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Blackberry Differences

PostPosted: Fri Jun 25, 2010 11:11 am
by nstocke
I have recently been mandated by my employer to use a company purchased Blackberry. So I am now on the Storm 2. I am working on migrating from my PocketPC to the Blackberry. My Handbase apps were really pretty simple so I shouldn't have a problem. However I was wondering if there is someplace I could find a document listing the capability differences between the Blackberry version and the other versions of the Handbase app? Specifically the PocketPC. I thought it might save me time from trying to find things that may not exist. I realize that forms are not functional on the Blackberry but I wasn't sure if there is some way to run reports or not.

If there is some kind of Blackberry FAQ I missed I apologize. Just point me and I'll take a look.


Re: Blackberry Differences

PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 10:49 am
by dhaupert
Hi there,

My apologies for the delay in responding. For some reason, I never got an email that this was posted- or I did and didn't see it. Sorry again.

There is not currently a chart or FAQ outlining all the differences. This is something I'm planning for a new site revision we're working on. I think it's becoming more and more important as all these different platforms come out!

The BlackBerry version is our most feature limited version- for example, it's the only version that doesn't let you edit filters or views. And here would be a partial list of what else you can do on the Pocket PC that you can't on the Blackberry version:

- Create databases on the device
- Modify existing database structure (eg, add a field type, etc)
- Run reports
- Set Value To
- Forms (use or create)
- Using/Adjusting column widths
- Accepting signatures/drawing images
- Email a database, open one received from email.
- Encryption and password protection (though the device itself supports encryption and passwords, so you can use that in it's place)

I'm sure there are more I'm forgetting right now, but as you can see there's a lot differing at this point. The main reason for all of these differences is that we can't use our existing HanDBase database format on the BlackBerry. This is because it's java based and thus can't use our existing library code (written in C and C++) as all other platforms do. Also, when HanDBase for BlackBerry was written there was no storage card support and thus there was no way you could install files to the BlackBerry that were standard file system files. Nowadays, all BlackBerrys have memory cards, and if I could go back in time I'd rewrite our application to make use of the memory card mode exclusively so we could come up with a way to support our existing format and many more features.

I hope over time we can enhance the BlackBerry version but I'm fairly certain it will remain one of the weaker versions of HanDBase until they support compiling of C/C++ libraries like the other platforms do.

Since you have your Storm2, you may want to install a trial version of HanDBase and see if it meets your needs.

Hope this helps!

Re: Blackberry Differences

PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 11:33 am
by dalefar
If you have a simple database and you do not need to configure your views and filters while away from the desktop it should work fine.
If you use filters,views and forms extensively, HanDbase for the Blackberry is not the software to use. I made the mistake of upgrading to it before realizing this. Now I'm searching for a new program for the Blackberry. Until then I will go back and use my old Pocket PC and use that it goes out.

A dissatisfied customer!

Re: Blackberry Differences

PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 12:38 pm
by dhaupert
Hi there,

Very sorry to hear you're dissatisfied- if you've purchased in the last 30 days and would desire a refund, please contact me via email (listed below). We have always had a 30 day policy on the BlackBerry and our other software (the only exception being those imposed by resellers such as the Apple App Store), as I never want someone to be a dissatisfied customer- I'd rather they are refunded and a former customer than that ;)

Re: Blackberry Differences

PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 4:43 pm
by nstocke
Thanks for the additional information. I have run into another problem with the db files. I'll post a new thread on that.

Re: Blackberry Differences

PostPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2010 1:48 pm
by floneuro
Any plans on allowing Blackberry users the ability to email a database in the future?

Re: Blackberry Differences

PostPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2010 8:28 pm
by dhaupert
Great question- unfortunately we can't use our single PDB file solution for the blackberry, so it's stored in an internal format to the BlackBerry. This format is not encapsulated in a single file, so there is no real way for the PDB file to be emailed. It's created during the sync.

If I could go back in time, I'd have done things differently- required the databases to be stored on the memory card and used our existing format, as trying to use the native format has cost us in many features. Unfortunately when we were first writing HanDBase for BlackBerry, there was no memory card on the BlackBerry OS, so it wasn't an option. And at this point it would take a near complete rewrite to make this work. It would also be slow unless RIM allows us to compile C libraries to make this type of thing usable on the Java based device (as all other platforms have done).