External Fields and Windows Desktop

Discuss the HanDBase for Windows Desktop program, conduits, and add-ons.

External Fields and Windows Desktop

Postby lagunacreek » Thu Jun 25, 2009 10:30 am

I have the professional version of the desktop for iPhone, version 4.1.3: is this the latest? (It is hard to tell on the update site.)
I will be testing it shortly, but how will the desktop handle external fields?
1- can you set up the external fields on the desktop?
When you attempt to do this it requests a plug in... where do I get the plug in? Or?
2- what is the signature field... it is on the iPhone but not the desktop.
thanks
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Re: External Fields and Windows Desktop

Postby dhaupert » Thu Jun 25, 2009 10:48 am

Hi,

That's a great set of questions! See below:

I will be testing it shortly, but how will the desktop handle external fields?
1- can you set up the external fields on the desktop?
When you attempt to do this it requests a plug in... where do I get the plug in? Or?


The external field was implemented differently on all other platforms but the iPhone. Normally the external field type is handled by plugins, add-on applications that extend the functionality. For example, if someone wanted to implement an external field that launched a web page in Firefox, they could develop one without us having to do the work, using the specifications we have outlined in our developers' pages, and then that field functionality would be embedded into the program. This is how it works on Windows desktops, Palm OS and Windows Mobile. And there are a few plugins available for each handheld platform (not sure if there ever was any commercial plugins released for windows or not).

We implemented this differently on the iPhone platform. In this case, we are unable to open this up to developers because of the Apple's Terms of Service for applications, we're not able to permit other applications to be called from our application due to the restrictions placed on applications by Apple. So that meant no external field types. After a while we recognized there are lots of needs for new field types that are iPhone specific accessing external programs on the iPhone, so the workaround was to implement popular requests as built in extensions. That is, as of 4.2, there are a few new field options like taking a picture, dialing a phone number, etc, and these are built into the program. But these are specific to the iPhone only. The other platforms will safely ignore these fields for now.

That said, there is a free plugin we wrote to launch an external app available for the Windows Desktop called LaunchApp. It can be used to launch an image with the default image view, and launch a URL in a web browser as well. I'm trying to locate it as it's not on the HanDBase Gallery (http://www.ddhsoftware.com/gallery) in the Plugins category, as it should be. Once I find it, I'll upload it there so it can be more easily used.


2- what is the signature field... it is on the iPhone but not the desktop.


When HanDBase launched in 1998, devices were black and white only, and so the concept of an image back then meant a black and white image, typically a signature captured, or a quick sketch. The field type was thus called Image. Now, black and white and images don't really go together too often, and since the field type is mainly used for signatures, we renamed the field on the iPhone. Future updates of our other apps will reflect this as well, including the desktop.
We did this to eliminate confusion with the color image support we add via the external field types and on other platforms custom forms that support showing images as well.

Hope this helps!
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Re: External Fields and Windows Desktop

Postby lagunacreek » Thu Jun 25, 2009 11:20 am

This information is a big help.
Clarification request for photos from the Photo Album:
I assume that only the image reference is stored in the database hence 1- it is specific to the particular iPhone and 2- it cannot be viewed on the desktop or another iPhone. Is this correct?
I can see where this would be a very useful field if geotagging is included.
thanks again :D
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Re: External Fields and Windows Desktop

Postby dhaupert » Thu Jun 25, 2009 12:01 pm

lagunacreek wrote:This information is a big help.
Clarification request for photos from the Photo Album:
I assume that only the image reference is stored in the database hence 1- it is specific to the particular iPhone and 2- it cannot be viewed on the desktop or another iPhone. Is this correct?
I can see where this would be a very useful field if geotagging is included.
thanks again :D


Hi,

We cannot store the entire image in the database- the database would soon eat up all available program memory and would take forever to upload to a device if it gets too big. So yes, we store a reference to it.

The Desktop Connect feature now has an option to download the image archive as a zip file. You can then place that somewhere and access the images as needed. Also, you can upload images to an iPhone via the upload option in the Desktop connect feature. This is how you could transfer images to another iPhone.

Working on updates to the conduit to automate saving of images stored as well.

Lastly, re: geotagging, I'm not sure how I can get that information from the photo, but it's a great idea. I will check into it. I know we are planning on an external field type to get the GPS coordinates so that can hopefully lead to the same end result.
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Re: External Fields and Windows Desktop

Postby lagunacreek » Thu Jun 25, 2009 12:36 pm

Yes... the GPS info would be great!
Desktop Connect: since I sync using the professional version I never realized it was there... I just took a look at at... so I see what you mean.
I have always enjoyed using HanDBase: it has really grown and matured. You are adding some great features! Thanks
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Re: External Fields and Windows Desktop

Postby Treanot » Wed Jan 28, 2015 5:34 pm

I was wondering the same thing regarding the Plug in. Long time user, but new Form user. The reason I am using the Form is to be able to print a record (or email) a single record with an image. It seems that only Form allows you to do this (email as a PDF). I'm having a ton of problems making this work, but I am working it out.
I can not find the Launchapp to control External Field Types while using the Windows software. Any chance to reload it, or make it available. I've been using the forums to find solutions to my problems, but this one has either, been long dated or I'm not looking at the correct link.
Many thanks
george
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Re: External Fields and Windows Desktop

Postby DavidDevaneyJr » Thu Feb 05, 2015 1:51 am

Treanot wrote:I was wondering the same thing regarding the Plug in. Long time user, but new Form user. The reason I am using the Form is to be able to print a record (or email) a single record with an image. It seems that only Form allows you to do this (email as a PDF). I'm having a ton of problems making this work, but I am working it out.
I can not find the Launchapp to control External Field Types while using the Windows software. Any chance to reload it, or make it available. I've been using the forums to find solutions to my problems, but this one has either, been long dated or I'm not looking at the correct link.
Many thanks
george


It looks like the Launchapp Plugin for the Desktop was re-named at some point. It's now called "HanDBase Desktop FileLink Plugin" and can be found at the following link in the Gallery. It still has the same functions described earlier in this thread though.

http://www.ddhsoftware.com/gallery.html?show=number&record=4692
Regards,
David Devaney, Jr.
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Re: External Fields and Windows Desktop

Postby golfinguy » Mon Apr 06, 2015 3:50 pm

DavidDevaneyJr wrote:
Treanot wrote:I was wondering the same thing regarding the Plug in. Long time user, but new Form user. The reason I am using the Form is to be able to print a record (or email) a single record with an image. It seems that only Form allows you to do this (email as a PDF). I'm having a ton of problems making this work, but I am working it out.
I can not find the Launchapp to control External Field Types while using the Windows software. Any chance to reload it, or make it available. I've been using the forums to find solutions to my problems, but this one has either, been long dated or I'm not looking at the correct link.
Many thanks
george


It looks like the Launchapp Plugin for the Desktop was re-named at some point. It's now called "HanDBase Desktop FileLink Plugin" and can be found at the following link in the Gallery. It still has the same functions described earlier in this thread though.

http://www.ddhsoftware.com/gallery.html?show=number&record=4692


I'm hoping to find the time to test all this soon, but given the iPhone-WindowsPC sync with external types... is it still possible to edit the fields and forms on either/both platforms and sync, or do I have to do all the editing on the iPhone if using the external pictures type?

And unrelated - I have a desktop and a surface, would I have to license twice?
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Re: External Fields and Windows Desktop

Postby Brian_Houghton » Tue Apr 07, 2015 5:36 am

You'll want to do all things related to the external field and images on the iPhone because that is an iOS specific feature right now.

HanDBase's desktop licenses are per computer, indicating you would need a separate license to install on an additional device.
Kind Regards,
Brian Houghton, DDH Software
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Re: External Fields and Windows Desktop

Postby DavidDevaneyJr » Mon Apr 20, 2015 12:38 am

golfinguy wrote:I'm hoping to find the time to test all this soon, but given the iPhone-WindowsPC sync with external types... is it still possible to edit the fields and forms on either/both platforms and sync, or do I have to do all the editing on the iPhone if using the external pictures type?

And unrelated - I have a desktop and a surface, would I have to license twice?


Because of the way the External fields are configured on the iPhone and on the Windows PC you would actually have to have two different External Fields. One would be to view the image on the iPhone, looking at another field for the image file name, and a second external field pointing to the filelink.dll plugin file on the desktop, which could also look at the same field for the image file name, so you don't have to duplicate that info. But the two separate External Fields would be required to be able to view/open the image on the desktop PC.

Because of the above, it would not affect syncing any any way. The field with the image file name would sync as normal and the External fields would be independent of each other so would not affect the syncing in any way.
Regards,
David Devaney, Jr.
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