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PalmPilot: The Ultimate Guide, Second Edition by David Pogue

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Chapter 12. Database and Number Crunching

Because the PalmPilot was designed from Day One to be a bucket for desktop data, it should come as no surprise that Palm databases and spreadsheets abound. You can easily shuttle files between the PalmPilot and databases like Microsoft Access or FileMaker Pro, or between Palm spreadsheets and Microsoft Excel; for thousands of businesses, large and small, Palm data- and number-crunching software opens up new portable possibilities.

All of the programs described in this chapter are included on this book’s CD-ROM, in either shareware or trial form.

Palm Database Software

As usual, the best software in the database category isn’t sold in stores—it’s shareware. In decreasing order of power and sophistication, the three best-known database programs are HanDBase (pronounced “handy base”), JFile, and MobileDB; all three are excellent.

First, however, an important caution: except for FM Sync (described later in this chapter), these programs don’t offer genuine HotSync conduits. That is, they don’t HotSync with your desktop database on a record-by-record level. (A record is one entry in your database—one card in the catalog.) When you HotSync, your entire database gets transferred to or from the PalmPilot, but individual entries within that database aren’t compared with the desktop PC. At all times, you must keep track of where the “live” database file is: either on the PalmPilot or your desktop computer. (Contrast with the built-in Palm programs, where ...

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