for PalmOS, by Matthew Holmes, Patrick Burton & Roger
Knoell, , ISBN 0-596-00200-9
by: O'Reilly & Associates, go
to the web site
98 or higher, a PalmOS PDA
Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) are terrifically
popular. Hand-in-hand with this sort of popularity
is the demand for Palm OS software. There are thousands
of titles available now and the number is growing
at a tremendous rate. Literally millions of PalmOS-based
PDAs have been sold over the past six years, so it
was only a matter of time before Visual Basic (arguably
the most popular development platform) was given
access to PalmOS.
integrating into the Visual Basic environment,
the AppForge Basic Compiler has dropped Palm development
into the heart of the tool used most often by VB
Programmers. In fact, Visual Basic in conjunction
with AppForge seems to be one of the favorite development
environments for the Palm OS.
book provides a framework for application design, development
and installation for the Palm handheld. The authors suggest
that while the reader should have experience with the property-method-event
model of VB programming, no familiarity with Palm products
is assumed or required. I disagree because many of the examples
assume (and the UI screenshots support) the need for at least
a passing familiarity with PalmOS and its software. The book
is advertised as being aimed primarily at corporate software
developers, software architects, middleware developers and
engineering managers. These people need to understand the
strengths and limits of programming on the Palm and how to
integrate Visual Basic language Palm applications into their
corporate IT infrastructure or product offerings. The book
teaches readers how to create a host of business applications
including security, wireless and database connectivity programs.
of the book's topics include thorough coverage of Palm user
interface and database programming techniques; Data Synchronization
including how to build, test and install a conduit using Visual
Basic and COM; Web Clipping applications and how to interface
those applications to Microsoft's Active Server Page framework;
extending the AppForge Palm application using shared libraries
and ActiveX-like components.
first part of the book covers the AppForge add-in. Part I
also covers the basics of the Palm programming environment
and provides download access tips for obtaining the necessary
second part of the book delves into the use of VB programming
to interface Palm OS with a variety of data systems. There's
emphasis on proper design and debugging too. In addition,
Part II explains conduit development, designing and coding
SQL applications, and lots of printed examples using conduits
to illustrate desktop data exchange.
III covers interprocess communication, building shared libraries
and generally extending the power of VB. There are a couple
of good examples of how to go about accessing other applications,
something which the authors describe as "tricky".
You'll also find plenty of debugging tools and tips.
Lots of printed examples but no CD-ROM - yeesh - too much
transcription in other words. Not enough information about
standard and wireless application security.
It's about time - this book has been needed (along with AppForge)
for quite some time. It's well worth the money and hopefully
will help kick off a surge of PalmOS development in VB. Very
little introductory nonsense and hard-sell foreword fluff
- a welcome relief since 99% of all readers will already be
willing or forced converts. If you don't have the time to
learn a new development environment and you're an application
designer interested in PalmOS for private, corporate or network
use, this book is a must read. Recommended.
to the Editor are welcome and occasionally abused in public.
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