from DDH Software
Health professionals are dependent on data. Conversion of the raw
data into information requires incorporating the results of an action
into domain knowledge. Providing access to databases (some specialized)
that will illustrate relationships between the variables can provide
nurses with knowledgeable decisions to plan the delivery of nursing
care more appropriately.
Databases are the foundation of application programs. The emergence
of handheld devices for point-of-care solutions has created challenges
in programming for taking the health data to the mobile device.
Being an individual who does not possess "programming language
skills" in the realm of computers presented quite a dilemma
when I chose to develop a healthcare application for implementation
on a PDA for my final project to receive my post graduate certificate
in nursing informatics from Excelsior College. I was developing
a data collection tool to be utilized in the nursing home environment.
I needed the ability for desktop entering, form development and
numerous linking of fields. I used another data base building tool
and found the process to be both frustrating and painful. Since
that time (fall 2000), I "discovered" HanDBase. The power
of HanDBase and it's user friendly interface would have made the
task easier and less stressful ...Live and learn :)
The current HanDBase version is 2.75, that requires close to 200k
of memory. This is a simple intuitive development tool for applications
that can be downloaded for the Palm OS and Pocket PC (and I assume
those with older version of WIN CE. There is even the capability
to edit and view your palm databases on a Mac. The newest addition
is HanDBase Plus that contains both the handheld and desktop functionality
along with a conduit.
As an example of the conduit utility, let us say you are employed
in community health. Clients often use more than one service. In
this example, an antepartum client accesses home visits with the
public health nurse, makes office visits for WIC services. The field
nurse and the office nurse can work on the same database either
simultaneously or at separate times on the same day. When hot synched
the conduit compares the two files and mergers the data, thus allowing
documentation data for both services. The result produces improved
coordination of care and individual healthcare planning to optimize
the clients visits.
Another unique function is the HanDButton program. This feature
provides the ability to set up a list and switch between the applications
you use most frequently. It works like a toggle switch. It also
affords the user the ability to set up a hardware button for this
The HanDBase Internet support site http://www.ddhsoftware.com/support.html
has a premier tutorial on use complete with screen shots. All you
need to do is review and read it thoroughly. Then after downloading,
follow the examples and you are off into the realm of building your
own database applications. The company provides access to their
in-house experts who answer issues is a timely manner. Of course,
the option also exists to pose questions to other users and developers
in the HanDBase user group. I would recommend joining the user group
There are 15 field types from which to choose. These will suffice
for the majority of self-builders of applications.
- Maximum Number of Databases: 100
- Maximum number of characters in a Database name: 19
- Maximum Number of Fields per database: 30
- Maximum Number of Records per database: 65000
- Maximum size of a Text or DB Popup field: 254
- Minimum number in an Integer field: - (negative) 2147483647
- Maximum number in an Integer field: 2147483647
- Minimum number in a Float field (depending on number of decimal
places set by user): - (negative) 2147483647.9999
- Maximum number in a Float field (depending on number of decimal
places set by user): 2147483647.9999
- Minimum Date possible in a Date field: 1/2/1904
- Maximum Date possible in a Date field: 12/31/2031
- Maximum size of a note field: 2000 characters
- Maximum number of Popup Items per field: 60
- Maximum number of levels deep links can follow: 4 Databases
- Maximum number of DB popups in a group: 5
Prices are very reasonable for the functionality available.
The HanDBase API, known hereafter as API, was created to allow
Palm OS software developers a simple way to interface their applications
with HanDBase Databases. You can format a report template, and then
grab data from selected HanDBase databases to print or email in
If you like what Microsoft Access can do, you'll love the HanDBase
Text fields, which can be visible or hidden. The note field affords
the ability for a memo pad like note and a popup to insert common
phrases, words, etc.
Two functions that I could not get to function in other development
programs were the Image capture that you can pen draw an image or
have a handwritten signature. The export/print option controls whether
a field is printed. However, the PalmPrint, PrintPocketCE and IrPrint
drivers do not support graphics. This prevents direct printing of
image fields from the handheld. These fields can be printed from
the PC desktop tool.
There is a heading field that organizes sections of your database
with bold centered headings. What an easy method to transition and
know that this has occurred.
Besides all of the above functionality, this wonderful program
allows bar code scanning and supports Symbol SPT models 1500, 1700
and 1740. In addition, it offers the PSC Momentum Scanner devices
that supports Bar Code scanning with any Handspring handheld.
An author screen will identify who wrote the program and the security
interface can set the type of access permissions allowed for individual
users. These range from full access, password required, no access
and view records only.
There are three options for beaming. You can beam a selected database
to be sent to another user. You can choose to only beam a single
record and lastly you can beam groups of records.
The desktop manual is superb and matches functionality found in
Microsoft Access but is so easy to use. Even the novice builder
of databases should have no problem understanding the directions!
This is a must have development tool, that is reasonably
priced and deserving of the PDA cortex golden software award. Like
Siskel and Ebert did with their movie reviews, I give HanDBase two
Sylvia Suszka Hildebrandt,
MN, RN, ARNP,CASNI , Editor PDA cortex
Get HanDBase from the PDA