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Scan QR Codes To Dynamically Produce Mobile Forms

Robinson Develops Apps that scan QR CodesThis Alpha TransForm case study profiles Robinson Solutions, which provides facility services, maintenance, production support, technical services and facilities management for its clients' production facilities. The Company wanted to create mobile forms that could scan QR codes and create forms dynamically to speed tasks.

Streamlining Operations with Mobile Forms

The Alpha TransForm mobile forms builder has made building and deploying powerful mobile data collection apps a very quick and smooth process. But while building one, two or a dozen digital forms in TransForm is straightforward and fast, there are some unique custom scenarios where a different type of approach is needed. One of those situations includes taking advantage of the Alpha TransForm programming language to build offline apps that can access large amounts of data

Dan Binns from Robinson Solutions describes:

“At our client sites we have an obligation to audit the work we complete. We have 1000s of tasks at each of the locations we serve.

The audit criteria for these tasks change over time, and we wanted to be able to have one application that can dynamically generate all questions for a selected location, without maintaining a database, and while operating entirely offline.”

A Sophisticated Mobile Forms Builder that Leverages QR Codes

Dan had already laid the groundwork with a very smart approach: the list of tasks for each audit location was prepared in a spreadsheet and converted to a unique QR code for that location.

app built to leverage QR codes

The requirement now was: could an Alpha TransForm mobile form read the QR code, and dynamically produce the list of tasks contained in that QR code, as a list of questions to be completed in the form?

The added complexity here came from Dan’s requirement above: “without maintaining a database”. This means the Alpha Software Professional Services team could not use a group of predefined questions produced from a lookup. Complete data-entry elements on the form actually needed to be created on the fly, just from reading the QR code.

Alpha TransForm Datagroups Feature Adds More Power to the App

The first part of the solution was Datagroups – one of the most powerful features of the Alpha TransForm mobile forms builder. Datagroups allow for data capture of an arbitrary number of data elements, when the number of items needing to be captured cannot be predefined when designing the form.

Datagroups are commonly used when capturing organized lists of data, as a general example, the people that participated in an audit. We know what type of data we want to capture per person (name, role, signature), but we don’t know how many “rows” of data will be captured, since there may be 2 or 4 or 6 people in an audit. So we build a Datagroup containing just a single set of the 3 fields (name, role, signature), and then at run time in the TransForm mobile app the user decides how many “rows” of this data to enter. All this can be implemented in the no-code TransForm form builder.

In Dan’s scenario we did not know the form questions in advance. We could not predefine a question because each question (task) for each location needed to be dynamically created. So we could not implement something like this statically in the TransForm form builder alone.

A Built-in Programming Language Takes Mobile Forms Farther

The second part of the solution came with the TransForm Programming Language – TPL. With TPL, Alpha TransForm designers can go beyond the no-code tools and implement custom business logic – such as what was needed here – using a scripting language that runs inside the mobile app.

Using TPL, all that was needed was a Datagroup defined as a scaffold – a single text section for the task description, and a single set of “Yes – No – N/A” buttons for marking if the task was carried out.

Sophisticated mobile forms

So when a QR code containing 10 tasks is scanned in the Alpha TransForm form:

QR Code

Alpha TransForm examines the string captured with TPL, parses it out to 10 individual tasks, and dynamically creates 10 “rows” in the DataGroup recreating the list of 10 tasks with the Yes – No – N/A buttons next to each.

 

All without any user action apart from scanning the QR code.

The form is ready to use ! And a different QR code would result in a different form.

Note that no backend or database configuration is needed to support these “changing” forms – Alpha TransForm has been designed to support data-driven structures such as this.

Mobile App leverages QR Codes

 

Mobile Forms The Speed Tasks for Robinson and It Clients

Robinson Solutions will be rolling out this solution at a number of its clients sites. By providing this as a service, they aim to receive real time feedback in order to exceed the expectations of their customers.



Take Your Forms Mobile with Alpha TransForm

Alpha Transform is a sophisticated mobile forms solution that build mobile forms apps quickly, makes workers more productive and collects accurate data rapidly.

Build apps that scan QR codes with Alpha TransForm
  • Turn paper forms into digital forms with custom features in minutes: 
  • No signal? No problem. Builds apps that work without a WIFI or cell connection.
  • Produce intelligent field apps and perform complex calculations using built-in business logic. 
  • Leverage your existing investments by tying mobile forms into your existing systems and data sources.

Try Alpha TransForm for freeBuild mobile forms based on your existing paper forms, or simply customize one of the free mobile forms templates available in the trial.

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About Author

Amy Groden-Morrison
Amy Groden-Morrison

Amy Groden-Morrison has served more than 15 years in marketing communications leadership roles at companies such as TIBCO Software, RSA Security and Ziff-Davis. Most recently she was responsible for developing marketing programs that helped achieve 30%+ annual growth rate for analytics products at a $1Bil, NASDAQ-listed business integration Software Company. Her past accomplishments include establishing the first co-branded technology program with CNN, launching an events company on the NYSE, rebranding a NASDAQ-listed company amid a crisis, and positioning and marketing a Boston-area startup for successful acquisition. Amy currently serves as a Healthbox Accelerator Program Mentor, Marketing Committee Lead for the MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge Launch Smart Clinics, and on the organizing team for Boston TechJam. She holds an MBA from Northeastern University.

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The Alpha platform is the only unified mobile and web app development and deployment environment with distinct “no-code” and “low-code” components. Using the Alpha TransForm no-code product, business users and developers can take full advantage of all the capabilities of the smartphone to turn any form into a mobile app in minutes, and power users can add advanced app functionality with Alpha TransForm's built-in programming language. IT developers can use the Alpha Anywhere low-code environment to develop complex web or mobile business apps from scratch, integrate data with existing systems of record and workflows (including data collected via Alpha TransForm), and add additional security or authentication requirements to protect corporate data.

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