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12.1. 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 you can make changes both on the palmtop and on your PC, confident that the next HotSync will make sense of everything.)


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