External field definition

Discuss the HanDBase for Windows Desktop program, conduits, and add-ons.

External field definition

Postby briantho » Sun Jun 02, 2013 3:28 pm

Hi - on my iPhone I can apparently define an "External" field to combine the contents of various fields e.g., all individually defined address lines (six of them) to make up one block of text. However, in the Windows Desktop version of Handbase (Version 4.1.5d) that I have it seems "External" fields are different. In the Desktop version it asks for an "Application Name" and the "Configure" button mentions plugins? I've no problem with paying for something additional - what might it be, please? Maybe I don't have the latest version of the Desktop software?

My objectives in doing this are:

a) to make a 'block' from address text lines that could be used in applications without having to assemble such a thing in those other applications and
b) copy this block within my iPhone into the "Street Viewer" app or "Google Earth" so I can see where I'm going or what the neighbourhood's like.

However, although I see Separators like comma, Space, Dash etc., I don't see something like Carriage Return/Line Feed as a Separator which I could use between my address lines so maybe this is whole thing is a non-starter?

By the way, can I use "External" to combine six fields?

Wild idea: having stated what my goals are maybe there is:
a) another field type I should be looking at to concatenate these individual fields together (coming from Visual Basic/FoxPro I initially thought of "Calculated" but no, it seems "Calculated" isn't for that...) and
b) another way of using my info to show a place on a map.

Thanks in advance for any help and advice.
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Joined: Fri Apr 26, 2013 2:08 am

Re: External field definition

Postby dhaupert » Tue Jun 04, 2013 12:59 pm

Hi there,

Thanks for your post. Sounds like a very interesting scenario you have in mind!

First off, an external field was always the way it is on the desktop from it's inception. That is, it doesn't have built in external behaviors like the iOS versions do, but rather makes it possible to have developers write plugins to provide field types and functionality that HanDBase doesn't already do. So for example, a developer could write a plugin that built up a link and showed it in Google maps without having to be an employee of DDH Software and have access to the HanDBase source code!

It was the iPhone and iPad versions that kind of broke away from this paradigm mainly because at the onset of our HanDBase for iPhone there was no way to support any sort of addon or plugin outside of our own app. So what I did was create built-in external field behaviors for many of the highly requested plugins on the other platforms and that's how we got to where we are now.

Unfortunately on the desktop there has not been a plugin to support concatenating text values that I'm aware of. It could be written but just hasn't yet been written. On iOS of course it's built in.

To answer your other questions:
- On iOS we can support up to 3 fields being combined, but that result could be chained to another external field or two to get the 6 you need combined.
- You could use the external field option to launch a web page to built up a web link and launch it. It would have to be something launching via an HTTP or HTTPS link though.
- We do have a map option for the external field but it's not tied to an address, rather a GPS longitude and latitude coordinate.

Hope this helps!
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Re: External field definition

Postby briantho » Wed Jun 05, 2013 4:35 am

"On iOS we can support up to 3 fields being combined, but that result could be chained to another external field or two to get the 6 you need combined."

Thanks Dave - the above sets my mind at rest. I'll get back to it in a few days. Any chance of introducing something like carriage return/line feed at some stage as a separator in addition to the fine array you have there already...? Pretty please?
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Joined: Fri Apr 26, 2013 2:08 am

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