How to best import data to HanDBase on Palm PDA??

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How to best import data to HanDBase on Palm PDA??

Postby Shepherd Jim » Sat Jul 11, 2009 10:25 am

What is the best way to export data from a NON-Access "database" on the computer (Windows XP) to HanDBase on the Palm mobile device. The PC database software I'm using (Alpha Five) can export in the following formats:

Character separated (*.asc;*.txt;*.dat;*.csv)
Table ASCII file (*.tbl;*.txt;*.dat)
Rich Text file (*.rtf)
MS-Excel V3.0 (*.xls)
MS-Excel V4.0 (*.xls)
Lotus 1-2-3 V1.0/1A (*.wks)
Lotus 1-2-3 V2.0 (*.wk1)
Lotus 1-2-3 V3.0 (*.wk3)
Symphony V1.0 (*.wrk)
Symphony V1.1 (*.wr1)

When setting up the export operation in Alpha Five I'm also offered the ability to:

1) include field names as the first "row" of data, or not
2) enclose each field within double quotes (""s)
3) strip out leading and/or trailing blanks in fields

The database I'm working with right now has fields formatted as Characters/Text, Dates, Note/Memo. I would very much like to have the fields arrive on the handheld in their original format

I'm intentionally NOT talking about how I've been trying to do this. All the software here, HanDBase especially, is very flexible and there are usually at least three ways to skin every cat. I'd really like to hear about the BEST method.

Jim
i wish i knew then what i know now
Shepherd Jim
 
Posts: 116
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Location: Bristol, Maine USA

Re: How to best import data to HanDBase on Palm PDA??

Postby dhaupert » Mon Jul 13, 2009 9:21 am

Hi Jim,

Thanks for the topic. From Alpha 5, you really have two decent options for importing data into HanDBase:

CSV - you can choose to put the field names around the values and leave the other options unchecked. This will bring over the data, but not the field types- you'll then have to go to HanDBase and choose the Database Properties and change to the field types you need within HanDBase. Most field conversions don't lose any data, unless they are some type of odd change- eg, a checkbox converting to a date field is not going to keep it's data!

ODBC- if memory serves, there is an ODBC driver for Alpha 5. A few years ago we did a cross promotion with them for this feature and getting data to and from Alpha 5. If indeed this is still true, you can use the Enterprise version of HanDBase and not only do a direct conversion, but also sync directly to Alpha 5, meaning you won't need to convert back and forth, but sync between HanDBase on the Palm and your Alpha 5 database.

We have this tutorial on our website for syncing between HanDBase and Alpha 5:
http://www.ddhsoftware.com/knowledgebas ... d=237&UID=

Hope this helps!
dhaupert
 
Posts: 4111
Joined: Tue May 26, 2009 11:51 am

Re: How to best import data to HanDBase on Palm PDA??

Postby Shepherd Jim » Mon Jul 13, 2009 11:42 pm

Hello Dave!

I just gotta love this "computer hobby" of mine -- it's a rare day that I don't learn something new! I had always assumed that ODBC had something to do with monstrous huge mainframe databases. Trust Microsoft to create a system so obtuse that it's remained hidden from me for more than 10 years.

A nice surprise was that my Win XP PC already had the necessary ODBC Driver for Visual FoxPro (vfpodbc.dll) in the \System32 directory. So I guess I'm going to download and trial the HDB Enterprise Edition and see if I can get this ODBC synch between HDB and Alpha Five to fly.

In the meantime, I've been avoiding having to change field types by following this process. I export records out of the Alpha Five .dbf table (database) to a .csv text file. Note: I haven't tied it down completely yet, but it DOES make a difference if field data is "enclosed" in double quotes or not. I then open an already created HanDBase version of the database in the HDB Desktop, with all the correctly typed fields and import the .csv records. Date fields are "converted" back into dates, etc.

The process seems to work okay going back the other way -- on a HDB Desktop .pdb file to .csv -- and then importing the .csv records into an existent table in Alpha Five.

The "secret" seems to be the importing of the text records into a database which all its fields set up with the desired field types. If you try to export the data and create a new database in the process all the fields will be be "Text" fields.

I wonder how long it will take me to figure out ODBC?

Thank you Dave! Jim
i wish i knew then what i know now
Shepherd Jim
 
Posts: 116
Joined: Mon May 25, 2009 3:28 pm
Location: Bristol, Maine USA


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