Other Ways to Sync Data with a Handheld - File Maker

In addition to FileMaker Mobile, there are many other interesting bits of software and hardware out there that can allow you to take data with you in a handheld, including Pocket PCs and even wireless devices like cell phones. Here are a handful of the most popular ones.

Pocket PC Integration
At press time, a version of FileMaker Mobile that would also sync databases with Pocket PC–based handhelds was just released. The new version seems to have identical functionality to the last version (except for added support for the Pocket PC platform), but check this book’s or FileMaker’s Web site for any updates concerning this version of the software.

VizMotion has developed a clever and powerful set of Palm OS conduits that allow you to sync FileMaker databases directly with the standard Palm OS applications of Address Book, To Do List, Memo Pad, and Date Book. No FileMaker Mobile required. So if you were a hair stylist, for example, who had a FileMaker based appointment book that kept track of all your clients’ hair styling visits, you could use VizSync to sync that FileMaker database directly with the Palm OS Date Book application. Another cool thing is that all of these conduits can synchronize with shared, multi-user databases (with FileMaker Pro or FileMaker Server!).

These conduits are definitely worth a look. Once you get them set up to work with your solution (a detailed how to guide that comes with each conduit shows you how), you might find that this type of synchronization is just what your users need.

JFile is a pretty popular database application available for the Palm OS. Just recently, though, FMSync stopped being developed, but at the Web site you’ll see that FMSync may rise again as an open-source way to sync FileMaker with JFile. Perhaps by press time, more will have become of this.

Another very popular Palm OS database application is HanDBase, developed by DDH Software, Inc. Note that HanDBase Sync Exchange for FileMaker is, at present, for Macs only.

HanDBase is a great little Palm OS (and Pocket PC, too) database that can sync with many different desktop database applications, including via ODBC connectivity, and is very customizable, so your data can look just how you want it to on your handheld. And unlike FileMaker Mobile or JFile, HanDBase is relational. Check it out.

Integration with Wireless Devices
For those of you wanting to sync FileMaker data, live, without wires, from a wireless handheld out in the field to your FileMaker database system back in the office.

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