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Palm Database Programming:
A comprehensive guide to Palm OS programming, with special emphasis on database manipulation using the low-level Palm OS functionality and higher-level add-ons from Sybase and Oracle.
New! The first five chapters of the book are now reprinted on this website in HTML format. No registration required, but please respect the copyright and disclaimer notices.
|Publisher:||John Wiley & Sons|
Published in late 1999, parts of this book are now dated. Interestingly enough, the first five chapters are still very relevant today, though, because the basic architecture of Palm OS (from 1.x to 5.x) has not changed significantly. If you're looking for a good introduction to Palm OS programming, even if you're not especially interested in the database aspects, the first five chapters are very useful. These chapters are now available online in HTML format for your reading pleasure.
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Included with the book is a CD-ROM with a complete set of development tools, reference documentation and working examples. (CD-ROM contents are listed below.)
The reader is expected to know C or C++ and know how to use (as to opposed to knowing how to program) a Palm device. Database programming experience is not required.
My wife gave me a PalmPilot Professional as a birthday gift in 1998, primarily because she had seen my excitement at playing with a co-worker's device. Once I got over the initial learning period and had made the device a useful part of my life, the geek in me (see my biography) was curious about how it worked. I didn't have a killer application to develop, but I was interested in learning about the operating system and discovering things like whether or not applications are suspended when you switch from one to another (they're not, by the way, it's all an illusion).
At the time, there were books on using Palm devices, but nothing about programming them. All you had to work with were the official reference materials from Palm Computing (which are actually quite good) and the sample source code for the built-in applications. Given the popularity of the device, that was soon to change, and right now there are several books (including mine, of course) dealing with this topic.
Meanwhile, my employer, iAnywhere Solutions (a Sybase subsidiary), had announced a very cool new technology called UltraLite, which was basically a way of building custom relational databases for handheld and embedded devices. Those custom databases had the built-in ability to synchronize (exchange) their data with conventional external databases. I wasn't on the UltraLite team at that point (I am now), but I was very interested in the technology and I thought it would make a good topic for part of a book.
My interest in Palm programming and UltraLite led directly to the development of this book, a book that strives to make you understand how a Palm device works and how to program it and then goes on to discuss the database programming options that are available to you on that platform.
The book has ten chapters and two appendices, with the main body of text split into three parts.
The accompanying CD-ROM includes the following:
The CD-ROM also includes a couple of miscellaneous utilities for UltraLite development.
Please note that these tools are all extremely dated now. Do not buy this book for the CD-ROM contents only!
See my Palm OS pages for more Palm OS programming information.
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This page was last modified on November 16, 2003