Page 1 of 1

HanDBase is great for the mobile device (only)

PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2013 7:58 am
by Joerg

I'm a Mac user and I really love HanDBase on my iPhone and iPad. But there are some points I dislike to use it. This point is reached any time I like to work on my data at home. While syncing is working like a charm to work with HanDBase for Mac is like to deal with a dinosaur. There is no real way to display records that do have images attached, nor am I anyhow able to add additional records that have new images or files. There is no smart copy etc. to bulk modify all entries at the list view.

I don't want to have this wine windows thing installed as it is not working here anyway. I'm using a Mac not a Windows machine. Beyond that I even don't know if the Windows version is even better when it comes to editing and adding data!?

I can't believe, that all users simply use their HanDBase databases solely on their mobiles? How do you work at home with your data? Is there a way to work with your data like in Numbers or Bento? How do you deal with it?


Re: HanDBase is great for the mobile device (only)

PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:36 am
by dhaupert
Hi Joerg,

Thanks for your post and honest feedback. Very much appreciated!

One of the things that attracts people to HanDBase is that they have their own way of working, their own needs that are somewhat unique, and so a boilerplate solution for a task just won't do. The ability to have that sort of flexibility in HanDBase to create something to behave in the manner which best suits them is a unique selling point of our program.

That same need means that each customer is probably using it in a different manner than the next. There is of course some overlap between users, but what I found is that customers are often surprised that no one else (or very few others) has the need for a certain feature or functionality that they feel is key to their usage of the program!

There are certainly others like you who want to enter and do lots of edits on the desktop, but from the very beginning HanDBase was designed for the mobile device, with the desktop never as a primary means to enter data. Over the years I've added to the desktop programs, first the Windows version and then the Mac, to make it support more and more features. The PC Windows version is certainly farther along due to the larger number of customers using it and the 5 year head start it had in development. But certainly as a Mac user myself I wish that the Mac version had more capabilities.

The challenge for me is that I am the only programmer here and have to balance work between iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows, Mac, and all the other legacy platforms (Blackberry, Palm OS, Windows Mobile, etc). I tend to jump back and forth between working on the iPhone, iPad, and Android versions as they get the most use and the most requests. I wish I had the means to work more on the desktop counterparts as I feel there is great potential there for a cheaper, faster alternative to some of the expensive and bloated desktop database programs out there. Plus it would complete the puzzle so to speak in terms of having a full suite of mobile and desktop software for the user such as yourself who wants to do a lot of data entry on the desktop.

But being honest about my time, the ability to work on the desktop side rarely happens as there is always something bigger to do on the mobile side!

Last year I invested in a very expensive new Desktop compiler and development environment. This toolset should allow me to update our outdated Windows desktop look and feel to more modern UI standards but aside from that, it also would make it possible to port that desktop program to Mac more easily (right now I have two completely separate projects and thus have to write each feature nearly from scratch in the programming language of that desktop). But so far I've only been able to dedicate a few hours here and there and not the several months of work required to give it the full treatment. However, when I do get to this (will probably be late this year or early next) I have high hopes for the future on the desktop side!

Hope you appreciate the candor and honesty here- I agree with you in wanting more for the desktop, but want to be upfront that this is a very small company trying to accomplish a major task with very limited resources!

Re: HanDBase is great for the mobile device (only)

PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2013 10:03 am
by Joerg
Hi Dave,

many thanks for your fast reply. I used HanDBase already when I still had my Palm, later on my Windows CE and meanwhile after switching to Mac on my iPhone/iPad and I really love HanDBase and I'm still a fan of it. Of course there are more feature wishes. But I totally understand your point - being a "one man show" in development makes it very hard to make progress on all topics.

I made the wine thing work but I learned that working on both the Windows and Mac conduit is making things worse, for example when I have a floating number like 123,20 on my iPad DB it is going to change to 123.00 when I worked the record with the Windows companion. So I stopped using it. I also have Bento as an app, it's having a nice interface but not capable to do any calculations or using values from one to another record like HanDBase can do. When I try to import and export data between the systems already the character sets are different, especially when using our German umlauts etc. :) and as I can't really sync between those apps I also skipped this way of working. Same thing by the way when I try to use the data with Numbers or LibreOffice. But with LibreOffice I had the best results as I was able to choose the charset (I had to use Western Europe (Windows-1252/WinLatin) on a MAC! ;) )

I will stay with HanDBase and keep on using it for sure. I just would love to find a convenient way of working with capabilities in exchanging and working on multiple devices including the desktop. I'm also missing for example a kind of "auto"-sync between my iPhone and iPad via dropbox or iCloud without any manual copy process etc.

I use HanDBase as an asset database for my photo equipment to have something ready for my insurance company as a base to calculate the monthly fee for coverage. I take photo's of the equipment and currently I also take a photo of the invoices for each piece of my equipment as I'm not able to attach any kind of PDF files to a record. But having media files like images (or hopefully one day also PDF files) at records makes it even harder to work on a desktop companion.

A second HanDBase database (amongst many others) is a photo location database where I store a photo of the location and GPS coordinates in a record and adding keywords about the location. It would also be nice to store multiple images in a single field instead of having multiple fields that can hold just one image, I always have to know how many images I like to store for a location upfront, so I would have to know how many fields I need to design the DB. And on the desktop I have images displayed although there are synced to the Mac and there is no easy option to show the coordinates at a map for example to plan a road trip to the location….

I fully trust in you that at one day all these features will be there! :)

Let me know if there is something I could do for you and help to make faster progress…