Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Monday, July 30, 2007
- Use .NET to develop mobile applications and a mobile application platform
- Use a "rapid application development solution for mobile environments" like MobileDataforce's PointSync Mobility Platform.
MobileDataforce® PointSync is a complete mobility platform, used to rapidly design, develop and deploy business critical mobile applications to the field force. The PointSync® Mobility Platform is an enterprise class solution architected to provide database centric applications with full bi-directional synchronization and security for use on handheld computers, Smart Phones, Tablet PCs and Laptops.
It really depends on if your interest is a cool IT development project, or if you simply want the mobile application done so you deploy and start using it. If your interest is really the completed project, not the development experience, then using the PointSync Mobility Platform is likely going to get you deployed in the field in a fraction of the time and with a lot less cost and effort.
If you would like a personal demonstration of the PointSync Mobility Platform click here.
Friday, July 27, 2007
Thursday, July 26, 2007
Question - What does MobileDataforce do with old HP iPAQs?
Answer - We place them in a variety of rugged Otterbox cases and drop them to see if these handheld PDAs will break.
Details: We dropped the HP iPAQ many times from 8 feet. We used 2 different Otterboxs and we could not break the iPAQ inside. We then used a rugged iPAQ case from HP. The rugged case shattered, but not the iPAQ. So if you had a large number of HP cases, the iPAQ would be fine.
Although one of the larger rugged handheld computers, the shape is very agreeable to the grip and the weight is reasonable. One of our customers is currently using this device in the context of mobile autobody services.
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
When you walk the halls of MobileDataforce you will see desk's covered with PDAs, rugged handheld computers, bar code scanners, cradles, satellite domes, etc. On a pass a few minutes ago I saw the following:
- Intermec CN3
- Psion Teklogix's WorkAbout Pro (different sizes)
- Socket SoMo (and Socket Bar code Scanner)
- Symbol MC70
- Palm Treo 750 (700, 650...)
- HP iPAQ
- Dell Axim
- Symbol 9000
- T-Mobile MDA
- Mobile Mapper CE
- Itronix Duo-Touch
- TDS Nomad
- Mobile Printers of all kinds
A paradise of mobile gadgets, Windows Mobile applications,cradles and cables that we are testing or deploying at sites around the world.Two weeks ago one of our senior engineers had a Psion Teklogix WorkAbout Pro on his desk. It was sent to us from a customer in the UK, shipped from the Netherlands and manufactured in France. It contained a specialized RFID radio in it that we configured to work with the PointSync Mobility Platform. This solution was going to be used on RFID enabled "wheelie bins" or large trash containers. What could be more fun?
For those of you pondering how to choose the right hardware for your company's needs, please follow this link and download the document called, "Selecting Appropriate Handheld Computers."
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
The second generation WORKABOUT PRO, more rugged and more feature-rich than its predecessor, enables you to significantly change the wireless handheld device in the field, as your work requirements evolve over time. Psion Teklogix is leveraging existing expansion modules from our first generation WORKABOUT PRO, which are fully compatible with the second generation, providing our customers and partners additional investment protection. The new WORKABOUT PRO supports a variety of field installable expansion modules including scanners, imagers, RFID modules, Wireless LAN (WLAN) Wireless WAN (WWAN) radios, and more. Psion Teklogix takes flexibility to the next level by offering a Hardware Developer’s Kit (HDK) that allows you to develop your own custom expansion modules to address your unique business needs. Some recent developments include expansion modules that take fingerprints, read cattle ear tags, and scan passports.
MobileDataforce has seen many of these devices deployed in rugged conditions with excellent results.
MobileDataforce is testing a new Intemec CN3 handheld PDA with an attached card reader for one of our clients. It feels nice and balanced in my hand and seems to be a very viable hardware solution for our clients.
Our client wants to perform inspections out-of-doors with this windows mobile device and also charge for services, process a credit or debit card transaction and print invoices and receipts from a mobile printer.
Yesterday we tried to use the new Socket Pocket PC with an add-on Socket barcode scanner to read the VIN on a General Motors vehicle. No luck. GM automobiles all have their VIN number with barcode on the dashboard so you must scan through the windshield. The scanner is just not bright enough to penetrate the windshield under full sun. This is not unique since about the only device we have tested that does this well in the Psion Teklogix WorkAbout Pro with a laser scanner.
In defense of the Socket SoMo - we are very impressed with the speed of this device and it's PDA capabilities. Our Product Manager uses it daily in the office.
Monday, July 23, 2007
Friday, July 20, 2007
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
This is always a difficult question. How can you know what you don't know. Well I guess the answer is you find someone who has been there and done that and learn from them.
This blog article is a good starting point. It identifies 51 questions the helpdesk team will want to have answered before large mobile software deployments.
Let me highlight a few of the questions you will want to have answered:
- Do you anticipate only needing one specific mobile software application, or many mobile applications over time? Can you start with a mobile software platform that supports all of your mobile needs, or will each mobile application be a separate IT project and use different technologies and infrastructures?
- Do you know your exact solution and data requirements in advance, or do you anticipate needing to edit and adjust your mobile application as you learn from your field experiences and users? This will impact both design and schedules.
- Do you have an in-house software development capability, budget and helpdesk infrastructure to enable you to customize your own mobile software application(s)?
- Do you want to contract your mobile software application design, development and deployment to an experienced mobility company, or build it internally?
- Will you be synchronizing your field data with one back-office database, or multiple database applications?
- Do you know how to integrate field data to your database applications? Do you have your own DBA that can do this?
- Mobile solutions are often used on laptops, Tablet PCs, Smart phones, PDAs, etc. Do you know your exact hardware requirements? Will you be supporting just one device, or all of the above?
- If your internal IT staff are developing your mobile solution, do they know how to do the following: support GPS, Barcodes, RFID, Digital Signatures, Digital Image integration, synchronize data across multiple databases, provide helpdesk tools to support large deployments, etc.
- Do you have an IT development team that is experienced in designing, developing and deploying mobile applications, or is this their very first mobility project. Can you afford the steep learning curve, time and money developing a mobile application in-house with no experience?
- Have you considered the support effort required to manage large mobile software deployments? Do you have software in place to manage this?
- The biggest challenge with complex mobile application development is to create the right data model for your mobile application before you start development. Often an appropriate data model for a simple mobile application, is not the appropriate data model once you start adding features in future versions.
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Friday, July 06, 2007
Tools, Parts & Mobile Work Order Solutions on Handheld PDAs
HVAC Maintenance and Mobile Handheld PDAs
HVAC Service Orders on Handheld PDAs
Mobilized Work Order System
Mobile Inspection Software, Service Requests & Asset Management
Toilets and Handheld PDAs
More on Mobile Workflow & Business Processes
30 Reasons to Mobilize Your Business
Business Analytics and Mobile Handheld Computers
Mobile Service Orders for Furniture Repair and Delivery
Automobile Work Order Solution for Handheld PDAs