Meeting Recap for June 8, 2002

FoxPro News:

Based on the idea of a member of the Universal Thread, the Fox Team at Microsoft is reportedly working on an official "Powered by Visual FoxPro" graphic that developers can include in their applications. Keep an eye out for that. I expect it will readily available from the Visual FoxPro website (http://msdn.microsoft.com/vfoxpro/ ) once it becomes available.

Main Presentation:

Martha Kroll presented the topic "How I *Inexpensively* converted FoxPro data to a PDA". She walked us through creating a simple PDA app, and transferring FoxPro data to and from it, using a tool called PDA toolbox. This tool is available FREE from http://www.pdatoolbox.com. For the low, low price of $25, you can upgrade it to a registered version, which gives you tech support and some additional bells and whistles. Would you like to try it, but don't have a PDA? No problem! FREE Palm OS emulators are available from http://www.palmos.com/dev/tools/emulator. Just download the skin(s) that match the Palm(s) you wish to develop for.

PDA Toolboxhttp://www.pdatoolbox.com/ (FREE - $25 for a registered version)

Palm OS Emulator - http://www.palmos.com/dev/tools/emulator/ (FREE)

The following steps will take you through developing your own PDA app using FoxPro data. It is recommended you refer to the PDA Toolbox tutorial for additional information about options not covered within this presentation.

  1. Print out the structure of an existing FoxPro DBF

  2. Determine unique four letter field names to represent the FoxPro fields for the PDA form to create (If your DBF includes a memo field, I converted that information to a character field…for which you are limited to 254 characters, although I can’t say that is the only answer)

  3. Open PDA Toolbox, new project, set properties (creator ID can be registered with Palm.com to insure the app developed doesn’t crash into an existing app - www.PalmOS/dev/tools/ - select Creator ID from Quick Index)

  4. Create a new form, add fields with names to correspond to the Fox Pro dbf

  5. Save project

  6. Build app

  7. Load app onto Palm

  8. Add a single record (make sure to add some sort of data to EVERY field)

  9. Sync Palm to bring new data back to PC

  10. Convert the PDB into a TXT using PDA Toolbox Conversion Utility

  11. The first time this is done an XDF will be created (file that defines the structure of the PDB file). Access the XDF in the PDA Toolbox Conversion Utility to verify the sequence of fields

  12. In FoxPro, copy the DBF to a TXT with FIELDS command listing fields in the same order as the XDF

  13. Convert this TXT into a PDB

  14. Load the new pdb to be sync’d to the Palm and the data from the original FoxPro file will be added on the next sync.

  15. App can be tested and run on the Palm OS Emulator in lieu of actually having a PDA (a ROM file will be required to tell the Emulator which PDA it is to "behave" like)

Next Meeting:

Please mark your calendars! We are excited to announce that we have scheduled a special event for Saturday, August 3, featuring regular FoxPro conference speaker, former Tips and Tricks editor for FoxPro Advisor, and principal author of the Visual Maxframe framework, Drew Speedie. The festivities will start at 9:00AM with a half-day presentation on the Visual Maxframe framework, followed by lunch, then a general Visual FoxPro topic, to be determined, in the afternoon. Lunch will be by reservation, and a small fee will be charged to non-members for the lunch and the afternoon topic. A summary of the morning presentation can be viewed now at http://www.visionds.com/vmpsite/vmplive.asp. More details will follow.

Plans are also in the works for Drew to conduct a Visual Maxframe class on Monday, August 5. A minimum of probably 5 attendees will be required in order for this class to take place. There will be a discount for multiple attendees from the same company, and a 30-day free trial of the full Visual Maxframe framework for those who do not currently own the product. Details of this class will be available very soon from both us and Vision Data Solutions (the developers of Visual Maxframe). Stay tuned.

As always, if there's anything that you'd be willing to present, or there's a topic that you would really like to cover at a future meeting, please send me an email and let me know (potjerm@optimalinternet.com).

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