I have known about Funambol for a while and it seems to be a very promising solution for the purpose of syncing data across diverse mobile platforms. Somehow I never really got down to use it in one of my projects so far. I have decided to check this solution in a test project in my spare time and get a feel of the overall solution myself. It has the correct vision of connecting everything ‘mobile’ via the cloud and I think this product has got a very promising future. I firmly believe that the future is a combination of mobile and cloud. A robust and diverse ecosystem of app driven mobile development market is going to be much larger than the traditional web and enterprise development.
In due course of development I came across a project which required me to extract thousands of file attachments from a MS Access 2010 file. This is a new feature of access and relatively less documented feature for which no third party tools are available to facilitate automated extraction of all the attachments. Manually extracting all the attachments was not an option so I started looking for programmatic ways to do it. Although I did find some ways by which I could use the native scripting of MS Access to extract all the files but I was not sure if it would work reliably. So I started looking for automated macro based solutions and I remembered using Jitbit Macro Recorder a couple of years back. This solution promised some hopes of allowing me to do what I wanted to do without throwing a new programming language in my way. So I went ahead and downloaded a new copy from Jitbit website. I was fairly impressed with the enhanced editor and macro recording facility. it took me very little time to record a reliable macro which could repetitively extract files from the MS Access file. Although the process was slow I was able to extract some files from MS Access without any problem. However the speed of extraction was very slow and I started to lose my patience. This is where Jitbit Macro Recorder again shined and I was able to locate the issue down to a number of unwanted delays which had crept into the recoded script due to my slow recording process. Using the inbuilt editor provided by this solution I finally removed almost 80% of the delays and then I was perceptively pleased at the faster rate of file extraction. After the final tweak the Jitbit Macro Recorder was able to extract files way faster than I could ever do manually. Overall at the end of the whole episode I was surprised that there were more than 3700 files extracted by this wonderful tool! It just worked quite reliably and didn’t crash or slowed down while dong this heavy duty operation which means the developers have done a very good job and have designed this solution for production use. There is no doubt in my mind that this tool is a very promising automation tool in my arsenal and I am going to keep using for quite sometime.