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Trouble synching HanDBase with Alpha Five / ODBC

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  • Trouble synching HanDBase with Alpha Five / ODBC

    I've searched the A5 Forums re this topic and can't see where anyone has ever admitted to succeeding in syching Alpha Five with the popular "mobile"/PDA HanDBase.

    Threads and Knowledgebase articles show that back in 2003 the DDH and Alpha folks got together and developed a synch. But, threads from those days suggest that there were problems.

    I'm a longtime user of HanDBase on the Palm OS. A few years ago I'd successfully set up some MS Access tables that synched with HDB databases. But, I quickly learned that I HATE Access -- leave it to MS to design something that is SO obtuse and non-intuitive!

    And now lately I've been "experimenting" with Alpha Five and having some fun doing it.

    I've installed the HDB Enterprise edition which has the ODBC facility. I'm currently running A5 ver 8 but have purchased ver 9, just haven't yet set it up.

    I've been working with David Haupert in the DDH Software Forum http://www.ddhsoftware.com/forum/index.php and have followed the 2003 article Article Number 237 in the DDH Knowledgebase but am concluding that changes in A5 over the years have rendered the described process unusable.

    I'm not a trained software developer or anything so am limited in what I might cook up on my own.

    I'm wondering if there isn't someoine out there who's cracked this!?

    Jim
    -- i wish i knew then what i know now --

  • #2
    Re: Trouble synching HanDBase with Alpha Five / ODBC

    Hi Jim,

    I've spent days on this, and I'm afraid I never got it working. Using ODBC drivers, I got as far as persuading most data types to move to HanDBase, but memo fields always failed miserably.

    As a compromise, I now have an "Export to Access" button on my main form, to export the major tables to Access tables, and then sync these with HanDBase. Which means, of course, it is only one-way; any changes on the Palm will get overwritten at the next export.

    I've toyed with the idea of rejigging everything so that my A5 app runs off Access tables, but as I don't actually own an up-to-date copy of Access, I'm reluctant to go down that path (and I haven't yet got to grips with SQL databases in A5).

    If anyone knows how to sync A5V9 (or V8) native files to HanDBase, please share !

    Pete

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Trouble synching HanDBase with Alpha Five / ODBC

      Hey Pete! Thanks for jumping right out of the woodwork. On a lot of these forums tons of folks lurk and view but never click "Reply."

      You say, "Using ODBC drivers, I got as far as persuading most data types to move to HanDBase, but memo fields always failed miserably." That suggests that while you've had more ODBC success than me, you weren't able to "synch back" from HDB to A5.

      Generally, it sounds like you and I are at pretty much at the same stage of "success." Instead of involving Access-type tables I have an elaborate collection of A5 operations (some accessible via buttons on forms) that export A5 tables as text .csv files. Then, using the HanDBase Desktop, I import those .csv's into existing HDB databases which then get synched into HDB my Palm Centro smartphone. I'd learned that by importing into existing databases I can guarantee that field types will transit without damage -- even A5 Memo into HDB Note

      When necessary, to get data from the PDA back to A5 on the PC, from the HDB Desktop I export text .csv's and then import them into existing tables in A5.

      One of the things that initially led me to Alpha Five was that is used .dbf format tables. I'd started using .dbf's in dBaseIII in the mid '80s and continued right along with them in a db applications program called Approach which went from indie, to being owned by Lotus and then/now IBM.

      That 2003 article Article in the DDH Knowledgebase Number 237 talks about A5 using "Visual FoxPro 2.6 .dbf format" tables and that's why they have us setting up that flavor of ODBC driver. Like I said in my earlier post, I'm guessing that the A5 table formats have evolved some since 2003.

      So, I'm echoing your plea:

      If anyone knows how to sync A5V9 (or V8) native files to HanDBase, please share !
      -- i wish i knew then what i know now --

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Trouble synching HanDBase with Alpha Five / ODBC

        Originally posted by Bonbon View Post
        I've spent days on this, and I'm afraid I never got it working. Using ODBC drivers, I got as far as persuading most data types to move to HanDBase, but memo fields always failed miserably.

        ...<snip>...
        I just wanted to update this thread.

        At the suggestion of Dave Haupert at DDH, I've now sent all "particulars" to DDH's David Devaney -- sounds like he must be their "other database expert."

        I'll cross-post here with the results.

        Again: If anyone knows how to sync A5V9 (or V8) native files to HanDBase, please share !

        Jim
        Last edited by Shepherd Jim; 10-06-2009, 09:56 AM.
        -- i wish i knew then what i know now --

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Trouble synching HanDBase with Alpha Five / ODBC

          I may be mistaken, but I think the problem was with the Visual Foxpro ODBC driver. It wasn't working 100%, and with Foxpro being an old product, I don't think anyone has ever brought the driver up to date.

          However, I would love to be proved wrong !

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Trouble synching HanDBase with Alpha Five / ODBC

            Originally posted by Bonbon View Post
            ...<snip>..I think the problem was with the Visual Foxpro ODBC driver. It wasn't working 100%, and with Foxpro being an old product, I don't think anyone has ever brought the driver up to date.
            ...<snip>...
            I suspect you're 100% spot on. I'd guess back in 2003 somebody determined/decided that A5's dbf table structure was closer to Foxpro's than any other. I say "closer" because judging from the trouble people were having back then the db structures were not identical.

            Adding to our troubles here in 2009, the Microsoft VFpro ODBC driver hasn't changed while Alpha has upgraded A5 any number of times.

            Most software companies have cottoned on to the fact that the "mobile web" is growing and may wind up being THE WEB. I don't know how many different "database apps" there are for iPhone and such but would have thought that it would be in Alpha's best interest to develop and maintain "synch communication".
            -- i wish i knew then what i know now --

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Trouble synching HanDBase with Alpha Five / ODBC

              Jim,

              We've been using pocket PC's for years and th only reliable way is to export to a CSV file and then import that into handbase. It's an extra step but it can be mostly automated so it's not that bad.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Trouble synching HanDBase with Alpha Five / ODBC

                I know this is an old thread but, I went NUTS trying to sync my desktop files with my WM6.1 smartphone until I found Visual CE. Easily configured, handles memo fields, great tech support.

                Now I'm searching for way to sync with an Android smartphone...

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Trouble synching HanDBase with Alpha Five / ODBC

                  Hi James: I'm a bit embarrassed to admit that I haven't made much progress resolving my situation. I was (am) using HanDBase on the Palm OS (Palm Centro smart phone). Like you, I've moved onto Android (Verizon Droid) for the mobile side of things and hopefully, within a few weeks, HanDBase will have been ported over to run on Android.

                  I'm hopeful that somehow synching from HanDBase to Alpha Five might work successfully once HDB is on Android.

                  It's funny -- all the hoopla and hype about APPS ...and there doesn't seem to be ONE good database builder.

                  Jim
                  -- i wish i knew then what i know now --

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Trouble synching HanDBase with Alpha Five / ODBC

                    Jim,

                    Just heard from Syware that they are working on an Android version of Visual CE. I think they are the best solution. I used the WM6 version of Visual CE for years. Worked great with my A5 dbf files. I could sort, add and edit records on my smartphone and they'd sync to my A5 stuff via USB when I got home.

                    I have also tried Cellica to Sync with A5 but it doesn't recognize my memo fields.

                    -James

                    Comment

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