Plugin to More Easily Capture GPS data in your database

Discuss plans for a future version of HanDBase for the Google Android platform

Plugin to More Easily Capture GPS data in your database

Postby DavidDevaneyJr » Thu Mar 12, 2015 9:53 pm

I know that a few of you have been looking for a way to more easily capture GPS Coordinates in your HanDBase databases on Android. While I know that DDH Software is working on adding this and other plugins to the application itself I thought I'd try out a new app I learned about and see if I could get that to work another way, and I did.

I recently learned about Tasker for Android. It's an app that allows you to automate functions on your Android device. Most people use it to do things like...Turn off WiFi when they leave their house and turn it back on when they get to work. Or silence their phone automatically when the calendar says they are in a meeting. It's a very powerful app and I'd definitely recommend checking it out, although it's not for the faint of heart. Anyway, I was able to figure out a way to use Tasker to automatically grab GPS data and make it available to paste into a HanDBase field. I wasn't able to get it to work properly with the standard Edit Record screen but I was able to make it work great using a Form. All the user will have to do is tap a button in the form to paste the data into the field, at this time I couldn't get it to automatically paste. However, that's much easier than having to grab the GPS data from another app and manually copy and paste it into your HanDBase field.

At this time all the plugin does is grab the GPS Coordinates and make them available to paste into a field. I will continue to look into automatically pasting them as well as displaying the coordinates on a map, for verification purposes. I'm still learning Tasker though so I can't make any promises as to when this might happen. If you are familiar with Tasker and would like to help me add more features, feel free to contact me.

Using a special function of Tasker I was even able to turn this "Script" into a Standalone application or Plugin. So users won't even need to purchase Tasker to get this to work.

The new Tutorial on my website has all the instructions you need to get this to work, including integrating the Form into your own database. You'll find links to download a sample database and form file to your Android device as well as a link to download the Installation package for what I've called the GPS for HanDBase Plugin. All the info you should need to get this working is in the Tutorial. While you'll likely want to read the tutorial on your computer or device with a larger screen, you will need to view it on your Android device to more easily install the Sample database and the Plugin application itself.

GPS for HanDBase Plugin – Capture GPS Coordinates in your HanDBase for Android Database

At this time it will likely only work on devices with Android OS 4.1 (JellyBean) or higher, based on Tasker documentation. If you are using an older OS and need this plugin, let me know and I can try to rebuild it to let you test it yourself. I was only able to test this on a device with Android 4.4 (KitKat) so at this point I can't guarantee it will work on all devices.

I have not made this available in the Google Play Store at this time, due to the cost. However I will promise you that I'm not doing anything to compromise your security or private information with this app. You will need to be able to enable installation of apps from "Unknown Sources" on your Android device. I have heard that some devices do not have this option and if you are using a company device you may need to make sure you can enable that. I will be looking into adding this to the Android App Market, however that still requires you to be able to install the base Android app from an "Unknown Source.

I hope that the GPS for HanDBase Plugin helps out those that are needing GPS data in their HanDBase for Android databases. Feel free to post any questions. Let me know if you try it out and have any problems or have other comments.
David Devaney, Jr.
Posts: 134
Joined: Tue May 19, 2009 11:01 pm
Location: Lake Worth, FL

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