Do we need API for EPIM? (Developers!)

General talks about EssentialPIM

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Do we need API for EPIM? (Developers!)

Post by Max »

Well, not really an API, but the way to work with EPIM database directly.
We are currently considering making a documentation with descriptions of all EPIM database fields. This way basically anyone with the skills can read/write EPIM data. This can be useful for your plugins, applications or for data synchronization with EPIM.
In order to use this, you must have some experience with databases (any). Please leave comments to this post if you are interested (and preferably for what purpose, or send me a PM). Depending on amount of interest we will implement this or not.
Note: EPIM database is actually open-source Firebird database (http://www.firebirdsql.org/ ) There are a lot of tools to access it from most environments. Actually a very curious developer can already work with EPIM database quite easily.
We can just make it easier if we prepare a detailed field description and mapping- what field does what for EPIM. It is quite a work for us, so the question is it needed or not.
Maxim,
EPIM Team

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Re: Do we need API for EPIM? (Developers!)

Post by Golfy »

'Yes' is my answer.

I understand that you can't write synchronization for every PDA. Concentrate your effort on new features for EPIM should stay your goal. Creating an API would let you control how other programs try to use your database : this will avoid errors in using EPIM DB without information and control.

However, there are some 'tendance' that you can't ignore : Android or iPhone needs to be directly supported because there are major actor in PDA world. The most easy is the way to sync with EPIM, the most reputation of EPIM will increase ! it's that way Microsoft, Cisco, Apple and other have take advantage over others competitors.

In my case, I've flashed back my ROM to WM6.5 because of performances of EPIM (not possible to use it with Android) : it means your software start to be ready for bigger market :wink:
french translator of EPIM. EPIM Pro portable user since 2000 (2.71)

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Re: Do we need API for EPIM? (Developers!)

Post by silverweb »

YES! :)

I'd like to have some kind of API or complete documentation.

But, as Golfy said: API is better, because of better control over data integrity and security. Of course any kind of data access is good, as sometimes one has a need to use data other way than EPIM is capable of. For example: my co-partner is using Samsung Wave with Bada OS. I am using HTC Desire @ Android. And we both cannot use our common calendar on our phones (Google Calendar Synchronization is not enough - there are still some compatibility problems), and worse of that: we cannot share To Do's...
I'd like to have some private on-line service, or mobile app based on on-line database created using data in EPIM (I know that I need to create some kind of synchronization both ways between local file and on-line DB). It's a pitty, that EPIM does not offer an on-line database to share it via Internet. We can work on server, but it's only a local server, which is not enough for people working on line over the world. We searched for some on-line replacement for EPIM, but... guess what? We didn't find any other such useful application as EPIM is.

API is a good idea, but make it versatile: there are VC++ Devs, C# Devs, PHP Dev's and perhaps some others (I'am interested in PHP access).
Adam
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Re: Do we need API for EPIM? (Developers!)

Post by DrAlex »

YES!!!

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Re: Do we need API for EPIM? (Developers!)

Post by Max »

DrAlex wrote:YES!!!
Please elaborate, how would you use it and for what purpose?
Maxim,
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Re: Do we need API for EPIM? (Developers!)

Post by ecsaltz »

It sounds like a great idea, but for me, it would be "solution" looking for a "problem" at the present time.

However, there is nothing worst than a poorly, or inaccurately, documented API. I would rather see a limited function, but fully documented API with examples, that could be expanded upon in the future as opposed to one that is full of errors.

Max, to properly document an API requires a lot of work, a lot of testing and a lot of reviewing of the documentation - please keep that in mind.
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Re: Do we need API for EPIM? (Developers!)

Post by Exec »

The author of MyPhoneExplorer http://www.fjsoft.at/en/ has written, that he will take a futher look into implementing EPim to MyPhoneExplorer (Sync) if there is a good API.

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Re: Do we need API for EPIM? ==> Yes

Post by Tobse »

Hi,
database access would be great! I already tried to connect to the database file without success -a long time ago. I wanted to add a Thunderbird sync. Anyway it should be open to support other developer and their ideas!
I hope there will be enough posts to make this happen!

Best Regards,
Tobse

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Re: Do we need API for EPIM? (Developers!)

Post by ndeans »

Yes please! The biggest reason for me going with Essential is the relational database back end that I would love to tie in with my own apps. The two issues I've run into however are... 1. Data schema is not documented and 2. EssentialPIM locks the file.

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Re: Do we need API for EPIM? (Developers!)

Post by conwayk »

Definitely! An API would be great to be able for adding any user-specific features that most people don't want or need! Personally, I don't have anything in mind yet but you never know!

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Re: Do we need API for EPIM? (Developers!)

Post by lk »

+1!

I would like to make some nice things (e.g. reports) with Access on the EPIM database.

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Re: Do we need API for EPIM? (Developers!)

Post by chakras »

A db relationship diagram between the tables would be nice to have. Table names are pretty self explanatory - however a diagram always helps.

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Re: Do we need API for EPIM? (Developers!)

Post by smcintosh »

I think while it would be nice to have an API for interacting with the EPIM database files, it would be far more beneficial to expose the file format of the ".epim" file. Open it right up. I am a software developer with my last ten years of calendar/tasks/addresses/memos invested in the Palm Desktop. Needless to say, with the demise of HP's WebOS, the platform is dead, and I need a way out. I was hoping that EssentialPIM Pro would be that exit, but without an easy and accurate conversion from Palm to EPIM, I'm not sure I'd buy the product

We have one half of the specs here, with Palm file formats exposed:
http://www.notsofaqs.com/datebook_dat.php

But we need to have either the API suggested, or the ".epim" file format documented and published. It's a guy like me who would code the conversion, and give it away when I'm done. This would greatly enhance the EPIM user base. And what timing! Palm/WebOS just died: http://www.phonearena.com/news/HP-calls ... OS_id21330

Scott.

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Re: Do we need API for EPIM? (Developers!)

Post by smcintosh »

I just noticed other replies to this thread implying that the ".epim" file is actually a database! So which database is it? is it an Innodb file? Something else perhaps?

Scott.

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Re: Do we need API for EPIM? (Developers!)

Post by Max »

Hi,

I have update the original post with some information about the actual database.
Maxim,
EPIM Team

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