HanDBase 4.2.0 submitted to app store today

Discussion of the version of HanDBase that runs on the iPhone and iPod touch devices. This includes the synchronization conduits as well.

HanDBase 4.2.0 submitted to app store today

Postby ddhsoftwareadmin » Fri May 22, 2009 10:30 am

I just wanted you all to be the first to know that HanDBase 4.2.0 was submitted to the app store today for approval! There is an unknown in terms of the time it takes to get approved, but the last few updates seem to be live in the store about a week after I submit them.

Here's what is new:

Version 4.2.0 adds the following new features:

- External field types implemented- now you can use HanDBase's external field type to:
Capture a photo (iPhone only)
Select a photo from the library
Dial a phone number (iPhone only)
Launch a web page

The external field type stores data either external to the database, or in other fields, and enables us to communicate with external programs. We plan on adding many more external field types over the coming months, such as contact lookups, capturing GPS coordinates, barcode scanner readers, and much more!

- Desktop Connect now offers a zip archive of all images used by the above-mentioned photo picker and camera capture.

Version 4.2.0 addresses the following bugs:
Fixed memory leak in list view when changing views or db properties
Conditional fields were showing the wrong value of a Linked field type if set as an output value.

Unlike the other platforms, where the external field is an open API that developers can add their own features, the Apple terms of service for applications restricts this, so the external field type's plugins are actually built into the program at this time. Thus nothing extra you need to install, just select the external field type and choose the 'plugin' from a list. I am very excited about all we can bring with this field type to the iPhone. Feel free to suggest any ideas you may have here or to me directly!
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Re: HanDBase 4.2.0 submitted to app store today

Postby rprasad » Sat May 23, 2009 5:51 am

That's terrific! I've been waiting for this!

One question: what happens to the original photos? Do they remain accessible to the camera/photos app? What if you sync with your Mac and delete the original shot, but add it back to iPhoto (and sync)? Can we create specific albums.

Bug report?: I have a few relationship fields that are supposed ot display something (last or first item from the related db), but nothing is actually displayed in the record view. Is there a setting somewhere that I don't know about, or is this an actual bug?
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Re: HanDBase 4.2.0 submitted to app store today

Postby filbertguy » Sat May 23, 2009 1:16 pm

I'm a first time user, in fact a first time DB application user of any kind, handheld or otherwise. After recently ditching my Palm Treo and buying an iPhone I researched the best recommended DB app and yours was it, so I've just spent the last few days setting up your iPhone app complete with associated Windows desktop, then exploring the programs and creating my first few DB's. It's a terrific and powerful tool that I will be using frequently.

My question is this: You write that the new version will increase the useability of certain external field types, specifically allowing DB's to capture photos and dial phone numbers. I have some phone numbers in a few of my DB's (set up as integer type fields) I'd love to figure out how to dial from directly, as well as DB's that would benefit tremendously from the addition of image fields that can be populated via the iPhone camera. Will you be posting tutorials or other support guidance on how to do this, and if so, where? Please advise.
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Re: HanDBase 4.2.0 submitted to app store today

Postby ddhsoftwareadmin » Mon May 25, 2009 10:09 am

Hi Ravindra,

You may have read about the iPhone's 3rd party apps being sandboxed? If you haven't, the way it works is that no app has access to the data of another app. That includes the files that are owned by the other app. This is designed to protect the data from viruses and such, but it has the negative consequence that for example, the photo application's files (ie, the ones it stored from the camera, or synced from your iPhoto collection) are not accessible for other apps. What Apple did is provide an interface to choose a photo from the collection, but the result is that it gives us a copy of the data and not a reference to the file. Hence, anything you pick from the photo picker results in an image being stored by us. So if you choose a photo from the picker, you can then later delete it from the photos app and it will not delete it from our library.

I'll add that we store the image in a lower resolution than the typical photo comes in, as we scale it to fit the screen anyway.

In regards to the bug report, I'd like more details. There isn't any known issue with the relationship field at this point, so if you found something it may be a possible bug, or it may just be a configuration issue in your databases. Please provide more info- you can email me directly with the databases in question if you'd prefer to debug that way!


rprasad wrote:That's terrific! I've been waiting for this!

One question: what happens to the original photos? Do they remain accessible to the camera/photos app? What if you sync with your Mac and delete the original shot, but add it back to iPhoto (and sync)? Can we create specific albums.

Bug report?: I have a few relationship fields that are supposed ot display something (last or first item from the related db), but nothing is actually displayed in the record view. Is there a setting somewhere that I don't know about, or is this an actual bug?
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Re: HanDBase 4.2.0 submitted to app store today

Postby ddhsoftwareadmin » Mon May 25, 2009 10:16 am

Welcome!

The current version does allow phone number dialing. It's very strict in how it works, however. If the format of the phone number matches the format shown by the iPhone's settings in the settings application, under international (eg, in the US it shows something like (408) 555-1212), when tapping that field value in the View Record screen (not edit record) it will launch the dialer.

I know in my own case, the phone numbers I enter rarely match 100% of that so that's why there is now going to be a new way to implement this. In this case, you will be able to point to your existing phone number field with this new field and now have the equivalent of a dial button even in your edit record screen!

One thing I wanted to mention, when storing a phone number, you should really keep it in a text field even though it has typically only numbers. The reason being is that an integer field has a maximum numeric value of around 2 million, thus a phone number like 4085551212 won't even fit in an integer field!

Lastly, in regards to tutorials, I can't say we'll have an exact tutorial for this set up, at least initially. But I am planning on doing a video tutorial this week to demonstrate the external field type. I am also hoping to implement more video tutorials in general as we've been honestly slacking in that front!



filbertguy wrote:I'm a first time user, in fact a first time DB application user of any kind, handheld or otherwise. After recently ditching my Palm Treo and buying an iPhone I researched the best recommended DB app and yours was it, so I've just spent the last few days setting up your iPhone app complete with associated Windows desktop, then exploring the programs and creating my first few DB's. It's a terrific and powerful tool that I will be using frequently.

My question is this: You write that the new version will increase the useability of certain external field types, specifically allowing DB's to capture photos and dial phone numbers. I have some phone numbers in a few of my DB's (set up as integer type fields) I'd love to figure out how to dial from directly, as well as DB's that would benefit tremendously from the addition of image fields that can be populated via the iPhone camera. Will you be posting tutorials or other support guidance on how to do this, and if so, where? Please advise.
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Re: HanDBase 4.2.0 submitted to app store today

Postby dhaupert » Fri May 29, 2009 9:18 am

Update to this- the version I submitted was rejected. Here's a little anecdote you may find interesting:

On the iPod touch, there is no built in camera. The external field for the 'Take Picture' checked to see if the device had a camera and if it didn't, it would go to the photo picker instead. The response back from Apple was that it wasn't working properly, it should give an error message or not allow it in the first place. So I had to 'fix' this by making it work in a less intuitive way. There is a photo picker external field type so it's not the end of the world, but for cross compatibility it made sense to behave the way I had it before.

I hope it will go through this time and be live some time next week- sorry for the delay!
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Re: HanDBase 4.2.0 submitted to app store today

Postby nefserrano@gmail.com » Fri May 29, 2009 1:54 pm

Ironic since many rumors suggest that the iPod Touch may be getting a camera in the fall version.



dhaupert wrote:Update to this- the version I submitted was rejected. Here's a little anecdote you may find interesting:

On the iPod touch, there is no built in camera. The external field for the 'Take Picture' checked to see if the device had a camera and if it didn't, it would go to the photo picker instead. The response back from Apple was that it wasn't working properly, it should give an error message or not allow it in the first place. So I had to 'fix' this by making it work in a less intuitive way. There is a photo picker external field type so it's not the end of the world, but for cross compatibility it made sense to behave the way I had it before.

I hope it will go through this time and be live some time next week- sorry for the delay!
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Re: HanDBase 4.2.0 submitted to app store today

Postby lagunacreek » Fri May 29, 2009 6:57 pm

Will there be an update of the desktop software or will these new features (phone number / photos) only be available on the iPhone? (Or is it already incorporated in the Windows Desktop version?)
thanks
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Re: HanDBase 4.2.0 submitted to app store today

Postby lagunacreek » Fri May 29, 2009 7:08 pm

I vote for GPS! I like to be able to snap a quick photo with locational coordinates for my photography projects database.
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Re: HanDBase 4.2.0 submitted to app store today

Postby rprasad » Sat May 30, 2009 6:08 am

dhaupert wrote:Update to this- the version I submitted was rejected. Here's a little anecdote you may find interesting:

On the iPod touch, there is no built in camera. The external field for the 'Take Picture' checked to see if the device had a camera and if it didn't, it would go to the photo picker instead. The response back from Apple was that it wasn't working properly, it should give an error message or not allow it in the first place. So I had to 'fix' this by making it work in a less intuitive way. There is a photo picker external field type so it's not the end of the world, but for cross compatibility it made sense to behave the way I had it before.

I hope it will go through this time and be live some time next week- sorry for the delay!


Can't you just change "Take Picture" to "Get Picture" or "Add Picture", then either go to Photos automatically or, if a camera is available, give the user a choice of where to go?
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