Case study: Deploying a mobile application for farm accounting
Quick mobile application deployment
Datalab is a very successful provider of business software predominantly in the south-eastern European market. With over 30.000 users they are the leaders in the region.
When Datalab decided to expand into farm accounting they realized that work doesn’t happen in the office. Their software needs to be used where work gets done on the farms: in the barns and on the field. They needed a mobile version of their application. There was another important requirement: they needed the app quickly, almost overnight so it could be displayed at the Cebit exhibition.
They found the solution in Transforms. After exchanging a few emails, SQL settings and screenshots, Datalab was able to showcase a mobile farm accounting app they can showcase to potential partners and customers at the biggest technology exhibition in the world.
Why use a tablet to run a farm?
Mobile devices like tablet computers and smart phones allow farmers to improve efficiency of their work, traceability of all nutrition and animal health related events. With ever increasing demand for traceability in the food supply chain, farmers are also required to log all events that can affect quality and safety of products. Logging those events manually in the back office takes time and introduces risk of errors as wrong data could be assigned to the wrong animal.
Benefits of using a mobile framework for the software developers
Time to market was crucial for Datalab as there is a huge difference if you promise a potential customer that you will create something versus pulling a device from your pocket and demonstrating how it already works. With fast response from our engineering team and using the Transforms framework, Datalab got a solution faster than they would publish a job opening.
The next obvious benefit is saving money on human resources. Datalab has a great team of desktop application developers but mobile is a whole new world. There are new tools, different philosophy and often a different team required to develop mobile application. Moreover, mobile developers are hard to find, raising the price and extending the hiring time.
Inexpensive flexibility. Going after a new market or using new technology usually doesn’t end up with first version being perfect. Many iterations are needed to create a viable product. Again the speed at which the companies can adapt to changing requirements makes the difference between being a leader and winner or a loser. With Transforms, flexibility is built in and if the first day of demonstration at the exhibition shows the need for changes, they can make them instantly so the next customer already sees the new pitch.
Porting a desktop application to the mobile device
Using software in the back-office is one thing, using it in the barn is a totally different experience. Also in the user interface. The screenshots below are in Slovenian language but you should still be able to get the picture.
The desktop interface:
The mobile interface: