Mobile devices will often complement existing functionality, providing extra info and IT-support in off-PC situations. Extra info like capture of image, time and location – and support without PC / missing internet connection.
The prime mobile device is the SmartPhone with a 5” screen, camera, GPS etc. Combining capabilities like image capture + + and added data-entry; this also opens up for all new functionality.
Due to screensize, simple keyboard – and perhaps lack of user training, such mobile Apps shall aim for limited, very clear functionality. Of course a sequence of such Apps will provide more comprehensive functionality – but the design will always be different from an existing PC-Form design. The latter with many functions in one large Form and with 30″ plus screen available.
We have chosen to apply APEX for several reasons, a) it is an Oracle product and part of the Database – i.e. no new license is required and b) there is a large community and c) a packaged Apps market is growing. Further there is support from Open Source / Shareware, like the jQuery functionality for general mobile distribution.
Softbase therefore recommend modernization of the existing Forms, the FORMS-Value upgrade toolset, and next the Forms-APEX workflow integration – the latter including our freeware APEX MasterApp for efficient and consistent App development.
This is a win-win scenario and leaves resources for new innovative APEX-based designs – still at a far lower cost than a 1: 1 migration – check calculation example here. Further benefits are obtained fast and inconvenience to users kept at a minimum – all due to reuse of proven Forms-source.
We offer a checklist assisting management with identification of potential Apps, mainly Apps complementing the ERP system. Such Apps must provide real extra value.
- Compare potential mobile Apps with examples from the market, all technologies
- Adapt the selected functions with the standard tool-box with themes/stylesheets
- Reuse Forms source code for all logic, applying RESTul web services