HanDBase Related News Update!

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

Re: HanDBase Related News Update!

Postby Avi » Wed Oct 25, 2017 3:47 pm

Hi Dave,

I think I've said this before, but from what you've written, I think it bears repeating:

HanDBase has in its DNA business and corporate users, mostly because of the ability to synchronize multiple users to the same database on a per-record level, and the ability to have databases call each other. Trying to sell it primarily to entertainment-focused users through app stores for a buck or three is doomed to failure, because the vast majority of smartphone users don't want or even understand its utility.

If you offered packages to companies with large numbers of roving, field-based employees, including developing and maintaining their custom databases and the Forms front-end for data entry, I bet you could make a great income from it. Hospitals come to mind. Service organisations, roving sales forces, warehouse staff. Organizations that can't justify having full-time IT people developing custom databases for staff using smart phones as their consoles, but who could benefit mightily from the efficiency HanDbase can give. I'm sure you can figure out how to charge for such a service, and it isn't a few bucks per device. Subscriptions might make a lot of sense here.

HanDbase is too good a platform to let it fade into oblivion.

-avi
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Re: HanDBase Related News Update!

Postby Jay » Thu Nov 09, 2017 2:20 pm

Hi Dave,

I too am a long time user of Handbase going back to the Palm days. I work in medical research and I've used this program primarily to track some things at work like mouse breeding colonies and cell lines,etc, as well as a few personal databases.

I agree completely with what everyone else has been saying about this product, after all of these years (and even in light of few updates the past couple of them), there really isn't anything else I've come across that can do what HanDbase does as well as it does.

With that said, sadly, it has started to feel a bit like orphaned software at times. That's why I was happy to see this thread and that things were still being worked on. For me personally, the one thing I've longed for, for quite some time is the cloud sync capability. It would allow me to share some of my work databases with colleagues who have asked about them. We cannot use the Dropbox method as too many changes being overwritten would potentially be devastating. I personally think that this feature alone would extend the usability of this app for many, many more years to come and reinvigorate interest in the app.

My two cents as far as finding methods to continue to support HandBase, I do believe that subscriptions may be the best route but you may need to have several options available.

For example:
-Have a Handbase Viewer (or lite) version which is only a database viewer allowing those who may not want to create their own databases to use those created by others. Especially in light of the extensive collection of databases you already have that could be downloaded. Free with ads or $1.99/year to remove ads.
-Have an upgraded version which would allow for the basic generation of custom databases which would have all of the fields except signature, link/linked, DB popup, calculated, relationship, and conditional. This would be Handbase Basic: $4.99/year
- Handbase pro which is Handbase Basic + the previously mentioned excluded fields: $9.99/year
- Form builder which would work with either Handbase Basic or Handbase Pro: $4.99/year

These could also all be in app upgrades in iOS making it easier to distribute as one program and just unlock certain features with the paid upgrades.

These are just suggestions and examples but it would allow a tiered approach where people could try and keep what ever features they need and even if they decided not to renew the upper level versions, they can always use the viewer/lite version to run any databases they've created or downloaded previously and later on upgrade again if they change their minds. The added bonus would be that revenue is continuing to be generated through ads or subscriptions to remove ads even if someone downgrades.

I think this may be the one app that I've had on every mobile device I've ever owned and I truly would be sad to see it go.

Best of luck!

Sincerely,

Jay
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Re: HanDBase Related News Update!

Postby ddhsoftwareadmin » Sun Nov 12, 2017 10:14 pm

Hi Jay,

Thanks so much for your thoughtful post. It's funny how close your idea is to what I've been implementing the last few months! I don't have as many tiers as I've learned through the past 2 decades that too many options creates too much confusion, but the idea of a free limited version with ads is in the cards as well as a subscription to get rid of them and unlock additional features. It may wind up breathing new life into HanDBase- we'll see! It may also eliminate a portion of the income that I currently make, and that's a possibility I am prepared for at this point.

With regards to a cloud sync, how I wish I had one implemented by now- it's amazing when I think to how long ago I was offering a server sync feature - this was before smartphones and it was an enterprise level feature, not one for the masses. I could and should have been blazing this trail, not being 5 years behind the curve! I definitely dropped the ball on that one...

Here's hoping that the free and subscription version help provide the path for the second part- the cloud sync feature to make its way into reality!

Thanks again for your long time support and thoughtfulness.
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Re: HanDBase Related News Update!

Postby MidlandDeltic » Fri Dec 22, 2017 5:24 am

It will be interesting to see what comes out of all this. I'm perhaps unusual, being a hobbyist rather than business user of Handbase, like many back to Palm days,and I therefore have a lot of personal time invested in some quite large datasets.
My hobby includes photography, and it is instructive to see what is happening in the software world around that activity. The default "go-to" software has been Adobe Photoshop, which has become an industry standard to the point that "to photoshop" has effectively become a verb in the English language. However, the latest iteration has moved all of their product line to a subscription model, and users are not happy - to the point of moving to emerging competitors such as Serif's Affinity, which majors its marketing on the one payment, with free upgrades until a completely new version is released. Obviously the cash values are significantly more than with Handbase, but the principle is the same.

I have said before I do not like the subscription model, because of the risk that once users are locked in a complacency can develop in the developers mindset that it is a cash cow. I'm not suggesting that will happen here, but if it had applied in the hiatus Android users have had in updates as users where would we have drawn the line? I am happy to pay for program upgrades, as I did from 2, to 3, to 4; but do not relish being held over a barrel paying for development I may neither need or want.
Ad supported is possibly OK, but as an existing user the suggested two level "basic ad supported, higher level subscription paid" model does not appeal either; again I would be faced with an option to pay-up in perpetuity, or lose functionality. Ads with no loss of functionality I could probably live with, as long as they were (a) not too frequent and (b) were not to intrusive in terms of screen real estate.

I realise that at the end of the day you do this to make money, and that it is your absolute right to develop and sell Handbase as you see fit. I have not found anything (yet) that can do what Handbase does, but as a hobby user I would have to think very carefully about committing to any kind of subscription model.

Sent from my 5056X using Tapatalk
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Re: HanDBase Related News Update!

Postby ddhsoftwareadmin » Mon Jan 01, 2018 11:51 am

Hi,

Thanks for your perspective on this- very valuable to me and in complete agreement with my personal convictions. I purchased the full adobe production suite the last year before they went subscription and have thus resisted paying a monthly fee. I am missing out on some new features, but I also have tried other alternative apps too. I can see as a user the same things you describe and I don't want to drive HanDBase users away.

My current plan for HanDBase is to offer both a full paid version as always and a free version with ads and a subscription unlock for that version. I plan on pricing the subscription version such that it's cheaper in the short term (ie, < 1 year) to the fully paid version and includes all add-ons (ie, no single feature in app purchases). In order to continue generating some revenue, the HanDBase version you have now won't get many new free updated features, just compatibility updates, and I would charge for new feature in an in-app purchase model. That means if I add a significant feature it would have a price with it, and you can choose to buy it or not. If you don't buy it you still get access to the latest version with the updates for compatibility, bug fixes, and small new features. One thing to note, features like supporting the external field type in Android would be included and not sold as an add-on because I've been planning and promising that one for a long while! But perhaps individual external field types could be sold separately in the non-subscription model.

To me this seems like the best of both worlds. The only downsides I see with this are:

1. For me, double the work in maintaining two versions on each platform, creating in-app purchases and checks for new features in one build, etc. It's more work for sure, but not rocket science!
2. I don't want to make users feel like I'm nickel and diming them either. I've already seen comments over the years about selling the desktop apps separate, the forms designer, etc. The above model would add to that.
3. A more complicated message and product matrix. I would love to make things simpler but can't see how to do so profitably!

Anyway, just thinking aloud here- hopefully I can execute on something in 2018 and breathe some new life into the HanDBase platform again!

Thanks again for your feedback and thoughts.
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Re: HanDBase Related News Update!

Postby jhm » Mon Jan 15, 2018 5:02 pm

Hi Dave,

Very pleasantly surprised to see out of the below a new iOS version tonight! Thank you very much!

Looking forward to things going forward (inapp purchases or any other way to support this app).

Cheers
John
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Re: HanDBase Related News Update!

Postby ddhsoftwareadmin » Tue Jan 16, 2018 10:04 pm

jhm wrote:Hi Dave,

Very pleasantly surprised to see out of the below a new iOS version tonight! Thank you very much!

Looking forward to things going forward (inapp purchases or any other way to support this app).

Cheers
John


Hi John,

Thanks- yes, that is the version to get HanDBase caught up on a few things. Hopefully you enjoy some of the new features and you are not running iOS10.x as the app will likely crash for you. Just submitting a fix for that now!
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Re: HanDBase Related News Update!

Postby exmpro » Thu May 24, 2018 7:17 am

As another longtime user of HB I want to add my voice (again!) to those calling for a cloud sync function. I see this as being essential, and it is something which many apps now offer as standard. I realise that time is a problem for you Dave, and I wonder if you have considered some sort of crowd funding operation so that you can pay for someone to do this work for you, at least initially.
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Re: HanDBase Related News Update!

Postby jjohnson873 » Sat Jun 09, 2018 5:47 pm

Hi David...I'd like to add my name for support for HanDBase. I've used this DB since it came out in PalmOS. I have invaluable databases developed on HanDBase. I was so pleased to see the addition the Apple thumbprint open for the databases. This saves a huge amount of time. I echo the other users on using the cloud for backup/sync of databases. Syncing with a specific piece of hardware is not always easy. I find HanDBase so easy to use that I often create a DB for tracking various things in my life. It's very flexible, expandable and easily changed on the fly. I'd like to link several databases together and need to brush up on exchanging data and linking various databases. I'd also like to import data from Excel so I'll need to understand the exchange format to accomplish that feature. Once again, congratulations on providing HanDBase on so many platforms. Currently I run it on iOS MacBook Pro, Apple iPhone 7S and my iPad. Keep up the great work!
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Re: HanDBase Related News Update!

Postby ddhsoftwareadmin » Sun Jun 10, 2018 4:36 pm

exmpro wrote:As another longtime user of HB I want to add my voice (again!) to those calling for a cloud sync function. I see this as being essential, and it is something which many apps now offer as standard. I realise that time is a problem for you Dave, and I wonder if you have considered some sort of crowd funding operation so that you can pay for someone to do this work for you, at least initially.


Thanks for writing - sorry for my delayed reply! I have been speaking with a colleague about the notion of getting some help for a cloud sync add-on. I can't tell at this point where that conversation will lead, but just wanted to share that I am still exploring this. I also set up a Patreon to look into a crowdfunding option, but have not gone live with it as of yet.

HanDBase is over 20 years old now, and I have gone from a fearless kid who went for it with new ideas without much hesitation to a middle aged man who is overly cautious and slow to make key decisions about this product. I know I liked the younger version of myself better- hopefully I can channel some of my inner youth and make something happen! ;)
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