FileMaker to Run on Pocket PCs

By Timothy Dyck  |  Posted 2002-08-12 Print this article Print

Getting a FileMaker database to wherever it's needed will be easier for FileMaker users next month when FileMaker Mobile 2.1 ships.

Getting a FileMaker database to wherever its needed will be easier for FileMaker users next month when FileMaker Mobile 2.1 ships.

The $49 product (there arent upgrade options) gains support for running and synchronizing FileMaker databases on Pocket PC PDAs. Palm devices are already supported.

In my tests with a Compaq iPaq 3870, I could simply check the FileMaker Mobile Companion option to share a database with my device. I could also choose to copy only certain fields to the PDA, as well as shorten field labels.

No layout forms get preserved in the mobile version (I just had the option of a grid view or basic list view), but drop-down lists and check-box controls do transfer over.

The Mobile version also has a nice pop-up date control that makes entering dates easy. In addition to data entry, I could search for a string in a particular field or sort the database on a single field.

Unfortunately, no data validation rules are enforced by FileMaker Mobile, even if they are defined on the desktop. Validation rules allow database designers to require that certain fields always be entered or that numeric fields actually contain numbers.

Users accustomed to validation rules sanity-checking their entries on the desktop will have to be careful to visually check entries on a PDA before saving them.

To handle conflicts where a record is changed on both the PDA and the desktop, we could choose to have either version be the master or have a duplicate record be created.

Bar-code scanners are supported, so this product will be useful in inventory or warehouse settings where FileMaker is in use.

Timothy Dyck is a Senior Analyst with eWEEK Labs. He has been testing and reviewing application server, database and middleware products and technologies for eWEEK since 1996. Prior to joining eWEEK, he worked at the LAN and WAN network operations center for a large telecommunications firm, in operating systems and development tools technical marketing for a large software company and in the IT department at a government agency. He has an honors bachelors degree of mathematics in computer science from the University of Waterloo in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, and a masters of arts degree in journalism from the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario, Canada.

Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...
Manage your Newsletters: Login   Register My Newsletters

Rocket Fuel