da Vinci Simplifies Palm OS Database Development

ETS Inc., a provider of handheld products and services, has released da Vinci, The Data Architect for the Palm OS platform. da Vinci is a database designer and code generation tool, designed for use with Metrowerks CodeWarrior™ Development Tools for Palm OS, Version 8.

da Vinci allows a development team to reduce the complexity and accelerate the completion of data-driven applications by providing a interface for the design of Palm OS databases and generating code that a developer would otherwise need to write manually in a time consuming process.

Developers can use, modify and extend the code that da Vinci generates with CodeWarrior Development Tools for Palm OS, Version 8, the leading development tool for Palm OS devices. “da Vinci will allow CodeWarrior developers to produce powerful applications for the enterprise and do so in less time,” said Gerardo A. Dada, Senior Product Marketing Manager for Metrowerks. “Metrowerks is pleased to see ETS bring innovative solutions that empower the Palm OS development community.”

Once the required databases are designed, da Vinci generates the required C code for creating and managing the databases under Palm OS. This greatly reduces the time required to become proficient in database development, and the amount of time required to create database structures and the data management framework for a new project.

da Vinci also generates the C code for managing the data. Routines for saving data, deleting data, sorting, creating new data, duplicating data, searching, and much more are provided. These routines are created specifically for the designed data structures, this providing the most efficient and best performing code possible, leveraging the expertise that ETS, Inc has gained through years of professional development on mobile devices. Programming tasks that used to take hours, and even days, can now be reduced to minutes. And the option for generating commented code makes it easier for developers to become proficient at Palm OS database development.

da Vinci will be available via the ETS, Inc. web site, and through various on-line and channel distributors. A electronic download license is available for $149, and a CD-ROM version with printed Users Guide is available for $199 (plus shipping and handling). Screenshots and downloads of da Vinci are available via the ETS web site. The unregistered version of da Vinci is fully functional except for code generation.

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I.M. Anonymous @ 7/3/2002 10:52:11 AM #
Why go through all the trouble just to have a database up and running? There are excellent databases packages out there for around 50 bucks that do all the work for you. Examples are ThinkDB, HanDBase and JFile.
RE: Unnecessary
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/3/2002 10:58:14 AM #
You might not need it to replace your address book like database but for DB integration in aplication development it makes all the sense
RE: Unnecessary
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/3/2002 11:12:45 AM #
Those database programs are horrendously inefficient. Also, you can't sell an app very easily that runs on other database programs because you can't customize the user interface enough, they are slow, you can't implement your own copy protection.

There are plenty of Palm OS applications that are just plain slow and bloated because of this. I'm thinking of Satellite Forms and NSBasic. Creating Codewarrior for Palm OS code is the way to go.

RE: Unnecessary
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/3/2002 11:18:20 AM #
For size and performance, CodeWarrior is the only way to go! And these guys seem to be heading down the right path. Generate the database code in raw C. Then make whatever changes you want. Price could be a little lower though.
RE: Unnecessary
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/3/2002 11:49:07 AM #
Yeah - the original poster of this thread doesn't seem to understand this. We are talking about a tool that simplies db development in c/c++ apps. Satelite Forms is might be great for really simple vertical apps - but for comercial development it is a joke. My company is creating a Palm client for an existing enterprise project management app. Because of the complexity of the database and interface, we didn't even consider tools like this - but for some strange reason, our competition did:


...if you fill out the info in the form of the above link and download the demo, you will be treated to a sample of the worst app i have ever seen on a pda. It requires the Satelite Forms runtime (300k) and the app itself is a few hundred K. It was created for Primivera by a company called Onisys. When i see stuff like this, i can only think that companies like Primivera (and their clients) are being had because they dont know what to expect and they have no real expectations of what a Palm OS app should/could be. BTW - that crappy app costs $250 a pop.

I wish that da Vinci had been out when i started our current project as we are currently doing a ton of work to create an Palm OS app with a very complex db (but hopefully simple interface). Da Vinci might have fit the bill.

PS - some would slag me for the 'poor taste' in picking on my competition (Onisys) - but crap is crap is crap - and needs to be pointed out. Overuse of 3rd part RAD tools for Palm OS can have lame results and needs to stop.

Quite Good
bcombee @ 7/3/2002 12:03:46 PM #
I talked with Tim Trimble and the ETS people at PalmSource, and the technology behind this looks really nice. One advantage of this tool is the code generated by it handles packed database records. That means individual records stored on the device are only as large as their actual data, not as large as the largest possible record.

I don't think the price is that unreasonable either -- it you're a professional programmer, a $200 tool that saves you hours of work is a big win; good contract Palm OS programmers can run from $60/hour to $150/hour depending on their areas of expertise. If you save three hours, you've paid for the app.

CodeWarrior for Palm OS technical lead
Programming help at www.palmoswerks.com

RE: Unnecessary
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/3/2002 7:01:21 PM #
I think pointing out your competition in this way is totally uncalled for, and irrelevant - no matter how you try and justify it to yourself. There are hundreds of commercial solutions running on tools like SatForms, AppForge etc. Would they be running if they were as crap as you say? I think not.

What makes your posting even *more* gutless (if that's possible) is that you posted anonymously!!

For what it's worth I'm a sesasoned Codewarrior developer - so I'm not supporting SatForms etc - just supporting fair-play.


RE: Unnecessary
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/3/2002 7:33:05 PM #
>>There are hundreds of commercial solutions running on tools like SatForms, AppForge etc. Would they be running if they were as crap as you say? I think not

Well Gavin -they are 'crap'. Just click on the link abvove fill out the form and try it. As for mentioning my name i would be happy to after my app launches - til then i've signed an NDA with our client and so i can't say a damn thing. People think it's fine for major companies to put down there competiton (Pepsi/Coke etc) - when there is no difference. Anybody on this site who has actually used a 3rd part DB app for Palm will realize the above linked app IS crap. I did not say that "hundreds of commercial solutions running on tools like SatForms, AppForge etc" (yr words) were all crap. What i said was 'Satelite Forms is might be great for really simple vertical apps'.- which it is. But for anything even slightly complex it triples the memory requirement(cause the app it creates are large AND you need the runtime), give developers less control, and is runs slow as hell.

RE: Unnecessary
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/3/2002 8:07:39 PM #
What is more crap? The released product on the shelf, or the vapourware in someones head?

When you actually have something to compare let us know.


RE: Unnecessary
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/5/2002 7:09:04 PM #
I have worked for two companies that released products in satellite forms and another in C via codewarrior. I can't comment on Appforge as we chose not to use it. As for speed, satellite forms is slow... very slow, once your app reaches a certian size. It is excellent for small apps or prototypes, past that you are asking for trouble.
RE: Unnecessary
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/6/2002 3:28:24 AM #
Gavin - do you work for Onisys? Or the satelite forms team? What is yr problem with this guys post? I just checked the demo and like he said, it is awful. The guy who posted didn't make a big deal out of saying 'im so good - these others are all crap' he was just saying that tools like satelite forms are misused - and he provided really good evidence. Honestly - the moment posts get interesting on PIC somebody has to go and get personal about everything. too bad - it kills conversation/debate. I bet you never even tried to use the app mentioned above.

Is one space really that much of a difference?

I.M. Anonymous @ 7/3/2002 10:52:10 AM #
OK, as a developer, this sounds like a great tool, but "da Vinci"? Hello, hello!? Are we unaware of the rest of the PDA world?

Their website says, "da Vinci - The Data Architect for Palm OS." Wouldn't that be "da Palm"? Still reeling from BlueSync having nothing to do with Bluetooth, you have to wonder who comes up with these names.

BTW, 20% discount till July 12. Prices are $119 and $159 till then.

Codewarrior vs GCC

I.M. Anonymous @ 7/3/2002 12:20:55 PM #
I can't tell from the screenshots, but is there something that makes this an inherent part of Codewarrior? The interface looks fairly standalone. If I develop PalmOS apps in GCC, would I miss out on something, or would this still crank out valid C code for database management?


RE: Codewarrior vs GCC
Community@falch.net @ 7/4/2002 3:52:50 PM #
Make sure to check out Falch.net's Database Designer as well, which is available both as a plugin for CodeWarrior and as an integrated part of Falch.net DeveloperStudio. :-)

I haven't tried out DaVinci, so I can't say anything about the support for GCC. However, Falch.net's (ours) Designer will let you create code for both CW and GCC, and it's available as a standalone version for CW at an introductory price for only $49. (http://www.falch.net)


Off track

I.M. Anonymous @ 7/3/2002 2:22:46 PM #
Until Palm provides a (free) robust database engine like Microsoft SQL Server CE, it can forget about getting in the Corporate Database market. The engines provided by IBM, Sybase and Oracle are pretty lame.
RE: Off track
Token User @ 7/3/2002 2:30:04 PM #
1. All data on a PalmOS device is essentailly a database.
2. Databases are opened and closed using a series of standard API calls.
3. The Oracle, Sybase, IBM offerings are wrapping standard database interfaces around the underlying PalmOS database.

This program is not an app for the "SQL/Access Programmer", it is an application fo the applciation developer ... someone who is manipulating the applciations at a level closer to the OS than you are comparing this product to.

Is there seriously a "Corporate Database market" for PDAs? Rollback, and transaction processing on a PDA??

I see a need for carrying a subset of a corporate database on the handheld. da Vinci is one solution for that - and combined with a well written conduit, it could provide effective syncing into a corporate SQL database ... with the added bonus that the PalmOS device wont need Oracle Lite, Sybase Anywhere, etc on the PDA, and it should run faster because of it.

Bring on da Vinci, I'll be purchasing when I get home 8^).

RE: Off track
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/3/2002 7:28:40 PM #
>>Until Palm provides a (free) robust database engine like Microsoft SQL Server CE, it can forget about getting in the Corporate Database market. The engines provided by IBM, Sybase and Oracle are pretty lame.

While Palm doesn't provide a tool or engine that wrappers the low level database API in Palm OS, they do offer a server solution that makes developing wireless PDA apps for BOTH Palm OS and PocketPC that allow connecting to standard JDBC datasource. It's called Wireless Database Access Server (WDBAS):

Poor choice of names

I.M. Anonymous @ 7/3/2002 5:38:34 PM #
There used to be a PDA called the Royal da vinci. Why add to the world's naming confusion by releasing Palm software with the same name? Idiots.

RE: Poor choice of names
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/3/2002 5:47:29 PM #
... and "da Vinci" was also a surgical medical computer system, and a font set, and included in the name of numerous software companies and software titles, and not to mention a painter/sculptor/inventor.

Get over it.

(and this was already the subject of the first post).

RE: Poor choice of names
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/3/2002 6:15:46 PM #
Who reads the first post?
RE: Poor choice of names
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/3/2002 7:03:34 PM #
Never mind that the inventor wasn't really known as "da Vinci"--yes, his name was Leonardo da Vinci, but people never referred to him at the time as "da Vinci"--it would be like saying "Hi, I'd like you to meet 'Mr. from Menlo Park.'" Yeah, right.

Ok, rant done, soapbox vacant.

Try before you buy

I.M. Anonymous @ 7/3/2002 6:53:13 PM #
There's no mention on the web site of this but you need WinNT, Win2K or XP to run this tool.

Looks great, shame about this limitation...

RE: Try before you buy
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/4/2002 1:03:44 AM #
Why is it a "shame"? Most developers are using a newer operating system! Operation systems such as Windows 95 and 98 are a rarity on developers desktops. Go upgrade!
RE: Try before you buy
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/4/2002 1:47:14 AM #
Some developers are stuck inside corporations who haven't yet relinguished 98... :-{

I second the call for a 98-compat version...

RE: Try before you buy
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/4/2002 3:52:13 AM #
>Operation systems such as Windows 95
>and 98 are a rarity on developers desktops.
> Go upgrade!

Speak for yourself, I use everything, obviously you don't do much development.

RE: Try before you buy
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/6/2002 10:11:22 AM #
>>Operation systems such as Windows 95
>>and 98 are a rarity on developers desktops.
>> Go upgrade!

>Speak for yourself, I use everything, obviously you >don't do much development.

You use Windows 95 and 98 for Palm OS dev too?!?

RE: Try before you buy
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/7/2002 1:56:33 PM #
>Speak for yourself, I use everything, obviously you >don't do much development.

Oh yeah? do you use Palm Simulator for OS 5 developemnt? Doesn't run on Win 95/98/ME. Do you do ANY PPC/WinCE coding using MS embedded visual tools? Well if you did, you'd notice....doesn't run on Win 95/98(okay - it will work with 98 - 2nd edition). The point? Most development is done on NT flavors of of windows and - increasingly - tools ONLY support these. So this is nothing new.

Bad news

I.M. Anonymous @ 7/4/2002 6:49:20 AM #
Wess Salmon (founder of PDA Buzz) was fired afther the adquisition by Handheld Media Group. Site moderator resigned in regret.

I hate those Handheld Media Group guys, PDA buzz was an excellent site.

RE: Bad news
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/4/2002 7:10:49 AM #
The moderators did well by resigning. Wes was PDA Buzz, without him the site is dead.

This realy sucks, many PIC users also visited PDA Buzz. I hope no one adquires PIC and fires Ed.

RE: Bad news
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/4/2002 11:54:36 AM #
I hope that Handheld Media Group does not buys PIC too. HMG really sucks! and they are completely PPC biased, they hate palm.
RE: Bad news
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/4/2002 6:51:30 PM #
Im none too happy about the happenings at PDABuzz, but Handheld Media Group publishes 'Handheld Computing Magazine' which until very recently was a PALM ONLY publication, so i cant go along with the PPC bias comment. But I doubt ill be buying their magazine in the future either.
RE: Bad news
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/5/2002 12:47:00 PM #
I guess Wess should be free to open up a new site now? Where is he? Maybe we should all support him?

Hmm... what would be a good name for it? HHMsux.com? :)

RE: Bad news
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/7/2002 5:12:17 PM #
Wes has a personal site: www.wessalmon.com
RE: Blank
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/4/2002 4:57:11 PM #
I love her too!!!
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/4/2002 4:59:58 PM #

together Britney and Sony rules.

I.M. Anonymous @ 7/4/2002 9:22:55 PM #
Hey everyone the first poster is that Typo Sony Troll Fzara2000.

Looks like she is drunken and forgot to watch her own typing.

Hiding under an anonymous is not enough to cover you girl. The "SONY ROCKS" trolling is your trademark.

RE: Blank
N473 @ 7/6/2002 11:49:00 PM #
What the hell is going on? No news site updates for three days, and now trolls are not being deleted? Ed, are you still working here?

RE: Blank
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/7/2002 5:16:52 PM #
Ed must be on vacation.

This Fzara troll is really and annoyance.

Databases? Why not a Table Code Generator

I.M. Anonymous @ 7/5/2002 8:46:10 PM #
It's true that table management could use a boost. But I think it would be even more useful to be able to integrate a database with a table generator. Making a table like the ones used in ToDo or Memo Pad is one of the most common programming tasks and it takes a long time to do. I started a project that I had to shelve because it was taking too long to do the tables correctly. I got bogged down, frustrated and decided it wasn't worth the effort. I could have made my project in FileMaker pretty easily since it allows setup of a database and Layouts (which would be Tables on the Palm.)
RE: Databases? Why not a Table Code Generator
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/7/2002 4:26:24 PM #
Isn't that what da Vinci is touting - creation of database tables?
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