This 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.
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.
So when a QR code containing 10 tasks is scanned in the Alpha TransForm form:
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 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.
- 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 free. Build mobile forms based on your existing paper forms, or simply customize one of the free mobile forms templates available in the trial.