Intercue Professional PDA form generation suite
This product satisfies what I think suffices as the truest definition of “revolutionary”- an idea which solves a problem which people don’t yet realize they have. Designed to work as “enterprise software for a very specialized enterprise,” this software offers a complete solution for form management with Palm OS-based PDAs (and, very soon, Windows-based smart devices.) True, you might not have known that not having interactive form management available for your Palm OS-based handhelds was a problem…but that’s just because you didn’t realize you had one.
If PDAs, laptops, and desktops primarily just replace good-old-fashioned notebooks, then they were a poor investment, because paper’s a lot cheaper. What digital technology can offer is real-time interactivity, and even social democracy. Opinion polls give students a unique voice. Data collection for tests and quizzes siphons off time better spent in instruction. Similarly, time spent mechanically harvesting the information derived from science labs is time which could be spent analyzing and evaluating it. All of these small improvements and efficiencies, taken as a whole, have an enormous impact, and its sum is greater than its parts.
The package is designed for easy use: simple enough for novices, but powerful enough to provide a variety of options and resources for the sophisticated. The form designer component of the utility allows multi-document generation and offers a wide array of templates and specialized components for ease in project development. After downloading the software onto my laptop, I was able to set up an office poll in under half an hour with under one half hour’s experience, and (believe me) absolutely no graphic design talent. Thanks to advanced XML support, a number of different network configurations are empowered, including integration with Microsoft Office XP.
Once a form is created, Intercue provides quick device deployment, allowing the user to view the output as seen on the handheld without even having to leave the design environment. Although that might not sound like a big deal, like anyone who’s ever used a utility that didn’t incorporate this feature will tell you it is one. A comprehensive user’s guide and context-sensitive tips make for a much smoother learning curve.
Personally, I would give this package four stars, if I had a four star rating system to work with. In lieu of that, unfortunately, I will have to simply say that it deserves the attention of any educator, administrator, or technology aide or buyer that wants to make the very most of the possibilities of their school’s Palm OS-compatible mobile tech; that is, every educator, administrator or technology buyer in a school making use of personal digital assistants. To download a free trial, or just get more information, log on at www.intercue.com or dial the manufacturer toll-free at (866) INTERCUE (866-468-3728).#