Forms on Apple Devices

AgTerra Posts

Slider

Forms on Apple Devices

The introduction of forms on Apple devices opened up a new set of options for iOS users. During AgTerra’s development phase of Apple forms, a few features had to be tweaked in order to fall within applications standards of the Apple Store. Those familiar with Android forms can expect a very similar form-filling experience, with a slightly different look and feel to the pages.

Form design can play a key role in user experience, so those who design and maintain forms for an account will want to be aware of the type of devices being used within an organization to fill out forms. In this post, we’ll go over some notable differences on the Apple device as well as recommendations for form designers.

No Separate Forms App – Those familiar with our original mobile apps know that MapItFast for Android requires a separate Strider app to use forms. This is not the case with Apple devices. When you install MapItFast from the Apple Store, the app will come with the forms feature built right into it.

How it Works: To attach a form, simply tap on a point, line, polygon, or photo, and select the Forms button in the detail window. This button looks like a piece of paper with a plus sign in the middle. When the button is tapped, MapItFast will display any forms currently attached to the object. If none are attached, a list of available forms will appear.

Stick to shorter form names for easier identification on the Apple device.

Naming Forms – When setting up forms for use on Apple devices, it’s important to be aware of the display limitations on an iOS device. When the list of available forms is displayed to the user, the window will show up to 20 characters. If the form name exceeds 20 characters, part of it will be hidden in the window.

Solution: Try to keep forms names within the 20 character limit so that users can easily identify and select the desired form.

Keyboards – It’s important to note that the text and number keyboards on Apple devices are more rigid than those on Android devices. For example, if a text field for additional comments is displayed toward the bottom of a page, an Android device will automatically “push” the text line up when the keyboard is displayed. An Apple device, on the other hand, will not do this. If the text line is toward the bottom of the page, users may have trouble filling it out because their keyboard covers the text box.

Solution: When designing forms, try to keep text and number entry fields toward the top of pages, or possibly put these questions on their own pages altogether.

Include a hint with autocomplete lists so that Apple users know to start typing in order to see list options.

Autocomplete appearance – Lists with the “autocomplete” appearance work somewhat differently in Apple forms. The page will initially display what looks like a blank text box instead of a list. As soon you being typing, a list of choices will appear.

Solution: Form designers can help users understand how the autocomplete list works by including a note in the “hint” section of the form.

Note Fields – Apple forms currently do not support the use of the data field reference (${dataField}) in question labels. If this is used in a form, users will see a blank space where the data field is referenced.

Solution: Instead of referencing the data field in the label, use a text, integer,or decimal field type and put the referenced field in the calculation column. The field will act as a read-only type because calculations are not editable.

Keep these tips in mind when designing forms and make the most of your next season with forms that work on any device!

Project Organization in MapItFast

AgTerra Posts

Slider

Project Organization in MapItFast

Just like files on a computer, MapItFast projects can accumulate over time. Without a structured file system in place, the project menu can start to look like a messy desktop. Here are some things to keep in mind when considering how to structure projects within MapItFast:

  • Projects cannot exceed 5,000 objects (total of lines, points, and/or polygons). This includes any spatial data that has been uploaded via shapefile, KMZ, or GPX file. If a project exceeds this number, you will receive an error message notifying you that only part of the project has loaded and that you will need to move some of the data to a new project.
  • If a user creates a project on a mobile device, it will automatically go into the “Uncategorized” folder. It can be moved to a different folder using the desktop app.
  • Users will only be able to see the current location of other users if they are working in the same project.

If you’re still not sure about the best way to organize you’re projects, here are some ideas:

  1. Folders by customer name– If your organization does work for multiple customers, it may be useful to organize you projects by customer name.  MapItFast supports subfolders as well, so additional folders could be created beneath each customer – one for each job, for example.
  2. Folders by user – If your data collection centers around a few users rather than clients or customers, you may wish to set up a folder for each user. The users can then choose how to organize their projects within that particular folder.
  3. Projects by date – If users are collecting a great deal of data in the field, it may be necessary to start a new project every month, week, or even daily. This will ensure that you never exceed the 5,000 object limit in a project. The data can always be copied or moved to a larger “master” project later (or exported to GIS format if the dataset is very large).
  4. Projects by region – If you plan on bringing in a large dataset via shapefile or KMZ, it is sometimes necessary to break it up to fit within the 5,000 object parameter. When this happens, one option might be to use a GIS program to divide the data into regions (i.e. by county, city, or simply north half, south half, etc.). This will make projects easier to manage and will keep the data in a location that’s easy to find.

Strider Forms FAQs

AgTerra Posts

Slider

Strider FAQs

AgTerra is committed to making a product that’s functional and easy to use. Sometimes, however, customers come to us with a question that they just can’t figure out on their own. Below are some common questions about Strider for mobile and desktop.

Upload errors can occur for a variety of reasons. If you receive a popup message window, be sure to scroll to the bottom for a better description of the problem. In most cases, you can track down and fix the issue in your Excel file using the information provided by the error message. You can read more about upload errors here in the online help guide.

Remember! You will need to use the user resources password provided by AgTerra to access the help pages.

If you are still unable to determine the cause of the error message, you may contact AgTerra for help.

Users cannot see a form until they have been added to a group and the group has permission to view the form. Strider permissions work independently from MapItFast, so even if a user is part of a MapItFast group, they will need to be part of a group in Strider as well. The steps for setting up user form permissions are outlined here in the online help guide.

Remember! You will need to use the user resources password provided by AgTerra to access the help pages.

In order to use a form in MapItFast, you will need to enable it through the Strider website. To enable the form, go to the Form Management page and select “Edit” next to the form you want to enable. In the Edit page, change the form type to “MapItFast and Strider Form”.

Note – After a form has been enabled, you will need to wait 10-15 minutes or close and re-open the app before it will be available.

Yes, Strider forms can be used on Apple. Unlike the Android apps however, Strider is built into MapItFast. This means that while you do not need to install a secondary Strider app, you are currently limited to filling out forms through the MapItFast app.

Yes, Strider applies a unique number to each form record entered into the system, starting with the number one. The database field is called ‘_ID’ and the value can be found in the record details page and XLS export. The ID can also be added to reports as a unique identifier for each record.

Yes, you can change the order of columns by dragging and dropping them to a new spot on the page. If your form has a lot of columns, you may need to drag the column, drop it, scroll, then drag it some more to get it moved over. Keep in mind that these changes will only be applied to your current desktop browser, so the columns will not be in the same place if you open Strider on another computer.

AgTerra February 2017 Announcement Newsletter

AgTerra Posts

Slider

AgTerra February 2017 Announcement Newsletter

AgTerra December 2016 Announcement Newsletter

AgTerra Posts

Slider

AgTerra December 2016 Announcement Newsletter

AgTerra October 2016 Announcement Newsletter

AgTerra Posts

Slider

AgTerra October 2016 Announcement Newsletter

AgTerra July 2016 Announcement Newsletter

AgTerra Posts

Slider

AgTerra July 2016 Announcement Newsletter

AgTerra June 2016 Announcement Newsletter

AgTerra Posts

Slider

AgTerra June 2016 Announcement Newsletter

AgTerra April 2016 Announcement Newsletter

AgTerra Posts

Slider

AgTerra April 2016 Announcement Newsletter

AgTerra January 2016 Announcement Newsletter

AgTerra Posts

Slider

AgTerra January 2016 Announcement Newsletter