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SmartItems help

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PushOK's SmartItems suite.

Reference manual for version 1.2.xx

SmartItems is a program package for making virtual personal collections of audio\video disks, books, stamps, notes etc. The program package includes the following components:

  • SIWin - the main part of the package for collections creating, editing and management;
  • SICreator - the program for editing item types;
  • SIPalm - the program for collection files viewing on Palm PCs;
  • SIce - the program for collection files viewing on WinCE platform;
  • SIWinViewer - the program for collection files viewing on Windows platform.

The main idea of this program is creating of a universal system for storing virtual collections of different items with capabilities of viewing and data search on PDAs. It is well known that there are plenty of similar programs, but all of them have considerable disadvantages such as:

  • Strict specialization - the program can work with one item class only, for example only with CDs, only with movies etc.
  • Absence of integration with PDA - as a rule, data can be exported only in a brief "flat" format, i.e. as a test file or a file of electronic worksheets. For large collections, export of such files troubles PDA data access.
  • Strict data structure fixation - in each program only strictly fixed set of attributes is provided. Though the quantity of attributes is very large (about 20 fields for CD), sometimes it is desirable to consider some individual information (disc color, its place in the stand etc.). Usually this cannot be done. At the same time in 80% of cases most of these 20 fields are unnecessary, and perhaps only presence of film or album name would be enough.
  • Strict cataloging structure - the program has a predefined fixed number of attributes, which can be given to objects.

In the SmartItems program package a flexible method of collections creation and support is implemented. This method helps to avoid problems mentioned above. On the basis of the program personal database development is possible with the possibility of its import to PDA platforms. The main advantages of the program are maximal small size of both the code and the data, and high speed of work. We should emphasize that the viewer works rather well even on the earliest Palm PCs. On the basis of the database engine a universal model of data description is built. The model provides for special strict rules for grouping elements in folders (groups), second categorization (when elements of different types and from different folders can be united in "virtual" groups), data search rules, work with debtors logic (which determines missing items of the collection and finds out who has borrowed them), exporting (printing and converting to HTML) and data modification. All this gives the universal basis to creation of collections of any items.

Flexibility of the system is determined by the capability of editing and creating user item classes, which is the main feature of the program. Changing/adding item classes is performed in the SICreator program. With its help you can add new item classes or change the existing ones. Each class is presented by a number of fields. For each field you should specify a field type and a class of presentation. We hope that we included all the necessary classes of presentation, such as test field, combo box, tree, list, image, HTML text, plain text, unique ID. And if there are no item classes you need, you can create them by yourself by adding fields which are necessary personally for you. It is important, that later on you can print, view (including view with PDA) and search data of types created by you, just as you can search data of the attached data types. The program has utilities for quick data import (CDDB, MP3 tags, file system), which do not depend on the item class, but only require availability of certain fields in this class. This gives you freedom in choosing additional attributes.

The only payware components are SIWin and SWCreator. That is, you can freely give the collection to your friends for viewing. We hope that SmartItems will become your indispensable and universal assistant in collections managing.

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