You're correct that we do offer a version of HanDBase for the iPhone. But incorrect that we re-wrote it. The libraries for handling databases, calculations, sorting, filtering, encryption, etc of a database are written in C and C++ and we are able to use these on nearly every version of HanDBase, including the iPhone. The only thing we have to implement on a typical new platform is the user interface. Not trivial, but far less work than recreating 11 years of development for the database core libraries! Thankfully the iPhone platform supports c and c++ libraries, so developing the user interface was the bulk of our work there, and took roughly 5-6 months to develop.

In the case of the Palm Pre, it does not support c and c++, so we'd have to implement the entire database functionality all over again. The work to do this would be in the order of man-years of development. This is why we are hoping using HanDBase within the classic program suits the needs of most users. If it doesn't, and if the Palm Pre really sells millions of phones to users interested in third party applications, then we'll certainly be developing a better solution for it! (I added that 'interested in third party applications, as there are phones like the Nokia S60 platform where they sell 10's of millions of phones, but most customers are not interested in adding applications!)

Hope that clarifies things a bit.
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Re: No Palm OS syncronizble HandDBase?

Postby sbrown » Thu Jul 09, 2009 11:56 am

one million downloads alread for pre... http://pogue.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/06/ ... e/?apage=6
one million pre's sold by the end of the year projected. http://blogs.barrons.com/techtraderdail ... lyst-says/

My bet is a DDH database that wont synchronize (copying is not syncronizing) and displays in pixel format on Classi will be swept aside by another newcomer looking to leapfrog HandDBase to a dedicated million strong market.
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Re: No Palm OS syncronizble HandDBase?

Postby dhaupert » Thu Jul 09, 2009 1:09 pm

sbrown wrote:one million downloads alread for pre... http://pogue.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/06/ ... e/?apage=6
one million pre's sold by the end of the year projected. http://blogs.barrons.com/techtraderdail ... lyst-says/

My bet is a DDH database that wont synchronize (copying is not syncronizing) and displays in pixel format on Classi will be swept aside by another newcomer looking to leapfrog HandDBase to a dedicated million strong market.


Let me clarify something I may have not stated clearly- I explained we'll be providing a full conduit as soon as Hotsync is provided OR if they don't, I can use the fact that the files can be copied as the method for synchronization. In other words, do a true synchronization by opening the files on the mounted drive just as Palm does with hotsync for databases stored on a device. All aspects of syncing would be the same, including record level syncing, multiple backups, syncing with Access/ODBC, etc. And that's something I can deliver a LOT faster than HanDBase on Classic than having to do all of the same thing AND write the client application from scratch.

Regarding the stats/projection- I've seen both of these articles previously, believe me I follow this closely- it's my livelihood! 1 million palms sold this year will be a great number for palm, and even better for Sprint who has been bleeding subscribers at the rate of about a million a quarter! But honestly the Google Android G1 phone by TMobile sold over a million phones in the first 3 months, and the plan is to have over 20 android based models by the end of this year. Should I still be looking at raw numbers? If so, it would seem Android should be where I spend my next year of effort, right? Remember, we don't have an army of programmers- it's just me! So I have to make the most judicious choice to satisfy our customers. If I can deliver a fully functional app for Web OS via Classic and add a conduit to do full syncing, without having to put 18 man months of programming time into it, I think that is candidly a better option at this point than rewriting everything.

A lone programmer can write a database app natively on Pre (the Web OS includes a database engine in it's core called SQLLite)- if they didn't need cross compatibility with other programs they could dedicate their time and develop a database in a few short months. And I think they very well could be the preferred solution for new users on the Pre (ie, not existing HanDBase users). But I think if I follow the same path, I'd have a product that wasn't cross compatible and a LOT more upset customers than if I moved forward with the Classic compatible conduit and had full functionality AND a conduit!

I really appreciate this dialog- it forces me to look closely at my decisions and make sure I'm making the right one. This business has been all about taking risks, different than the risks that big companies have in some ways. A small business' risks are which opportunities do you take and which do you pass up on, because I can surely not develop for every mobile platform and desktop platform! I don't have a perfect track record (eg, writing a UIQ version which did not pay off, and not focusing more time on the Mac OS platform a few years ago which would have definitely paid off), but I am still in business which is more than I can say for most of the competition I had from the late 90's! So I appreciate your input and anyone else's and as I said I am not dead-set against a native WebOS version- if the device continues to sell well and we get a lot of requests for a native version, this all may change.

All of this is really moot at this point since there is no SDK released or an app catalog with e-commerce to sell it in. We can certainly revisit when Palm releases the SDK in the fall and when they enable true paid-apps in the app catalog.
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Re: No Palm OS syncronizble HandDBase?

Postby sbrown » Thu Jul 09, 2009 5:43 pm

I appreciate your predicament. It is dissappointing that pre is not getting much attention from the apps writers due to its new platform. I assumed what with limitless apps for the previous palm platform, that this would follow suit. i have used handDbase for years, guess i'll have to try the method you outline below. but i would love to take advantage of the better display for more visible info from handDbase, "classic" doesn't do that.

i am still hopeful that software writers take the pre seriously.
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Re: No Palm OS syncronizble HandDBase?

Postby dhaupert » Thu Jul 09, 2009 10:52 pm

sbrown wrote:I appreciate your predicament. It is dissappointing that pre is not getting much attention from the apps writers due to its new platform. I assumed what with limitless apps for the previous palm platform, that this would follow suit. i have used handDbase for years, guess i'll have to try the method you outline below. but i would love to take advantage of the better display for more visible info from handDbase, "classic" doesn't do that.

i am still hopeful that software writers take the pre seriously.


From what I heard, there are a huge number of web developers gunning to develop for this platform. The way you program for the Pre is like creating a web page, so anyone experienced in that, but not in native mobile app development is very excited about it, and I'm sure you'll see a ton of apps once they open the SDK up for developers. They are saying they will do so in the fall, so expect that they will start pumping out apps before Christmas en masse!

Regarding Classic, I was thinking of it from a user perspective- would I want to run HanDBase under classic, having the Palm OS dated look and feel on my new smartphone? My first thought was no, but then when I considered that we wouldn't likely be able to offer encryption, forms designer, maybe even PDB cross compatibility, and many other power features, I think the limits in what the app will be able to do would far outweigh the negatives in the user interface.

I'm personally hoping they will opt for supporting compiled native libraries like Android did last week. Then it provides them with the ability to control the UI via their web programming model, but allow developers needing compiled libraries to be able to do so as well. If that would happen, the chances of a native app would be that much greater for HanDBase and many other veteran Palm app developers!
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Re: No Palm OS syncronizble HandDBase?

Postby curtterp » Fri Jul 10, 2009 5:15 am

sbrown wrote:I appreciate your predicament. It is dissappointing that pre is not getting much attention from the apps writers due to its new platform. I assumed what with limitless apps for the previous palm platform, that this would follow suit. i have used handDbase for years, guess i'll have to try the method you outline below. but i would love to take advantage of the better display for more visible info from handDbase, "classic" doesn't do that.

i am still hopeful that software writers take the pre seriously.



Its hard for Dave to think about making HanDBase native to the Pre without the SDK. Palm has not released the SDK to more than a few choice programmers. By doing this, Palm is holding the Pre back. If they do not make the SDK available to more programmers, there will not be very many applications that will be developed for the Pre. Running in classic mode is just an emulation, and it will be slower and disappoint a lot of people. It is nice to be able to have a program on the Pre than runs on other Palms, but people will be disappointed with it not running as fast as they are used to having programs run.

Bottom line, if the SDK is not released to more developers, the Pre will not be the savior of Palm and Sprint.
Have a good day

Curt
I am not a DDHSoftware employee, just a long time HanDBase user.... from Palm to Windows Mobile to Android, to iOS. Thanks to DDH, the database files transferred to each platform without a problem.
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Re: No Palm OS syncronizble HandDBase?

Postby dhaupert » Fri Jul 10, 2009 12:59 pm

Its hard for Dave to think about making HanDBase native to the Pre without the SDK. Palm has not released the SDK to more than a few choice programmers. By doing this, Palm is holding the Pre back. If they do not make the SDK available to more programmers, there will not be very many applications that will be developed for the Pre. Running in classic mode is just an emulation, and it will be slower and disappoint a lot of people. It is nice to be able to have a program on the Pre than runs on other Palms, but people will be disappointed with it not running as fast as they are used to having programs run.

Bottom line, if the SDK is not released to more developers, the Pre will not be the savior of Palm and Sprint.


I don't believe an SDK is necessary for the Pre to be moderately successful - but I believe what they have sold so far was based on the premise that more apps were coming. I remember buying an Atari Jaguar gaming system in the 90's which included screenshots of apps for it on the box. One of them was a game called 'Alien vs Predator' and looks amazingly good from the screenshots. In truth, the game was not available, and only mockups of the game had been done at that point, but Atari needed the titles to show on the box to sell systems. It worked initially but after a while, customers realized that few games were really available and abandoned it for the next thing. Ironically the Alien vs Predator game eventually shipped several long years too late, and was actually the swan song for the console!

I bring this up because I believe Palm was able to sell their initial Pres based on the expectation that apps will be coming soon. If they really release their SDK in the fall and developers start churning apps quickly on it (web based apps will be quite easy with it and we'll see them in beta within weeks), I think they can avoid that type of fate. If there are further delays I think they'll find some big problems on their hands.

All this said, I don't know if you heard this- a prerelease SDK was leaked on the Torrent sites, and many developers have already downloaded it and are creating apps ahead of the release. This is actually good news for Palm as that means more apps will be ready to submit as soon as they flip the switch for this. I will say this up front, I have no interest in downloading a leaked SDK off torrent sites- anything I would do would have to be officially and with Palm's blessings!
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Re: No Palm OS syncronizble HandDBase?

Postby dhaupert » Wed Jul 15, 2009 2:09 pm

Just a followup to this- seems like hotsync compatibility is coming soon for Classic:
http://motionapps.blogspot.com/2009/07/ ... m-pre.html
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