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PrintBoy SDK for Mobile Application Developers
PrintBoy SDK v7.0
for Mobile Application Developers
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Which PrintBoy SDK edition is right for you?

PrintBoy SDK comes in three Editions: Basic, HTML and Reports. Each SDK Edition has support for several families of programming APIs which are particularly suited for the printing needs of different types of applications. Which SDK version is right for you depends very much upon what type of application you have, what format your data is in, what your output requirements are, and what printers you need to work with.

The following guide can help you determine which PrintBoy SDK Edition and API is right for you:

PrintBoy SDK, Reports Edition

PrintBoy SDK Reports Edition provides the most comprehensive and platform independent tools and APIs for printing. Because it contains our most powerful APIs, Reports Edition is the recommended SDK edition for virtually all applications that need to print. Reports Edition comes with two sets of programming APIs:

ReportLayout – With ReportLayout, you can use a set of rich programming APIs to rapidly create standard reports at run-time from within your program.

You can create invoices, receipts, and forms using high-level elements such as row/column tables, logos and bitmaps, and fully formatted aligned text with automatic word-wrapping. ReportLayout is fully printer-independent.

ReportTemplates – With Report Templates, you can design your forms, reports and other types of printouts on your desktop computer.

A Report Template is a file that contains tags which describe the formatting elements you want in your printout. When you download a Report Template file to your PDA, you can then reference it from your program and incorporate your application data into the Report Template format. The most powerful aspect of this is that with Report Templates you can change many aspects of your printouts, including fonts, styles and page element positioning simply by changing the Report Template file. Like ReportLayout, Report Template APIs are fully printer-independent.

PrintBoy SDK, HTML Edition

PrintBoy SDK HTML Edition lets you use standard HTML tags to specify your print layout, and lets you print your HTML content with a single API call.

If you use HTML from within your handheld application, PrintBoy SDK HTML Edition allows you to leverage your investment in standard HTML. PrintBoy’s HTML SDK is fully printer-independent.

PrintBoy SDK Basic Edition

PrintBoy SDK Basic Edition provides developers with simple, low-level printing APIs that allow basic printing to be accomplished. Although not as powerful and feature-rich as the Reports Edition or the HTML Edition, in some cases the Basic Edition APIs may still prove to be adequate. In very specific printing scenarios such as mag-stripe reading, the Basic Edition even provides functionality that is not directly accessible from Reports or HTML.

Print Manager - Employ a rich set of drawing primitives that allow you to precise positioning control of text, lines, rectangles, bitmaps and other elements. Requires printers that support a full x/y coordinate system.

Page Manager - Quickly and easily add basic text printing output to your application. Employs a "line-printing" model similar to that used by dot-matrix printers to enable simple printing with minimum effort.

How Do I Decide Which Edition is Right for My Application?

For most applications, the best choice is PrintBoy SDK Reports Edition because:

  • Reports Edition has built-in support for advanced report and forms elements such as tables, fonts, alignment, bitmaps, and logos.
  • Reports Edition is fully printer independent
  • Reports Edition APIs are highly portable between PocketPC and Palm OS platforms
  • Reports Edition supports the use of Report Templates to specify page layouts and formatting without changing application code

If your application already deals with its data in HTML format, or you plan to make use of HTML based data, you may wish instead to use PrintBoy SDK HTML edition

There are two main reasons why you might consider using PrintBoy SDK Basic Edition:

1. You require very precise positioning control over graphical elements such as rectangles, lines and bitmaps, and you are willing to work with an x/y coordinate system and basic drawing primitives in order to achieve that level of control.

2. You are using a specialized printer such as Oneil or Symbol, and you need to access Page Manager APIs that support magstripe card reading or special font control such as fontsize multipliers.

Aside from these two scenarios, virtually all of the Basic Edition API functionality is supported in a more comprehensive and powerful way in both the Reports Edition or the HTML Edition.

Copyright 2005 Bachmann Software & Services, LLC