Is it time to leave HanDBase behind?

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Is it time to leave HanDBase behind?

Postby idamtnboy » Mon Jan 20, 2020 10:54 pm

Is Dave still actively developing HanDBase? I'm using HB 4.7.5 with Win 10 and 4.6.403 on Android 7.1.1 & Android 7.0. WiFi sync won't work anymore on the 7.1.1 Android & I had a problem awhile back with 7.0. USB sync doesn't work anymore at all since Android dropped mass storage option and that was clear back with 4.1. And he still doesn't offer sync via cloud.

It's beginning to look like it's time to find an alternative, which is an absolute shame since HB looks to be the absolute best smartphone database program out there.
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Re: Is it time to leave HanDBase behind?

Postby edwin2011 » Fri Jan 24, 2020 1:34 am

While it is very quit here everything is running fine with Android 8.0.0
*** edwin ***
Samsung S4 / Palm Treo
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Re: Is it time to leave HanDBase behind?

Postby curtterp » Sat Jan 25, 2020 10:34 am

idamtnboy wrote:Is Dave still actively developing HanDBase? I'm using HB 4.7.5 with Win 10 and 4.6.403 on Android 7.1.1 & Android 7.0. WiFi sync won't work anymore on the 7.1.1 Android & I had a problem awhile back with 7.0. USB sync doesn't work anymore at all since Android dropped mass storage option and that was clear back with 4.1. And he still doesn't offer sync via cloud.

It's beginning to look like it's time to find an alternative, which is an absolute shame since HB looks to be the absolute best smartphone database program out there.



Dave still actively works on HanDBase, but there are several items to remember
  • Dave has a full-time job - Dave had to get a full-time job to support his family when HanDBase was no longer bringing in enough money.
  • Dave does have a family - Sometimes things happen in a family, and you need to be there for them.
  • Dave is the only developer of HanDBase - Which also means that he is the only one to support multiple platforms/devices/technologies.
  • Dave doesn't have a huge lab of devices to troubleshoot on.

So it gets a lot harder to keep up maintenance with the three major platforms (Windows, Android, Apple) with the time constraints that he has.

Cloud sync - You can use the cloud now for syncing across multiple devices. With Android, you can use a file manager to copy the database file up to the cloud from one device, then from the other, you can use the open in command from the cloud. Not quite as easy as pushing a button to sync, but there is really no way to just push a button and have the cloud manage the sync. There is also a worry about data integrity during a sync. If you initiate a sync while in the car, there is a real possibility that you may drop your connection for a moment, and that can introduce data corruption, which would be catastrophic in many cases.

Yes, you can look for another mobile database program, but HanDBase is the most mature one out there. Some of the others might have features that HanDBase doesn't have, but HanDBase has many features that the others do not have. Some HanDBase features no longer work (sync to Access comes to mind), but that is something someone else working for Dave years ago did, and now that Access has changed their API multiple times, it just doesn't work anymore. To me, that feature was nice while it worked, but I have moved on from Access and no longer miss the feature. If you find something else that you are happier with, I wish you well.

I have been a HanDBase customer/user since the late 1990's when I got my first Palm device. I have databases that have gone from Palm to Windows Mobile, to Android, to Apple with no loss in data for each platform. Not many mobile database programs out there can move data between platforms because they use different database engines. Dave rolled his own database engine/files many years ago, and it has been solid.

Bottom line is that Dave does still work on HanDBase, he has not abandoned it, and he still tries to devote time to it. He just can't put as much time into it was he once did.
Have a good day

Curt
I am not a DDHSoftware employee, just a long time HanDBase user.... from Palm to Windows Mobile to Android, to iOS. Thanks to DDH, the database files transferred to each platform without a problem.
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Re: Is it time to leave HanDBase behind?

Postby ddhsoftwareadmin » Sat Feb 01, 2020 2:33 pm

Thanks for the kind words Curt. Indeed, Curt has said it all better than I could have myself. I do still work on the app- just released the 64 bit mac version, in fact. But the pace is very slow and probably too slow for most, unless the app already meets your needs.

I'd love to do a cloud sync, and would love to add more features, but currently HanDBase is about a break even with the bills to keep the site up and all of my associated costs, not counting my time, so there is very little incentive to put in much time. That said, I am still indebted to my customers for all the great support for many years and I still use HanDBase myself every day, so I plan to keep the lights on as long as I can pull it off! And if I can find a way to fund further development and larger features, I'll definitely consider that strongly.

Best of luck to those that do leave for other apps and thanks to those that stick around!
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Re: Is it time to leave HanDBase behind?

Postby Max » Wed Feb 05, 2020 12:15 am

ddhsoftwareadmin wrote:...the pace is very slow and probably too slow for most, unless the app already meets your needs. ...


Ha! HanDBase has met my needs--and then some--since the early Palm Pilot days, so I'm not going anywhere as long as it keeps on working. There's no place to go, anyway, not without giving up many features I really like and rely on.

Just so you know, Dave, I subscribe to a couple of aviation apps that are no more useful or comprehensive than HanDBase, each for about $60 or $70 a year. Because I'm used to that price range, I would not be unhappy to subscribe to HanDBase for a similar amount. But other users are probably muttering oaths and imprecations right now.

So I wonder if you've considered ways to make it easy to contribute to HanDBase--not as a requirement, but an option, sort of like what NPR and PBS do, only easier. If I had to go to your website to contribute, I'd probably never get around to it, but a one-click link right in the HanDBase app, for example, would get my click now and then, especially if it popped up discretely once a year.
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Re: Is it time to leave HanDBase behind?

Postby idamtnboy » Fri Feb 07, 2020 6:51 pm

ddhsoftwareadmin wrote:Thanks for the kind words Curt. Indeed, Curt has said it all better than I could have myself. I do still work on the app- just released the 64 bit mac version, in fact. But the pace is very slow and probably too slow for most, unless the app already meets your needs.

Well, for some reason sync started working with no problems on my Galaxy S7 with Android 7.0 but I can't sync with WiFi or USB with my Tab A with Android 7.1.1. I don't have any immediate plans to upgrade my phone, but it sure looks like when I do HB may no longer sync, which will make it useless.

If nothing else, can you at least get the USB sync working again? Or figure out why sync won't work with my Android 7.1.1? As soon as I start a sync with the tablet it freezes on syncing the first database. I deleted the db on the tablet and on the next sync attempt the next db, which was now the first one to be synced, causes the sync process to freeze. The same db synced with no problem with my phone, so it's not a corrupt db problem.

I really want to stick with HB, but if I can't sync between my device and my desktop, it won't be of any good to me. Maybe you need to sell the whole program to someone like Companion Link who are active developers with good proficiency in syncing. They've done a great job in bringing old Palm Desktop users into the present hardware world with their PC CRM replacement for Palm Desktop. That would sure be a whole lot better than seeing HB atrophy and fade away. I sure would hate to see the same thing happen to HB what happened to Smartlist to Go. Dataviz neglected it and then killed it off. I was not happy.
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Re: Is it time to leave HanDBase behind?

Postby idamtnboy » Fri Feb 07, 2020 8:52 pm

Well, there must be some vagary with Android 7.1.1 on my Samsung Tab A SM-T350. I just installed HB on my daughter's newer Tab A with Android 8.1. Syncing worked just fine. Too bad there aren't any more updates for my Tab A.
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Re: Is it time to leave HanDBase behind?

Postby exmpro » Sun Feb 16, 2020 7:56 am

I have written several times before on this matter, so I can only repeat myself for new readers, or for those with a bad memory.
I have relied on HB for about 20 years now, and want to be able to continue to do so. It is the best on the market and is underpriced and underpromoted.
I would be happy to pay for upgrades, or maybe even for a licence if that would guarantee continuity.
And above I would love to see automatic sync via the cloud finally implemented, even if this meant a third party being used to develop it.
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Re: Is it time to leave HanDBase behind?

Postby hudsonhawk » Sun Feb 16, 2020 8:25 am

I too very much appreciate this application. I would definitely pay more but am not a fan of a subscription model that is too costly (otherwise, i'd probably just buy an app for the applications I'm using it for).

That said, my main argument is it is positioned wrongly on the app store. I've mentioned this before to Dave, suggesting he promote it more heavily as a platform for applications. He'd replied that this was an idea originally but it didn't take off. My observation is that the current template store is too feeble to support this. It seems like anyone can upload anything. Which isn't necessarily bad but there's no way of identifying what's a good application and what is a lame application. Even a simple rating system would be helpful.

I should think reviewing the revenue situation and promoting the database templates more effectively, should be able to bring another round of funding that could really make this take off and justify modernizing and fixing the issues. I've tried or evaluated other systems but frankly they're either too expensive or lacking functionality and I keep coming back to Handbase. If you're ever interested in getting a bunch of users together to get ideas on how to best do this. I'm in. It's a great application that is showing its age and should be better recognized.
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Re: Is it time to leave HanDBase behind?

Postby exmpro » Wed Feb 19, 2020 5:58 am

Yea, it would good to get a group of users together to brainstorm on the next steps for HB. I would be in.
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