|What is the Template Center?
ScoutPalDB comes with a built-in standard template that sets up the style
and formatting of database lookups on your PDA. But in the spirit of "open source",
ScoutPal has opened up this interface, providing full and free open access to
templates designed by the ScoutPal user community, and we believe that this
will bring fantastic new ScoutPalDB features to all users.
NOTE: Scripted templates may not work properly on some PDA's
that use a version of Windows Mobile above 5.0
View the source-code of an example template
that plays "ding.wav" when market price is better (higher) than $7 and
rank is better (less) than 2,500,000.
- To use a template:
- Download a template file from the Template Center Gallery to your computer.
(A folder of templates is also included in the installation/update
- You can optionally edit a template file when it's on your computer:
Right-click it and open with Notepad. Then edit the criteria numbers to
meet your own specifications. (Plain numbers only, no dollar signs
or punctuation other than an optional decimal point.)
Templates can display and evaluate only the data currently
residing in the databases. Specifically:
Amazon/Used/New/Collectible lowest price, listing counts
(if available), and sales rank.
- Templates are written in the basic format of the web: HTML.
feature sets are limited by the Windows Mobile operating system.)
more complicated, but there's a wealth of tutorial resources on the web
for both HTML
template, the easiest way to start is to choose one of the templates from
the Template gallery that seems to come close to what you want it to do.
Download it to your desktop and open it with Windows Notepad. Then edit
away, but carefully: computers are quite picky regarding punctuation and
- If you can't figure out how to customize or create a template, send
an email to ScoutPal with an attached starting template from the gallery
that comes closest to what you want, and tell us in plain English what you
want it to do. For example: "Attached is a template that almost
does what I want, except I want it to boldface the rank when the lowest
price is greater than 5, and ding when the lowest price is at or above $9.25
and the sales rank is better (lower, but above zero) than 747000."
for you, doing our best to make a version that meets your requirements.
- Copy the template file of your choice to the Pocket PC's storage card. Put it in the
same place where the database files reside: for most users they are in a folder named "SPDB2".
- Templates that emit sound(s) will need sound file(s) in the same location
as the database. Most templates use a single wav sound file named "ding". You can substitute
another sound effect, as long as it is named as required by the template.
- Tap Settings / OK in ScoutPalDB: this tells it to use
the new template file.
- You can use the PDA File Explorer to organize your templates into separate
folders on the storage card, then copy and paste your selected template
into the database file location. Be sure to do Step 7 after pasting in a
new template. You can switch templates while ScoutPalDB is running.
- To test a template, tap in the test code "X42" instead of an ISBN/UPC.
The ScoutPalDB program will then bring up random items from the currently
active database each time you tap [Seek], so you can quickly see how a template
will work with various price/rank scenarios.
- Things to check if a template does not seem to work for you:
- The template file name:
- As displayed in Pocket PC File Explorer, the template file name should be exactly this: "spdbtemplate"
- It should have an Internet Explorer icon, and if you tap on it in Pocket PC File Explorer, it should open in an Internet Explorer window.
spelling, punctuation, logic, etc. Untouched templates, straight
from the gallery, will usually work correctly (but not guaranteed, as
they originate from other users who may have different equipment or configurations.)
- The Database File Location path as specified on the Settings screen
must be composed correctly in order for a template to work properly:
- Be sure that the path is composed with back-slashes (\), not forward-slashes
- There should not be a slash at the front of the path.
- Even though a location path composed with forward-slashes will work
for basic database file access, it will not work correctly with a template.
- Here a some examples of location paths that are properly composed
for template usage:
(use "storage card", "sd card", or "cf card", depending
on how your Pocket PC names its memory card .)
- storage card\spdb2\spdb.dbb
- sd card\spdb.dbb
- cf card\spdb.dbb
- Examples of location paths that are not properly composed:
- sd card/spdb2\spdb.dbb (Change the forward-slash "/" to a back-slash
- \sd card\spdb.dbb (The leading slash needs to be removed)
- If you are using a sound template, and no sounds ever seem to play:
- Be sure that the required sound files are in the same place on the
storage card as the database. For most users, this will be in an "SPDB2"
folder that's in the root of the SD card.
- Read the template's source code to find out what sound files it requires.
Most templates need a single ding.wav file, but there are other, more
sophisticated templates, that rely on different sound files with unusual
names. To view a template's source code, copy the template to your
computer first, then open it up from there, using Notepad.
- Be sure that the PDA's volume control is on full.
- Tap Start / Settings / Sounds, confirm that sounds for programs
- Using the Pocket PC File Explorer, navigate to and tap on the sound
file -- it should play back with the built-in Media Player program.
(Not all sound files are compatible with every device.)
- If you are using a Bluetooth headset,
refer to the FAQ's.
- Changing the sound that a template uses:
- After you have found a sound file that you like: (in our
on the web, or otherwise):
- Make a folder on the sd card and put a copy of the sound file in there
for safe keeping. You could name the folder “vibe”, for example,
but it doesn’t really matter what its name is; it just needs a safe place
on the sd card so that it won’t get overwritten during a DB update.
- Make the sound file’s primary name be “ding”.
- You should confirm that the sound file is compatible with the PDA:
using the PDA’s File Explorer program, navigate to the sd card, open your
new “vibe” folder, and tap on your new sound file to see if it will play
and sound out in the PDA’s Media Player program. You need to do this because
not all sound files are compatible with all PDA’s: if it won’t play in
the Media Player, it won’t play in the ScoutPalDB program.
- When you want to put the custom sound to use, copy and paste it from
its safe-keeping folder over to the SPDB2 folder, replacing what is there.
If the sound file is named ding, you'll need to restore it to the SPDB2
folder after each datbase update. You can do this with the PDA’s
file explorer, or with the computer’s file explorer while the sd card is currently plugged into the computer.
- If you would like to avoid having to restore the custom sound file after
each DB update, you can do this:
- Put a copy of your current template file on your computer somewhere easy
to find and use. (Like on the Desktop or in the My Documents folder.)
- Right-click and open it with Notepad. (It must be edited with a plain-text
editor like Notepad, not Word or some other fancy program.)
- Near the bottom of the code in the template, you'll see a line of program
code where it references a sound file named “ding.wav”.
Edit the code so that the reference name is mysound.wav, or something like
that. (Be very careful that you don’t alter or change any of the punctuation
and code around the name; change only the literal primary name reference
from “ding” to “mysound”.)
- Save the modified template file, then copy it from the computer over to
the sd card’s SPDB2 folder, replacing what is there.
- Keep the template file copy on your computer in case you need further correct
- Give your special sound file the primary name “mysound” (or
whatever name you chose in step 3.c) then put a copy of the special sound file directly in the sd card’s SPDB2 folder.
- If, later on, you want to use a different sound, just do step 3.f
again. (The name of the sound file is just a name, that's all it
is. It could go "Booinggg" or "Blam" or "KaBoom", and still have
a name of "mysound".)
- Remember: anytime you change, move, add, or rename files (template,
sound, database) you need to either soft-reset, or tap Settings / OK in
the ScoutPalDB program so that it can discover the changed file(s).