Case study: mobile web application
A US-based medical supplies company wanted a mobile application in which its roaming staff could log field sales data. The application had to work on iOS (principally iPad, but iPhone too), and had to function whilst disconnected from the internet.
Data collection consisted of a structured field sales entry form, with an optional “follow-up” record to accompany the sales data at a later date. Users had to be able to enter data whilst disconnected, and they needed to be able to submit completed records to the corporate back-end when on-line once more (via a VPN).
We partnered with an American project management company, Systems Advisory Services, to tender for this project, and won it based upon an excellent presentation from SAS principal Tom White, using some proof-of-concept screens and software we provided.
We opted to develop a mobile web application, utilising WebKit’s WebSQL implementation together with the jQuery Mobile framework.
jQuery Mobile enabled us to work up a decent mobile user interface—essential for our forms-based application—and this was augmented by a smattering of jQuery UI for autocomplete functionality, jQuery Mobile DateBox for an enhanced date picker control, Matteo Spinelli's Spinning Wheel on WebKit for number selectors, and finally XMLObjectifier, which provided a bridge between XML and JSON for consumption of SOAP-based web services from the application.
- We wrote a SOAP-based web service consumer for transmitting completed field sales and follow-up record data back to the office.
- We designed a pleasant user interface using jQuery Mobile.
- At the back-end, our friends at Systems Advisory Services put together the web services, back-end processing (e.g. to link follow-up records to their associated sales records) and reporting, via Microsoft’s SQL Server Reporting Services.
All delivered on-time and to budget. Interested in having your own mobile web application? Get in touch today!