Intimidated by the prospect of PalmOS C programming? Looking for a rapid application development tool for PDA development? This article explores the exciting new AppForge development toolkit. (To download a zip containing the source files for this article, click here.)
Bryan Morgan was the founder of the Wireless Developer Network. He is currently an independent consultant and writer focusing on the wireless industry. Mr. Morgan is a regular contributor to InformIT on wireless application development topics.
In an earlier article, I wrote about the Satellite Forms development tool from Pumatech. This tool uses a Visual Basic–like programming language and also provides its own integrated development environment (IDE) and runtime environment that Satellite Forms applications run within. Satellite Forms has become very popular among PalmOS developers because it's easy to use and supports event-driven programming. Unfortunately for Pumatech, serious competition has arrived in the form of AppForge, a development tool that—like Satellite Forms—supports rapid application development for the PalmOS. AppForge takes the notion of "VB for the Palm" a step further[el]in fact, several steps further! AppForge development actually takes place within the Visual Basic 6 programming environment and uses the Visual Basic programming language. If you're an experienced Visual Basic developer, I'd put the learning curve to picking up AppForge anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes! In this article, I'll step through the process of creating a database-driven customer contacts application. I'll use a simple customer contacts database and build several screens using AppForge for viewing this data.