TDox is not only an application for mobile data collection. Forms and PDF documents designer tools allow you to create a lot of different data collection applications, without developing code (no-code). You can easily convert and replace any form (both paper and Excel/PDF format) filled manually by your employees, with a digital TDox form fillable on smartphones or tablets, Android and iOS.
You can entirely design each form and its PDF from the WebApp: a desktop portal for TDox users which is easy to use and intuitive. With TDox forms you do not only collect data that were previously written on paper, but also many other information, such as precise GPS coordinates of devices, photos of performed activities and any other information automatically retrieved by main registries (customers, products, custom tables).
Form designer tool, also know as “Process designer”, is the heart of the whole system. You can use it if you are an Administrator user or a Designer user. You can access to the Designer only from PC, because of the amount of options available and because they must be seen clearly during the designing phase.
From TDox WebApp, on “Your forms” page, select the form to be modified (new or an already existing one) and use the 4 main sections:
- List of Steps (on the left)
- Preview on smartphone (at the center)
- Properties panel (on the right)
- Components bar (at the bottom)
Steps and form components
Each steps corresponds with a form in the App, with one or more fields to be filled in. Each fields represents a specific information to be collected and registered:
- a customer, a product or any other kind of registry record
- a date (calendar), a time or an automatic timestamp
- a small text field, a multiline note or a barcode
- a selection list (only one choice) or a checklist (more choices)
- a photo, a digital signature or a geographical location (GPS)
- a classification category or a simple information label.
For each kind of information there exists a dedicated component, to be inserted into the step, and to which you can assign properties and relations with other form components already inserted into the same step or in some previous ones.
VARIABLES, CONDITIONS AND FORMULAE
Each component added in the form represents a variable of the process. For this reason, for each component of a step it’s necessary to assign:
-a unique code (name/code of the field without spaces nor accented characters, for instance “Start_work”): it will be used as identification key of the variable related to the field, for its storage and its usage during data collection execution;
-a text label for users (es. “Beginning time”): it will be the text visible above the field.
You can use every variable in conditions of checks and visibility of steps and/or other next steps or in automatic calculation/format formulae. The same variables can then be used to create the PDF document (see section PDF documents Designer ).
A step can be repeated, so a mobile user could insert N times information in the same step, but with different values. This becomes particularly useful when the same operations must be performed many times, without knowing the actual number of time in advance. With repeated steps there is no upperbound on the quantity of information you could collect for the same kind of activity.
For example, insert:
- different items (from/towards the warehouse or for the usage in the field) with the related quantity and price
- activities performed on different items (machines, products, persons…), with outcome and comments for each one
- different persons that worked, each one with his/her entry time, break and exit time
- different photos, each one dedicated to a specific subject (location, construction site, equipment…) with additional comments
- digital signatures of different people for approval or work progress
- other countless usages.
Each repeated step leads to a table or visible grid from App, where columns are step fields and rows contain different values of each repetition. Grid is initially empty and is then populated by the user at each repetition.
It’s also possible to populate automatically the grid, starting from a custom table, that is a data table created by the administrator to register information that must be available and changeable both from App and office, but that can’t be located into the main registries (for instance the list of machines with data of the last performed maintenance).
PUBLICATION AND VISIBILITY
Once the form and the related PDF document have been completed, you can publish the form online. It will not be visible to anyone from the App until you assign it to users who will use it. By managing the visibility of individual user forms, you can create and test new forms without affecting other users. Each user will have, on his mobile device, only the forms that you, as an administrator, will make visible.
VIEW ON APP
The display of the steps from smartphone or tablet is always sequential, i.e. it respects the exact order of the steps you have defined during the form design phase. However, from the forms designer tool you can define suitable visibility conditions on one or more steps that allow you to “skip” them.
For example, if you asked “Have you delivered materials?” the user answers “NO”, the program should skip the material delivery step (to be displayed on condition that the answer was “YES”) to continue with the following steps.
At the last step, the compilation ends and the data is saved and synchronized in the cloud to make it immediately available to the office.