4.1 Understanding Handheld Application Objects

ZENworks Handheld Management software distribution allows you to distribute Handheld Application objects to handheld devices as part of software distributions. Handheld Application objects contain collections of files that you want copied to your handheld devices.

Handheld Application objects usually consist of applications to install on handheld devices, for example, .prc files (for Palm OS devices); .cab files (for Windows CE devices); and .alx, .ali, .cod, and .dll files for BlackBerry devices.

The following sections contain additional information:

4.1.1 Specifying Source Files

When creating Handheld Application objects, you can select files, directories (and subdirectories), or both as the components of your object. You can also specify wildcard characters as a source file specification.

The following sections contain additional information:

Files for Palm OS Devices

Only standard Palm OS file types should be selected when creating handheld application objects targeted for Palm OS devices. Supported file types include:

  • Application files (*.prc)

  • Database files (*.pdb)

  • Query application files (*.pqa)

  • Configuration files (*.pnc and *.scp)

Files for Windows CE Devices

  • Because Windows CE devices support different processor types, ZENworks Handheld Management ensures that only CAB files compatible with the processor are copied to the Windows CE device when it synchronizes.

    If CAB files are included in the handheld application object, they are automatically extracted and installed.

  • Other files such as .txt, .html, or any other format supported by the handheld device.

Files for BlackBerry Devices

Only standard RIM BlackBerry file types should be selected when creating handheld application objects targeted for BlackBerry devices. Supported file types include:

  • Configuration files (*.alx and *.ali) along with Dynamic link library files (*.dll)

  • Configuration files (*.alx) along with Java Applications (*.cod)

ZENworks Handheld Management lets you distribute software to BlackBerry devices that are synchronized with a cradle; ZENworks Handheld Management does not support software distribution to BlackBerry devices using wireless synchronization.

4.1.2 Understanding Automatic Application Updates

For recurring software distributions (distributions that are scheduled to run more than once, for example, weekly), ZENworks Handheld Management automatically scans the application’s source directories at the scheduled time and includes new or changed files with the software distribution.

This allows an administrator to copy new or updated files to the source directory for distribution to handheld devices without needing to create a new Handheld Application object.

For example, you distribute sales data weekly to your sales staff. Each Monday, before sending out the distributions, ZENworks Handheld Management scans the application’s source directory. If there are any new or changed files added during the previous week, they are included in that Monday’s application distribution. The handheld device receives only the files that have changed.

If the source directory has no changes during the week, the application is not sent (unless new handheld devices have been added to the list of recipients).

4.1.3 Installing Software at a Predefined Time Even When the Device is Not Connected to the Network

You can now specify the date and time when you want to install the Handheld Application object files on the device by configuring the date and time in the Handheld Application object’s properties. This feature helps you in synchronizing the software updates across the Palm or Windows CE devices.