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OrbWorks Community Forum • View topic - .pdb Woes

.pdb Woes

Discuss OrbForms Designer and PocketC Architect

Postby kda406 on Tue Jan 23, 2007 9:05 pm

How can I e-mail a .pdb file and have someone with my application load it into his PDA?

Here is the problem. One of my OrbForms Designer apps uploads & flashes new firmware (BIOS) into an electronic product. The firmware is contained in a .pdb file on my PDA. In my app the db.backup bit is set to true whenever the database is created. When the PDA is sync'd, the .pdb file is saved in the backup directory. I can e-mail this .pdb file to my customer. What I can't figure out is how to get the .pdb file to load into the customer's copy of my app.

We are using the same app, and he puts it into his backup directory, but when he sync's his PDA the .pdb file is erased. I have been able to recreate this problem here on two PDA's with the same app installed on both of them.

I need to be able to e-mail the firmware (.pdb database) to the customer and have him load it into his PDA via hotsync.

Do I have to do some kind of conversion utility? Shouldn't he be able to install the .pdb at his end without that? What do we need to do to get this to work?

-Kyle
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Postby sangahm on Tue Jan 23, 2007 9:53 pm

Not sure of the "development" approach to do that, but I thought of another way that might work.

If the other person has a unit with an SD card (T3, TE/2, etc), then he should be able to load the pdb onto the SD card, either with a card reader or through the slower hotsync to card.

Then he would move the file to RAM using a free utility like Filez.

If he didn't have an SD card then he may be out of luck with this (well, technically you can load a virtual RAM disk and treat that as an SD card but that may be more involved than its worth for the more casual user).
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Postby jobie on Tue Jan 23, 2007 11:36 pm

<blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by kda406</i>
<br />
How can I e-mail a .pdb file and have someone with my application load it into his PDA?
<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></font id="quote"></blockquote id="quote">

PDB files can be installed just like any program using instapp. In my case, I have a PC app that I also wrote that invokes instapp.exe in the C:\Program Files\Palm directory, and pass it the filename as a parameter (you need to have the full path).

But anyway...instapp.exe.
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Postby sangahm on Wed Jan 24, 2007 5:36 pm

<blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by jobie</i>
<br /><blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by kda406</i>
<br />
How can I e-mail a .pdb file and have someone with my application load it into his PDA?
<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></font id="quote"></blockquote id="quote">

PDB files can be installed just like any program using instapp. In my case, I have a PC app that I also wrote that invokes instapp.exe in the C:\Program Files\Palm directory, and pass it the filename as a parameter (you need to have the full path).

But anyway...instapp.exe.

<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></font id="quote"></blockquote id="quote">

This doesn't always work, like when the original creator app is not found. Not saying that this is the case here, just pointing out that there are other conditions where instapp.exe or normal hotsync will not work. (Ever try and load Opera mini? The original version required a complicated load onto the SD card first.)

In re-reading the OP, it is not clear how the .pdb is being loaded to the palm. Is it being left in the backup directory in hopes of getting picked up? Or is hotsync install being loaded with the .pdb and a normal sync being done?
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Postby kda406 on Wed Jan 24, 2007 7:37 pm

Gentlemen, your replies were helpful and got me thinking about the problem differently. Today I found I can right click on the .pdb file, "Send To", Palm One Quick Install. Then Hotsync. From the HotSync.Log, it appears to install the .pdb file when syncing, and then stores the .pdb file on the hard drive in the the Archive directory.

I am going to experiment with using the DatabaseMgr object to discover when new databases (new firmware) have been added to the library for the user to install.

I had not tried to install a .pdb this way before your thoughful replies. Let me get a few more hours in on this tomorrow and then I'll let you know how it turns out.

Many thanks,
Kyle
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Postby kda406 on Thu Feb 01, 2007 6:38 pm

Gentlemen, here is what I found works.
<ul><li>I have the application set the backup bit when it creates a database so it is backed up to a PC.</li>
<li>I download the encrypted firmware from the microcontroller into the master PDA.</li>
<li>Hotsync the master PDA. This saves the database as a .pdb on my PC.</li>
<li>Next, e-mail the .pdb file as an attachment to a customer, or post the .pdb file on my web server for all customers as a new release of the firmware for download.</li>
<li>Then the customer saves the file somewhere on his PC's hard drive, desktop, or My Documents.</li>
<li>The customer right clicks on the saved .pdb file, and chooses Send To => palmOne Quick Install</li>
<li>Now the customer hotsyncs his PDA. This installs the .pdb file into his PDA.</li>
<li>To finish, he runs the import routine from the pull down menu in his copy of my software. The import routine finds the new .pdb file and inserts a reference to it in the index database the program uses to keep track of all of the firmwares it has access to. Now he can upload the new firmware into his microcontroller! 8)</li></ul>
<b>Kudos to Jeremy for the DatabaseMgr object.</b> That works <b>GREAT</b> for detecting all sorts of stuff in a PDA, and works spectacularly for importing the new databases into the index database.

When I first got this working, I had it automatically detecting new databases, but it is a slow process and makes the PDA appear to be turned off for a minute or so - NOT COOL. The quick solution was to make the customer "import" the database after hotsyncing so he knows what is going on.

Thanks very much for your help getting this working.

-Kyle
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