Can I do Data Updates with Web Elements

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Can I do Data Updates with Web Elements

Postby Neil Moores » Sat Oct 31, 2015 9:38 pm

We are a Copier Service Company and Ffenics runs every aspect of our business. Is it possible through Web Elements for our engineers when they are on-site at a customers to update their call details with some sort of handheld device. Something like signing for a parcel from a delivery company. Or am I just dreaming.
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Re: Can I do Data Updates with Web Elements

Postby Adrian Jones » Mon Nov 02, 2015 10:11 am

it might be possible, but I think you'd be better served by looking at existing apps out there that handle signatures as well as connectivity issues (e.g. what to do when the hand-held device is out of connection), and then work out how to capture that data into Ff later.

For example, imagine that app writes to a SQL database when data is uploaded, and sends the signature as an image to some accessible folder. You could have a trigger inn the SQL database to then write a data file to a Ff-accessible folder, ready for importing into your Ff app.

This could all occur in near-real time if needed. The importing could be made automatic by either having a Ff session running that watches the folder for changes, or an external program that also watches the folder, and launches Ff when there is something to be done.

I've done both in my time, writing my own external prog in C# and 'merging' it into Ff with custom functions.

FWIW, I am also at the start of a process to write a mobile app, probably using something called Cordova, maybe Xamarin. this won't involve Ff, but will be a learning curve project that might have implications for Ff.

The technologies mentioned are to target multiple device operating systems.
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Re: Can I do Data Updates with Web Elements

Postby Graham Smith » Mon Nov 02, 2015 1:42 pm

In theory, you should be able to built a WebElements page that could be connected to via a browser on a hand held device. BUT, there's a lot of "stuff" between those two things you will have to deal with.

There's the whole issue of setting up a separate web server, and putting it on the interweb, and making sure it's secure from hacking, etc, etc, etc. Not a simple job. Without knowing anything about the amount of data you need to capture or the volume or anything else, this may or may not be a cost effective approach.

For example, I read about someone who is using DropBox to store documents that someone in the field can access and update.
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Re: Can I do Data Updates with Web Elements

Postby Neil Moores » Sun Nov 08, 2015 9:36 pm

Thanks for the info, it sounds much more advanced than I am capable of but it has helped me to seek out a system called Workmobile which can receive csv files and then export the data to update my Ffenics records.
Many thanks once again.
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Re: Can I do Data Updates with Web Elements

Postby Graham Smith » Mon Nov 09, 2015 6:00 pm

I will give you a simple, and very crude, example of one method using the free version of DropBox.

You can put a CSV file in a DropBox folder and people in the field can access it. They can open it with a spreadsheet and add/modify data and save it. At the end of the day, you can import the file into Ffenics and process the data.
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