Relational Database 
Author Message
 Relational Database

<snip>
Well, still hoping to see some thoughts from others on databases for
the Palm OS. To recap the questions in shorter form, my last (and so
far unanswered) questions were:

1. Functionality, especially for HanDBase and ThinkDB.
2. Design tips for two-linked-table system with 2,000 records in each
   table.
3. Feasibility of ThinkDB without desktop part.

I can offer a couple of tentative notes toward the answers, but really
hoping to reach some of the wise heads out there in Internet-land.

HanDBase is slick in terms of importing the data, but the linkage
between the tables is strange, and performance looks to be
unacceptable. Searching or filtering with 2,000 records is quite slow,
in the minute+ range, and that's with no linkage between the tables.
The records are only about 65 characters each (in the larger table).
Strangely enough, the HanDBase versions are about twice as large as
the original text CDFs. However, the process itself was relatively
painless, which encourages more exploration and experimentation, and
maybe I can find some tips or tuneups.

IBM's DB2 Everywhere was freely downloadable, and I couldn't even find
any prices, which seemed strange. Software is not IBM's usual charity
area. However, setting up the system was quite daunting, and I
couldn't get the entire system to run yet, though most of the pieces
were in place. Tremendous learning curve, and so far can't even see if
it would be worth it, whereas with HanDBase there were lots of good
and usable examples to be motivated by.

Next stop will be ThinkDB... Initial impressions were mixed, but it
might be possible to live with the Palm version only, as long as I can
import my old data. New data enters that database at a very slow rate.
And it's not like the desktop software is such a major investment,
though if I start putting money on all the horses I'm sure to lose.

So any thoughts or experiences to share?

.a/ssig
Q: Two bullets, but you face tiger, lawyer, and spamnut.
   What should you do?
A: Shoot the spammer twice.



Fri, 13 Aug 2004 16:12:21 GMT
 Relational Database

Quote:



> Well, still hoping to see some thoughts from others on databases for
> the Palm OS. To recap the questions in shorter form, my last (and so
> far unanswered) questions were:

> 1. Functionality, especially for HanDBase and ThinkDB.
> 2. Design tips for two-linked-table system with 2,000 records in each
>    table.
> 3. Feasibility of ThinkDB without desktop part.

> I can offer a couple of tentative notes toward the answers, but really
> hoping to reach some of the wise heads out there in Internet-land.

> HanDBase is slick in terms of importing the data, but the linkage
> between the tables is strange, and performance looks to be
> unacceptable. Searching or filtering with 2,000 records is quite slow,
> in the minute+ range, and that's with no linkage between the tables.
> The records are only about 65 characters each (in the larger table).
> Strangely enough, the HanDBase versions are about twice as large as
> the original text CDFs. However, the process itself was relatively
> painless, which encourages more exploration and experimentation, and
> maybe I can find some tips or tuneups.

> IBM's DB2 Everywhere was freely downloadable, and I couldn't even find
> any prices, which seemed strange. Software is not IBM's usual charity
> area. However, setting up the system was quite daunting, and I
> couldn't get the entire system to run yet, though most of the pieces
> were in place. Tremendous learning curve, and so far can't even see if
> it would be worth it, whereas with HanDBase there were lots of good
> and usable examples to be motivated by.

> Next stop will be ThinkDB... Initial impressions were mixed, but it
> might be possible to live with the Palm version only, as long as I can
> import my old data. New data enters that database at a very slow rate.
> And it's not like the desktop software is such a major investment,
> though if I start putting money on all the horses I'm sure to lose.

> So any thoughts or experiences to share?

> .a/ssig
> Q: Two bullets, but you face tiger, lawyer, and spamnut.
>    What should you do?
> A: Shoot the spammer twice.

I don't use a desktop PC for any of my regular computing any more. I use a
Linux box for internet access when I'm at home and to back up my Palms, but
other than that I use a Palm Vx for my day to day computing.

I use ThinkDB, and have since they released the product. It is a good tool
and I've developed several databases, some with multiple one-to-many links
for tracking equipment parts and repair as well as tracking bit usage on
tooling. I also use it for extensively tracking parts cutting on a CNC
router that I run.

I have found it to be a good tool that does what I want it to. The only
complaint I've ever had about it is that if you try to print a relatively
complex database with calls to another database, it'll die. Since I "never"
print anything (the computer and data is in my pocket so what's the point?)
this doesn't bother me.

It is a good product that does what it says and I recommend it for
like-minded users. However, if you are still tied to your desktop PC,
you'll need to investigate the PC side since I've never seen it.

--
--
Dave



Thu, 26 Aug 2004 01:18:37 GMT
 Relational Database
<snip>

Quote:
> I don't use a desktop PC for any of my regular computing any more. I use a
> Linux box for internet access when I'm at home and to back up my Palms, but
> other than that I use a Palm Vx for my day to day computing.

> I use ThinkDB, and have since they released the product. It is a good tool
> and I've developed several databases, some with multiple one-to-many links
> for tracking equipment parts and repair as well as tracking bit usage on
> tooling. I also use it for extensively tracking parts cutting on a CNC
> router that I run.

> I have found it to be a good tool that does what I want it to. The only
> complaint I've ever had about it is that if you try to print a relatively
> complex database with calls to another database, it'll die. Since I "never"
> print anything (the computer and data is in my pocket so what's the point?)
> this doesn't bother me.

> It is a good product that does what it says and I recommend it for
> like-minded users. However, if you are still tied to your desktop PC,
> you'll need to investigate the PC side since I've never seen it.

Interesting to hear, but I feel like I need to respond by reporting on
my experiences with ThinkDB, because they weren't very positive. I
agree that the product is pretty good, and mostly does what it says,
and seems to run several times faster than HanDBase. However, they
don't actually support Windows very well, so the desktop side of it
seems utterly useless to me. I guess you never ran into that from the
Linux perspective, but I'm not running my Linux box anymore. I've
already gone a couple of rounds with the ThinkDB support person, and
their basic position is that they know it's broken in those places,
and they apparently have no plans to fix it.

My Palm OS device is a Sony CLIE, but it isn't clear to me that I can
keep the application alive there only. It's quite possible that I can
finish importing the rest of the data, though battling with their
broken desktop was quite an unpleasant experience. Looks to me like it
would be a data trap. Even if I can design and implement the rest of
the application without the desktop, if I then add a significant
amount of new data, I won't be able to get it out.

One conclusion is that I certainly don't feel like sending them any
money for that kind of a black hole. Or are there other programs that
can access the ThinkDB format? From what I've learned of their
non-standard propensities, it seems very unlikely, and nothing to be
relied on.



Mon, 30 Aug 2004 20:45:19 GMT
 Relational Database
Well, feel like I'm supposed to try to provide some closure to this
Palm OS database thread, though mostly disappointed that there weren't
more helpful comments... To summarize:

IBM's DB2 Everyplace seemed too difficult to set up, though I may
still go back and give it another shot. My current impression is that
it was like a trench mortar, but I'm just trying to swat a few flies.

ThinkDB was fatally flawed on the desktop and in the support, and
though the Palm side seemed good, I dropped it. Fast Palm-side
performance was especially impressive, however. They also use the
your-data-is-hostage 'marketing' technique if you run past the trial
period, but the trial period is so short that I suppose most people
would not have much to lose there.

HanDBase seemed pretty fair, though limited in both functionality and
performance. I sent their support people a query about my remaining
issues, mostly licensing questions, and I never heard back from them.
If I do, and if their response is worth reporting on, I'll add to this
thread. However right now I consider it no better (but more expensive)
than the next entry...

Right now I've started experimenting with a free database called
pilot-db from SourceForge. Functionally and in terms of performance,
it basically seems to be about the same as HanDBase, though there is
no desktop client, which could be a problem later on. I'll be
investigating some related tools which may take care of that, or maybe
I'll just try to live on the CLIE.

Still be glad to read some of your experiences and evaluations...



Sat, 18 Sep 2004 17:42:43 GMT
 Relational Database
Have you checked out SQL Anywhere from Sybase?  It allows you to
deploy relational applications to handheld devices.
Quote:

> Well, feel like I'm supposed to try to provide some closure to this
> Palm OS database thread, though mostly disappointed that there weren't
> more helpful comments... To summarize:

> IBM's DB2 Everyplace seemed too difficult to set up, though I may
> still go back and give it another shot. My current impression is that
> it was like a trench mortar, but I'm just trying to swat a few flies.

> ThinkDB was fatally flawed on the desktop and in the support, and
> though the Palm side seemed good, I dropped it. Fast Palm-side
> performance was especially impressive, however. They also use the
> your-data-is-hostage 'marketing' technique if you run past the trial
> period, but the trial period is so short that I suppose most people
> would not have much to lose there.

> HanDBase seemed pretty fair, though limited in both functionality and
> performance. I sent their support people a query about my remaining
> issues, mostly licensing questions, and I never heard back from them.
> If I do, and if their response is worth reporting on, I'll add to this
> thread. However right now I consider it no better (but more expensive)
> than the next entry...

> Right now I've started experimenting with a free database called
> pilot-db from SourceForge. Functionally and in terms of performance,
> it basically seems to be about the same as HanDBase, though there is
> no desktop client, which could be a problem later on. I'll be
> investigating some related tools which may take care of that, or maybe
> I'll just try to live on the CLIE.

> Still be glad to read some of your experiences and evaluations...



Sun, 19 Sep 2004 00:39:54 GMT
 Relational Database
I think the desktop is "fatally flawed" too. They could have done a better
job. There is no way that I would consign important information to the
desktop. I once entered an hour's worth of data only to find that I had not
clicked "save and install", as such all the data was gone. When you back up
data it switches to the backup file: I've entered information in the back up
file when I wanted to enter information in the main file. Why can't one
backup and save easily without having to give so much thought to what is
happening? There are countless other weird quirks that scare me also. The
amount of "attention" and carefullness required to enter data and to make
sure you do not loose it is absurd. A program should inspire confidence that
the data entered will be safe and easy to enter.  The palm side is good but
the desktop is almost a joke.
Quote:
> ThinkDB was fatally flawed on the desktop and in the support, and
> though the Palm side seemed good, I dropped it. Fast Palm-side
> performance was especially impressive, however. They also use the
> your-data-is-hostage 'marketing' technique if you run past the trial
> period, but the trial period is so short that I suppose most people
> would not have much to lose there.

>...



Sun, 19 Sep 2004 01:12:39 GMT
 Relational Database

Quote:

> Right now I've started experimenting with a free database called
> pilot-db from SourceForge. Functionally and in terms of performance,
> it basically seems to be about the same as HanDBase, though there is
> no desktop client, which could be a problem later on. I'll be
> investigating some related tools which may take care of that, or maybe
> I'll just try to live on the CLIE.

I've been using pilot-db for a while, with success.  Note that while
it doesn't have a desktop side, you can back it up to the desktop and
use the pdb2csv program to convert to a comma-separated-values text
file, which you can manipulate with the spreadsheet program of your
choice.
--
Joseph J. Pfeiffer, Jr., Ph.D.       Phone -- (505) 646-1605
Department of Computer Science       FAX   -- (505) 646-1002
New Mexico State University          http://www.cs.nmsu.edu/~pfeiffer
Southwestern NM Regional Science and Engr Fair:  http://www.nmsu.edu/~scifair


Sun, 19 Sep 2004 03:23:26 GMT
 Relational Database
You should check out CASL (www.caslsoft.com).
It's a VB type programming language with a nice indexed built-in database.

The database can be set up to link to a desktop ODBC data client (just about
any database: Access, DB2, Oracle, Sybase, FoxPro, etc.).

It's a very nice programming language and environment. Easy to get started
and you won't run out of power.

/Mark


Quote:
> Well, feel like I'm supposed to try to provide some closure to this
> Palm OS database thread, though mostly disappointed that there weren't
> more helpful comments... To summarize:

> IBM's DB2 Everyplace seemed too difficult to set up, though I may
> still go back and give it another shot. My current impression is that
> it was like a trench mortar, but I'm just trying to swat a few flies.

> ThinkDB was fatally flawed on the desktop and in the support, and
> though the Palm side seemed good, I dropped it. Fast Palm-side
> performance was especially impressive, however. They also use the
> your-data-is-hostage 'marketing' technique if you run past the trial
> period, but the trial period is so short that I suppose most people
> would not have much to lose there.

> HanDBase seemed pretty fair, though limited in both functionality and
> performance. I sent their support people a query about my remaining
> issues, mostly licensing questions, and I never heard back from them.
> If I do, and if their response is worth reporting on, I'll add to this
> thread. However right now I consider it no better (but more expensive)
> than the next entry...

> Right now I've started experimenting with a free database called
> pilot-db from SourceForge. Functionally and in terms of performance,
> it basically seems to be about the same as HanDBase, though there is
> no desktop client, which could be a problem later on. I'll be
> investigating some related tools which may take care of that, or maybe
> I'll just try to live on the CLIE.

> Still be glad to read some of your experiences and evaluations...



Sun, 19 Sep 2004 05:38:34 GMT
 
 [ 8 post ] 

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