Tips on Using HanDBase on a Palm Pre under Classic

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

Tips on Using HanDBase on a Palm Pre under Classic

Postby dhaupert » Wed Jul 15, 2009 11:58 am

Hi all,

We have received many emails and phone calls from users running HanDBase on their Palm Pres, and various questions have come up a few times. I've posted a few tips below based on what I've heard, and will be posting these in the knowledgebase as well:

Q: How do I install HanDBase to the Palm Pre?

A: According to MotionApp's web site: ... in-classic

- Make sure you have the latest WebOS and Classic update
- Connect your Pre to your computer with the USB cable and activate the USB Drive mode on your Pre
- Copy the PRC file from your computer to the ClassicApps/Install folder on your Pre
- Disconnect your Pre from the USB port and launch Classic

Q: How do I install databases to the Palm Pre?

A: There are two ways to install databases:

1. To the 'internal memory' of the Classic app. You do this by installing to the same folder: ClassicApps/Install (see previous question for more details). Downside is that once installed, you won't see it (at least in the current version of Classic) to be able to back it up or open with the HanDBase Desktop program.

2. Install to the 'memory card of the classic app'. See the next question that describes this process.

Q: How can I back up my databases from the Palm Pre? I don't see them on the mounted drive.

A: The current shipping version of Classic does not expose the databases that are stored in the virtual internal memory of the Classic app running on the Pre. I believe in technical terms they are all within some larger archived file, but nothing we can access at this point. So if you install a database using the steps outlined by MotionApps, you'll not likely see it in some folder on the mounted device. This is set to change, according to MotionApps who are developing a way to expose the internal memory files to the mounted folder structure. I'd expect we'd see this changed in a newer version.

However, the good news is that if a database is stored in the Classic app's virtual Memory card, it does get exposed (meaning, you can see and copy to and from the memory card). Since HanDBase 4.0 added full support for storing databases on Memory cards (even using categories and such with them) there is no reason not to store your databases there. Here's how you do it- two ways:

1. Install the database as normal using the steps outlined by MotionApps. When you run HanDBase highlight the database of interest, choose Tools and then Move. This moves the database to the memory card, in this case a 'virtual memory card'. After doing so, the database will show in this path when mounted to your computer:


2. Once you run HanDBase on the Pre the first time, the above folder path should be created, which means for future database installations, you can simply copy the databases you want into this folder path and HanDBase will find and show them.

Q: How can I sync my data, or use my HanDBase sync conduit with the Pre?

A: At this time MotionApps does not have a Hotsync application available in the Classic App. According to their website, a solution for this is in development. We are hoping this will come soon, so that you can use the HanDBase conduits available with your databases. Otherwise, we will develop a solution for synchronizing via the mounted Pre. Stay tuned for more details!

Q: Are you developing (or planning to develop) a native app for the Palm Pre?

A: There are a few things to note before we can provide a proper answer:

1. The code used to write HanDBase for PalmOS was written in C and C++ and by nature was somewhat portable to other platforms. The database engine, encryption, calculation functions and more were all written such that we can port this to other devices as they allow.

2. The Palm Pre SDK does not yet support compilation of C or C++ library code. All code must be written using Javascript and HTML5. These are languages familiar to many programmers as they are the basis for the web pages you run and use every day. This means while there are tons of C/C++ based applications that won't easily port over to the new platform without being completely rewritten, there is a whole mass of web programmers who now have a mobile platform they can write native applications. In some sense, they have passed the torch from veteran C and C++ developers to the next generation of web programmers. So there will be no shortage of new apps, but not likely a whole lot of existing Palm apps redone for Pre, unless they either rewrite or Palm decides to allow for the compilation of native C libraries for use on the Pre. There is a precedent for this as Google recently allowed this for their Android mobile operating system.

3. As of now, it's quite easy to view the source code of any application stored on the Pre. This means that other companies can easily steal intellectual property of any application written for the Pre. This is something I'm sure Palm is working out at this time, but it's a big factor.

4. As of now the App Catalog does not have a mechanism for purchasing applications. This is still to come.

5. At this time, the SDK (Software Developer's Kit) for developing native applications for the Palm Pre is not available to the general public. Only a few select developers were given this in the beta period.

Based on the above, you can safely assume that we've done much research on the topic, and that we're not even able to begin development at this time. You can also safely assume that rewriting an application of such complexity and robustness as HanDBase will require many man years to develop for the Palm Pre. It's taken us 12 years to get HanDBase for Palm OS to the level it is now in terms of functionality, and so it's not likely we'll have a native Pre app any time soon. Based on these factors, we have decided to hold off on any decision for the time being. We'll continue to evaluate how well the current HanDBase for Palm OS works with Classic, and how many users are clamoring for a native version, and make a call to the best of our judgement.

Please feel free to post questions or other tips to this topic, and we'll try to keep most of this in one place so it's easy to find when you're looking for it!
Posts: 4113
Joined: Tue May 26, 2009 11:51 am

Re: Tips on Using HanDBase on a Palm Pre under Classic

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

Just saw this a few moments ago: ... m-pre.html

No date yet, but obviously coming soon!
Posts: 4113
Joined: Tue May 26, 2009 11:51 am

Return to HanDBase for Palm OS

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest