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Portable Apps

Cardbox as a Portable App?

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Charles Welling

13-Dec-2012 20:21

I've been playing with PortableApps (www.portableapps.com). My attention was drawn to this site because I use LibreOffice, which also comes as a portable app. The PortableApp programme and its associated software can be run from any USB stick or disk on any Windows PC without installation. I've tried LibreOffice and Irfanview (which by the way is great for integration with Cardbox) and they both work very fast and very well.

Wouldn't it be an idea to have a Cardbox portable? Cardbox did work perfectly after a manual copy of an existing installation to the PortableApp disk. According to the site existing programmes can be easily adapted to be installed and to be used as a portable without recompiling. It would be consistent with the strategy to widely disseminate Cardbox. PortableApps.com advertises its associated software and offers automatic downloads.

I for certain would be very interested because all my current users become less and less attached to a fixed office and work all over town, often in other people's offices.


24-Aug-2013 09:58

Cardbox used to do a useful tool: EPV (Electronic Publishing Version) which allowed you and others to look at your database, but did not allow you to edit. Not seen it recently


24-Aug-2013 15:17

It is now for free possible to add a default r/o profile to your database. So you do not need an EPV anymore.

A portable Cardbox client I added now on my (Cardbox based) website.
Download: http://stortenbeker.eu/cardbox31.exe



28-Aug-2013 10:42

Hello Bert. What is the purpose of the file?.


28-Aug-2013 11:47

Very simple: if you run it, it will ask in which folder you want to unpack the files. If done, you can run Cardbox by clicking on cardbox3.exe.
If you unpack it b.e. to an usb stick, you can run on every windows machine Cardbox client without installing etc by setup etc by clicking cardbox3.exe.
So, Cardbox is easy to use as a portable app.

Charles Welling

28-Aug-2013 13:51

Juan, a "real" PortableApp does a bit more than just that. For instance, PortableApps have a common taskbar menu which can be used to launch your applications (activated when you insert the USB device), and the folder structure for the applications is strictly organised. Unless you explicitly save your documents/databases elsewhere, they will be saved (by default) in specific folders on the USB device you started your application from. This guarantees that when you take the device with you, you will also take your work with you.

Of course you can run Cardbox from a USB device, there's nothing special about that. But it's just the little extras!

Have a look at portableapps.com. Many applications (Firefox, Chrome, Opera, Irfanview, LibreOffice, Wise registry cleaner) come as PortableApps.


15-Sep-2013 15:19

Thank you all. Slightly off topic but, I have been looking at a way of carrying my Cardbox database with me and have been trying ways of imputting it into my Android device.
I initially cut and pasted the main field of each record of my database into a word document and then converted it to pdf. It took me a long time but then I could search for anything on that pdf while on my device. Works fine. The problem is that everytime I update the database I have to update the pdf also.
It then ocurred to me that I could print the complete Cardbox database and converted it to pdf. Much easier and quicker than the cutting and pasting, and I can just print again whenever I update the database;
but here is the problem. One of the fields is quite extensive and when I print the Cardbox database (straight to PDF with PrimoPDF software) only half of that long field is printed. I have experimented altering the Print settings but to no avail. And there doesn´t seem to be any consistancy as to where on that field each record is cut. Any thoughts please?


16-Sep-2013 10:16

Make a special format for printing. Use in it merge blocks with automatic height/width.
The room then for the field content is automatic resized for the needed content.
Read Help/Manual how to do this.
Btw: In a format that contains merge blocks with automatic height/width you cannot edit records.

Mary Doyle

19-Sep-2013 11:07

Hi Juan,

I use Sailforms+ database on my Android phone. I have exported the Cardbox databases I want to look up on the go as CSV files. Sailforms+ can import these CSV files and automatically set up the fields. Searching is pretty basic, but I would think it is definitely better than using a PDF file. It has some nice other handy features too. Hope this helps. Mary


19-Sep-2013 13:15

Thank you for the suggestion about using Sailforms+ on Android phones. I would like to do the same on a Samsung Android Tablet running Ice Cream Sandwich.
Can you give a little more detail of how you made the CSV file from a Cardbox database. For example, do I: Put a list of fieldnames...; Put quotation marks... etc..
Were there any issues transferring the CSV file to the device and importing it into Sailforms?
It found that it was simple to make a new 'Form' in Sailforms and press 'import file' which went off and looked for CSV files, and offered those it found or gave a directory listing.
Thank you. Christopher Spry

Mary Doyle

19-Sep-2013 16:58

Hi Christopher,
Exporting CSV from Cardbox is straightforward:
If you don't want to export all records in the database first select those you want to export. Then:
File, Export, Comma Separated Format ("CSV"), Next,
Tick the fields you want to export; Tick "Put a list of field names on the first line of the output file" and "Put quotation marks around every field".
Then save file as *.csv, e.g. test.csv
I then either plug my phone into my PC and copy the file over to the Sailforms folder and then import it into Sailforms+ - an option in the Sailforms Plus version or, if the data is not sensitive, I could email it to myself and import it by locating the downloaded file on my phone. If you are not sure which folder this is you could work down through the folders or plug it into the PC and do a search for the test.csv you downloaded from the email. Then you will know the relevant folder for future reference. You can get a free copy of Sailforms but it doesn't have the import function. Hope this helps.


Mary Doyle

19-Sep-2013 17:21

Hi Christopher,

I forgot to say re: "it was simple to make a new 'Form' in Sailforms and press 'import file' "
You don't actually have to make a new Form in Sailforms before importing a CSV file if you have the field headers in the CSV file. Sailforms will automatically generate a new database with all the fields in the CSV file.



19-Sep-2013 20:01

Thank you Mary. I had tried various options and discovered that it was as easy as you describe.
I made the CSV file as you describe.
I connected my tablet to the USB port of my computer and it was shown as a device.
I used Windows Explorer to copy the CSV file I had generated, from the computer to the SD card of my tablet.
I opened Sailforms+ and imported the CSV file into a 'Form'. (I did create a new one, but this step may not be necessary, as you state.) The program said it was looking for a CSV file and finished by showing me the directory where I had put it. I selected it to import it. This took several minutes, but once read, selecting the CSV file next time was much faster.
My only issues are that there is no search function. Perhaps this will come later in this relatively new app.
Scrolling up and down is OK, but scrolling sideways less easy, (lines of records slip up and down while scrolling sideways). Reducing the number of fields to 'export' from Cardbox to say 6, might be best for this application. My tablet handled several thousand records with no difficulty but without a search function, this is not very useful. A few hundred records works well.
For me, there is no need to buy the more expensive 'Pro' version which just adds a 'relational' element which I do not need. I just bought the 'Sailforms+' version for £3.86.
Sailforms+ is not a substitute for Cardbox, but it does give you records in a sensible 'flat' layout, which is easy to read.
Best wishes, Christopher

Mary Doyle

19-Sep-2013 22:26

Hi Christopher,

Sailforms+ is definitely not a substitute for Cardbox! However it does have a search function, albeit limited. If you open a Sailforms GROUP you will see a magnifying glass in the top left. Clicking on this will give you a search box. You can enter one or several terms here and it will search for the term in all databases in the group. Likewise, if you open a database the search will be limited to that database. If you have designed your data entry form yourself you can lay it out in such a way that you can see the full record in non-table form when you click on it. Alternatively, if you don't want to design the form first, you could edit the form that Sailforms+ generates when it imports the CSV file. I have several hundred records downloaded from various CBOX databases and have been able to search them adequately enough for the convenience of having them to hand. Try it! Hope it works for you.



30-Mar-2014 21:34

Mary, thank you so much for this. Somehow I missed these responses to this thread. I will take a look at Sailforms.
I had plumbed for the printing of Cardbox to pdf before transferring the resulting pdf to my smart gadgets.

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