Pre-purchase questions

For HanDBase related topics that are not specific to one platform.

Pre-purchase questions

Postby dave_in_gva » Wed Nov 19, 2014 11:51 am

Hello, I think HanDBase is what I want but am looking for more detail before I purchase.

I have a relatively simple database I want to set up. I don't mind if I set up the database on my PC or iPhone 5, but data entry will be through my iPhone. One field in the dbase must be a text string field with a list of 6 possible text string options. So far, what I want is nothing unusual - essentially a drop down list one could set up in any standard database entry program. The only thing that may make my requirement more of a challenge is that I would like the 6 possible text string options for this field be drawn from a Google Spreadsheet stored on my Google Drive online. Every 2 weeks or so those string values will change, and my requirement would be that the list of possible text strings that HanDBase proposes to me on my iPhone at the point of data entry would also update to the new text string options for this particular field. I would always be entering data on my iPhone with a connection to the internet. So essentially I require that the drop down list of options proposed on my iPhone by HanDBase are synced automatically with a predefined list of 6 values which will be listed in a defined range on a Google Spreadsheet and which change every 2 weeks or so.

I hope that's a clear description of my situation. I have two questions:

1. As described above, can HanDBase be set up to sync the list of string values proposed for a text field to a list on a Google Spreadsheet which occupy the same cells in the spreadsheet but where the text string within those cells changes regularly?
2. Can my database on the iPhone be exported to a .csv file or .xlsx file for further analysis and if so, does this require the Enterprise or Professional version or can I do this with the Plus version?

Thanks and best wishes,

Dave M
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Re: Pre-purchase questions

Postby Brian_Houghton » Sat Nov 22, 2014 9:46 am

Hi Dave,

Thanks for posting.

Great question.

HanDBase has a field type that we call DB Popup. This field is essentially a text field but has further functionality in that when configuring it, you can set it up to point to a second database. I usually refer to one of these databases as a lookup table. In this lookup table you could store your six different strings, each as records. When you want to populate the DB Popup field in the main database, you would tap on the field name. You would then be taken to the list of records in the child database. You would then tap on one of the records. Upon doing this, you would return to the main database and find that the value you selected is now automatically entered into the field.

When needed, you can update the records in the lookup table via the importing of a CSV file. Note that you would need to manually export the Sheet file in Drive to CSV, download that to your iPhone and then open in HanDBase. You'd be given the option of adding the records to the lookup table at that time.

Hope this helps. If you have any questions, please let me know!
Kind Regards,
Brian Houghton, DDH Software
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Re: Pre-purchase questions

Postby dave_in_gva » Sat Nov 22, 2014 12:06 pm

Thanks Brian it helps a great deal.

Can you give me some guidance in my second question above? I'm not sure what version I need but do know I want to export the dbase for further analysis elsewhere.

Best,

Dave
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Re: Pre-purchase questions

Postby curtterp » Sat Nov 22, 2014 3:50 pm

dave_in_gva wrote:Thanks Brian it helps a great deal.

Can you give me some guidance in my second question above? I'm not sure what version I need but do know I want to export the dbase for further analysis elsewhere.

Best,

Dave


Exporting from HanDBase to csv files can happen on any of the flavors of HanDBase. desktop. Here are the main differences between the versions. Each higher version has the capabilities of the lowers version in addition to what is stated below

Plus - Has wireless sync from handheld to desktop.

Professional - Allows syncing to MS Access database

Enterprise - Allows syncing to any ODBC compatible database
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: Pre-purchase questions

Postby dave_in_gva » Sat Nov 22, 2014 5:32 pm

Thanks Curt, very succinct and helpful.

Looks like I will just go with the base version.

Best,

Dave M
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Re: Pre-purchase questions

Postby Brian_Houghton » Sun Nov 23, 2014 10:07 am

Hi Dave,

Curt is right. You can export to CSV using any package now. You can also import CSV directly into HanDBase on the iPhone, as mentioned, using the Open In method. Upon doing so HanDBase will ask you how to process the CSV file.
Kind Regards,
Brian Houghton, DDH Software
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Re: Pre-purchase questions

Postby dave_in_gva » Mon Nov 24, 2014 8:58 am

Thanks everyone. I've purchased the app now and am quite impressed. Usability is excellent on my iPhone and I like a good number of very thoughtful touches.

One thing I would like the app to do (but which I am not sure if it is possible) is have some fields automatically populated with values from another database. To illustrate, I have set up a database with a field I have labelled "P" (short for "profile"), and approximately 10 other fields that collectively describe a "profile". There are only 5 profiles in the database (so the database has a total of 5 records). For each of these 5 records there is of course the field "P", which is an integer field with values ranging from 1-5 for each of the 5 different profiles described within the 5 records in this database. For all other 10 fields in the database there are various values (all integers) for each record. Let me call this database I have just described the Profile database.

For clarity, it would look like this (fields abbreviated as P for profile, F1 for field 1 etc. for clarity):

P¦F1¦F2¦etc.
---------------
1¦27¦12¦...
2¦11¦18¦...
3¦19¦53¦...
etc. etc.


In another database (let me call it the Main database) I have a larger number of fields. Included within these fields is a field labelled P for profile, as well as each of the 10 fields which are referred to above (F1, F2 etc.) that collectively constitute a profile. Each of these 10 fields is labelled to correspond to their corresponding fields in the Profiles database.

What I am trying to get working (and so far cannot with the link/linked, relation, and Dbpopup field types) is a situation where when I enter for example "3" as the Profile number in the Main database that all 10 values for the 10 fields associated with the Profile "3" are automatically entered within the second database.

So data entry in the Main database would look like the following (fields FX, FY and FZ are additional example fields that are only present in the Main database):

FX¦FY¦FZ¦ P¦F1¦F2¦
------------------------
ab¦cd¦ ef¦3¦19¦53¦ etc...
gh¦ij ¦kl ¦1¦27 ¦12¦ etc...

where in the above example the numbers '19' and '53' would be automatically populated for the F1 and F2 fields in the Main database for the record where Profile=3 and '27' and '12' would be automatically populated for the record where Profile=1.

I hope that's clear and thanks if someone can let me know if it's possible.

Best wishes,
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Re: Pre-purchase questions

Postby mjhanna » Mon Nov 24, 2014 11:58 am

I think the feature you want is part of the DB Popup field. Check out the "Group" attribute of a DB Popup field. From the User's Guide:
"By setting this value to something other than 0 (0 disables this feature), you can assign multiple
DB Popups, up to 10, to the same group. Then, whenever any of the DB Popups in a group are
selected and a record in the other database is selected, all items in the same group will be filled
out automatically with their appropriate field values."

Since the limit for a "group" is 10 fields, rather than have a separate field for the Profile "number" just populate any one of the 10 fields from the appropriate Popup profile and the other nine will be filled with the corresponding values.

I think this is what you want?
Michael
(Only a user and not affiliated with DDH Software, but working with computer databases for over fifty years.)
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Re: Pre-purchase questions

Postby dave_in_gva » Tue Nov 25, 2014 2:27 am

Michael, many thanks that cracked it for me.

What a superb app. This has tremendous functionality.

The only remaining question for me is whether and how one can back up the databases (the actual database field structure, not necessarily the data) to the cloud or a computer somewhere. Once one invests the time in setting these up it would seem a shame to have to restart at zero if one's iPhone etc. were lost/stolen or broke.

Best,

Dave M
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Re: Pre-purchase questions

Postby curtterp » Tue Nov 25, 2014 5:58 am

dave_in_gva wrote:Michael, many thanks that cracked it for me.

What a superb app. This has tremendous functionality.

The only remaining question for me is whether and how one can back up the databases (the actual database field structure, not necessarily the data) to the cloud or a computer somewhere. Once one invests the time in setting these up it would seem a shame to have to restart at zero if one's iPhone etc. were lost/stolen or broke.

Best,

Dave M


When you sync to the desktop, the databases are backed up automatically on the desktop. So your backup is as good as your last sync.

Other ways to back up the database files.

  • Email the database file to yourself.
  • If you are using Android, you can use a file manager to back the files by copying them to Dropbox, Google Drive etc.
  • If you are using an iPhone/iPad/iPod, by connecting to iTunes will create a backup (of course you need a third party program to extract the files)

So there are ways to back up the files. Dave has been rumored to be working on a possible solution for a cloud based backup system within HanDBase, but there has been no announcement on when this might be coming over the horizon.
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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