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See VDF SIG April 2008

Held at Asckey Data Services Ltd near Huntingdon, this SIG meeting covered two main themes, developing PDA Extensions for Visual DataFlex applications, and the (now released) Visual DataFlex 2008, also designated VDF v14.

PDA Development Martin Pincott and Paul Anthony (Asckey Data Services) introduced the PDA topic with a review of the development of an extension to their Eclipse-fm® Facilities Management system into the PDA environment.

Simon Monk fom Momote, Asckey's chosen technology partner, picked up on this with a review of the design issues inherent in the PDA environment, followed by how the Momote PDA runtime concept, familiar enough to us in the VDF world allows for one time development with deployment to any of the current PDA environments available.

Pete Mustoe, Focus Inet, a long time VDF SIG member then showed an alternative, and to some, simpler approach to PDA type functionality, based on an update of very familiar "Pen and Paper". Best suited to data capture rather than fully interactive applications, this has its place especially where the user base is likely to be technophobic in any way.

Visual Dataflex 2008 Released one week after the VDF SIG meeting, VDF 2008, aka VDF v14 contains many enhancements that will take Visual Dataflex firmly into the world of Microsoft Vista, and remove a number of potential headaches that arrive with that deployment platform.

Vincent Oorsprong, Data Access Europe, ran through the major features of VDF 2008, particularly showing the enhancements aimed specifically at the Wndows Vista environment. Many applications struggle with the big changes that Vista brings, but now you can build fully Vista conformant applications - both visually, and, crucially, respecting Vista's User Access Control functionality.

Martin Pincott then covered work that some VDF SIG members have been doing to create a universal framework for all Codejock components. Wth VDF 2008, we now have the full Skinning capability inherent in the Codejock components, as covered by Vincent, but Martin et al are taking this further to cover many more components that can offer even more vsual enhancement to your applications.

Rounding off the VDF topic, Peter Bragg, Care Data Systems, and another regular SIG contributor, demonstrated a useful facility for creating auto-updating VDF executables. Peter, as always, has included not only a presentation of what he has done, but also source code that you can use to build your own.

Subversion - enabling multi-developer cooperation Subversion is an open source implementation of version control and file sharing system that can run across the Internet, and which is becoming increasingly popular as a means of both simple centralised back up services, and of organising multi-developer cooperation. Pak Chan (Asckey Data Services Ltd) gave a presentation of Subversion facilities and usage.

Next SIG Meeting With two weekday meetings in succession, we will revert to a Saturday for the next, in order to allow those who prefer the non-business-hours option. We will probably alternate week day/weekend for future meetings.

Provisionally Saturday October 11th - but may be combined with a major Data Access Visual DataFlex event as last year.