Some Questions Please

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

Some Questions Please

Postby RMittelman » Mon May 06, 2013 1:15 pm

Hi, just getting more familiar with HanDBase. Great product! I have a few clarifications needed:

  • I've read some of your articles comparing link/linked fields with relationship fields. Not quite clear on advantages of each. Sometimes have issues getting link/linked to work. Would you agree that in general using relationship fields is better and/or simpler as long as each DB has unique fields to join on?
  • When visiting a "child" DB through a relationship field from "parent" DB, I always get a prompt to save when leaving the "child" DB, even if nothing has changed. This is kind of a pain if I'm only going in there to view. Is there a way of configuring HanDBase to only give prompt if you've changed something?
  • Is there a way on the iPhone to configure different list view column widths depending on orientation? If not, consider this an enhancement request. If you allowed that, you could have the equivalent of different views by orientation. That would be awesome!
  • When I edit one of my DBs and then tap the Save button, it asks which device to sync with, supplying different folder/DB names. When I finish this, it advises that the DB will be copied next Sync. This is great, but when I do sync, all of my DBs are synced, according to the progress bar on my iPhone. Why would this be, if I only marked one for syncing?
  • I'm confused by the Open DB form. It always prompts for various DBs, some in the handheld sub-folder, some not. I have a main HanDBase folder where my DBs are stored. It seems to me that if you are going to open one for editing, you would want the "main" version, not the one backed-up to the handheld folder, especially since next time you save the DB, it gets copied there again. Could you please clarify this process, and advise why I would ever want to open the copy in my handheld folder?

Thanks a lot for any information you can give...
Ron Mittelman
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Re: Some Questions Please

Postby Brian_Houghton » Tue May 07, 2013 7:59 am

Hi Ron,

Thanks for posting.

Regarding link and linked field combinations, they should be working, as I am not running into any problems in my testing. Relationship fields are far more flexible, though, so I do encourage using them when possible. The beauty of the relationship field is that once you have set up the relationship field in the parent database, you don't have to specifically link to records in the child database. The lookup will dynamically filter and show the records that are related.

You will see this prompt on the desktop. We'll see if we can do something about it in the future.

The field widths are set up so that they consume a specific percent of the screen. You will likely run into display glitches if you use the same view when switching between portrait and landscape orientations, but if you set up a custom view with field widths (percents) adjusted for each orientation, you should be okay. I do recommend making sure that you have set up the views with some sort of reference to the particular orientation you will be using.

When you initiate the sync process, the conduit reads the settings you have set up in Configure - Database Properties - iPhone Users - Edit Sync Settings. If no changes have been made to a database (on the desktop or the handheld) the conduit sees this and doesn't really do anything with the file. If it sees that records have been modified on the desktop or on the handheld, the conduit then processes the modified records. Personally I would leave this as is so that any or all databases sync when edits have been made.

The open dialog that appears is actually a bit confusing. At the bottom of it, there is an option to set to disable its showing. Please check it and then use the practice of only opening from the DB Browser dialog that appears on the left side of the main HanDBase Desktop window. This will ensure that the databases that you open are the ones that you are syncing.

Hope this helps!
Kind Regards,
Brian Houghton, DDH Software
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Re: Some Questions Please

Postby RMittelman » Fri May 10, 2013 3:57 pm

Thanks for answering my questions, Brian. I still think the orientation thing needs work. It doesn't seem very efficient to create a separate view for landscape (with different fields), as you would need to rotate the iPhone AND switch views, right? Much more flexible would be dual screen width settings, one for portrait and one for landscape. This would in effect simulate a different view, without having to take the trouble to rotate and choose the view.

One other request: When editing a numeric field on the iPhone, please consider bringing up the keypad view instead of the numeric keyboard view. That is a pain in the neck for the larger-fingered user. The keypad is intuitive and much easier. As I mentioned in another post, when specifying the keypad view for a field (as a developer in design-mode) you have a choice of a classic phone pad with # and *, or a modified phone pad with decimal and backspace instead. This would be much appreciated by us users.
Ron Mittelman
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Re: Some Questions Please

Postby dhaupert » Fri May 10, 2013 4:08 pm

Hi Ron,

The thing is that you don't need to create a separate view. HanDBase is designed to show extra fields to the right when the screen gets wider! I've never in all my 15+ years of developing and using HanDBase heard of any customer requesting that the widths change to be wider in landscape view as most want the extra information, not more of the same. I'm sure you're not the only one but it certainly seems to be a small number of people!

re: the numeric view, I posted a followup on that thread saying thanks for the additional info- the numeric keypad view didn't used to have a decimal point, that's something they added in the last 1.5 years and I hadn't noticed the new option! I will definitely add that in the future, but as I mentioned I'm knee deep in a project right now so there won't be any updates to iOS versions for a month or more. Sorry!
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