Product Reviews

Review: Data On The Run

Need Pocket Access? Here's an interim solution.

I'm starting to keep an eye on the PDA market as a new frontier for development these days. It's somewhat sobering to realize that the Pocket PC is now much more powerful and less expensive than the IBM AT clone that I first programmed (never mind how long ago that was). The PocketPC operating system (once Windows CE, soon CE.NET) has made great strides as well.

But all is not 100 percent rosy in PocketPC land. For one thing, database users have some difficult choices to make. The synchronization software can still keep an Access database on the desktop in tune with a Pocket Access database on the PDA -- but Microsoft is no longer supplying Pocket Access with the operating system. What's a PocketPC programmer to do?

One good option is to download a 15-day trial of Data On The Run, give it a spin, and then pay the paltry registration fee. Data On The Run works with databases in the Pocket Access format, and it can perform most of the basic operations you need:

  • Browse data in form view or list view
  • Create new tables or databases
  • Search for records by setting a filter
  • Create drop-down lists for relational data entry

Data On The Run isn't an end-user tool; it gives you raw access to your data, and presumes that you know what you're doing. But it's a great tool for the developer who's using Pocket Access databases to hold information for an application on the Pocket PC. You can use Data On The Run to easily examine (and, if need be, change) the data that your application has stored, without the bother of transferring it all back to the PC -- which, after all, may still be back in your office. If you (like most developers) feel that good tools are one of the first steps to doing good development, take a look at this little gem when you venture into those uncharted PocketPC waters.

About the Author

Mike Gunderloy, MCSE, MCSD, MCDBA, is a former MCP columnist and the author of numerous development books.

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