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Windows CE app dev tool integrates cameras with databases

Syware has added support for the built-in cameras in HP Pocket PCs to its rapid development environment for forms and database applications. Visual CE-built applications can now let users take pictures and export them directly into a database on the device, or as external files linked to database records, according to the company.

To capture images on an HP Pocket PC from within an application built with Visual CE, the user clicks an image control and the control becomes a viewfinder, according to Syware. The user then points the camera and clicks the control again, and the image gets stored directly into the Visual CE database. The image can then be printed using a portable printer, or it can be sent to a desktop or server wirelessly or via an ActiveSync connection using Visual CE's synchronization capability.

Syware says that Visual CE's support for built-in cameras allows developers to quickly create information-rich, mobile database applications. For example, a home inspection company might create a database application that allows inspectors to add images of specific problems encountered to their inspection reports. Then, when the inspector returns to the office or synchronizes wirelessly, the image is uploaded to the server for inclusion in the final report.

Visual CE is available in Personal and Professional editions, according to Syware. Visual CE Personal ($129) is licensed for single device applications. Visual CE Professional ($399) includes a royalty-free license to distribute created applications. Both are avaialable through the company's online store.