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BusinessMAP 4.1 Frequently Asked Questions

Summary

Your questions about BusinessMAP 4.1 answered.

Description

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: I don't see anything about an API in my copy of BusinessMAP. Where do I find it?
A: You must have BusinessMAP version 4.1. Version 4.0 does not include the API. If you have version 4.1, be sure to install the SDK when prompted during the setup. If you have version 4.0, and would like to utilize your programming skills to customize BusinessMAP, call the BusinessMAP sales line and inquire about getting version 4.1.

Q: The BusinessMAP screenshots look different, has the user interface been updated?
A: Yes, the UI now has the standard Windows XP interface, but all the commands and wizards will still be familiar to those who have used earlier versions. The only new feature added is the ability to switch from miles to kilometers as the standard unit of measurement. All the other data and features are the same as in 4.0.

Q: Can I make my own GPS tracking application?
A: Yes, you can feed lat/long coordinates to BusinessMAP through the API to show a map of the current location. It is also possible to send a series of lat/longs to show a route. Note that although you can send the coordinates to BusinessMAP, the API does not include BusinessMAP's GPS reader, thus you must create a way to extract the coordinates from your GPS receiver to feed to BusinessMAP's API.

Q: Can I get a map for an address from my own contact manager or other program?
A: You can send one or multiple addresses through the BusinessMAP API. This will either put the points on the map as specified in BusinessMAP, or you can have BusinessMAP send an image back to place in your other application.

Q: Can I automate printing a map if I print a new map periodically?
A: Let's say you have a map with an attached database where the database is updated daily and you print the map every Thursday afternoon. Rather than opening BusinessMAP to that particular map and going through the steps to print the map, you could create a desktop icon that would produce a map by simply double-clicking this custom icon. Wouldn't that be nice! In this example, print preview is not necessary, but note that the API cannot activate the print preview.

Q: Rather than print the map, could I save it as a web page?
A: If you create a map in BusinessMAP, you can save the map image in an HTML page. When using the API to automate such a task, you would need to create the code to simply add or replace the map image on a current web page. (e.g. The Save As Web Page command is not available via the API.)

Q: Can I automate finding all customers within a radius of a specific address?
A: Yes, you can create a buffer search around any point (address, ZIP Code center, lat/long, etc.) to query your database. "Find Nearby" is another way to say buffer search, so see buffer search in the API documentation to create a find nearby function as found in BusinessMAP.

Q: I see that I can create a buffer search to find all points within a radius or other specified shape (rectangle or polygon), but can I buffer for polygons such as ZIP Codes?
A: You cannot perform a buffer search for a polygon layer from a point, however, you can buffer a polygon layer along a line (route). Thus, you can find all ZIP Codes, for example along a route.

Q: After I buffer the ZIP Polygons, can I filter that layer to create a new layer of just those ZIP polygons?
A: Although you can do this in BusinessMAP, the filter layer function is not available through the API.

Q: What database functions can I do via the API?
A: You can add a database, query a database, specify the symbology, color code the database symbols, and copy selected database records. To export database records, you must build your own method via ADO or other database protocol. You do not have API access to these database commands: Sort, Totals, Fields (what fields appear in the database window), Font (as seen in the database window) and Return Results (when linked database from ACT, GoldMine, Outlook, or Excel).

Q: I like the ring study wizard and want to use it in my custom application. Do I have API access to that wizard or dialog boxes?
A: You have access to all the methods, but cannot call the dialog as used in the BusinessMAP wizard. You will need to recreate the dialog for your custom application.

Q: If I create a new style (to set toolbar buttons and windows), and run my executable to open using the style with a new map, it doesn't hold my style, why?
A: The BusinessMAP new map templates specify a specific style and will override the call to use your style. This is easily overcome by creating your own map template and using it when opening a new map.

Q: When I create a custom control, must I register it?
A: Yes, and if you create a test control, be sure to uninstall/unregister it after testing (do not just delete the folder where the test control resides).

Q: In BusinessMAP's Tools, Options dialog, you can set certain default settings. Can you do this via the API?
A: You cannot set defaults for the following:
  • Rings - cannot set defaults for rings and drive-time studies
  • Image Layers - cannot set image layer defaults (see options dialog)
  • Startup - cannot set startup map (last saved map)
  • Selection color - cannot set the color used to identify the selected records (on the map and in the database window)

Q: In BusinessMAP, when I find a location, a Found Locations layer is created. Can I create this layer via the API?
A: If you call the Find Locations dialog via the API and use it to find a location, a new Found Locations layer will be added. If you create your own UI to find a location, you will be returned the x,y coordinates whereby you can zoom the map, set labels, etc., but a map layer will not be created.

Q: If I am developing an application that requires the creation of territories is there anything special I should know?
A: You can create territories but the following should be known in designing your application:
  • Show/Hide Internal Boundaries - not exposed via the API
  • Show Contents - you must create your own method
  • Update Territory - you must create your own method
  • Resolve Territories - not exposed via the API

Q: I need to create some custom reports. Can I just edit the ones in BusinessMAP?
A: You can use the BusinessMAP report templates if you are simply going to call the BusinessMAP report wizard via the API. However, if you want to change the report wizard UI, you will have to create your own report generation method - copying and pasting the map and data to your own template.

Q: Are there any other things I cannot call using the API?
A: There is no method to "Save to Palm" via the API. You cannot change the map projection via the API, but you can read/show the current projection. You can center the map on a location, but cannot mimic the smooth panning as when you move your mouse to the edge of the map window in BusinessMAP. What you can do via the API is too comprehensive to list, but review the SDK documentation (Help and Object Model Diagram) for more information.