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Mobile World Congress Feature Articles

February 16, 2010

Formotus Ports its Client Software to Android


Businesses utilizing Android (News - Alert) devices can now benefit from Formotus platform for quick delivery of custom business applications.

 
The beta version of the mobile workforce automation software running on Android devices was recently launched by the company at the Mobile World Congress (News - Alert). Formotus’ mobile software was displayed at the Samsung booth.
 
The Formotus presentation at the Mobile World Congress showed that designing a business application once and using the same form on multiple mobile platforms is achievable.
 
In the Samsung (News - Alert) exhibit, a similar SharePoint-connected form is running alongside on a Windows phone and an Android phone. A hesitant block which inhibited the mobile workforce automations’ widespread adoption is the need to rewrite custom business applications for all the various phone types. Fortomus offers a means to dodge that issue.
 
According to the co-founder and CEO of Formotus Inc., Adriana Neagu, the secret to their breakthrough is that they build intelligent, connected business forms using standards-based XML technologies. They did the work of porting their rich client software to Android, so the same XML-based forms that already worked on Windows Mobile now work on Android as well.
 
Neagu said that they haven’t decided on which mobile platform Formotus will tackle with next. They are just very excited right now about starting to put Android phones to work in the enterprise.
 
The ability to connect directly to SharePoint over-the-air to retrieve data needed by field workers and to submit data collected in the field is one of the Formotus mobile forms’ major features.
 
Usually, when Microsoft (News - Alert) SharePoint is mentioned, people think of browsers. There are companies who concentrate on optimizing a visit to a SharePoint site on a mobile phone browser. This is not how Formotus thinks.
 
Neagu added that they, at Formotus, think of SharePoint as a convenient way to connect mobile workers to company information. Formotus doesn’t believe mobile browsers are the best way to achieve productivity. Browsers are too dependent on having a constant and reliable data connection, and that’s not the way it is in the real world.
 
A rich client application optimized for offline productivity is installed by Formotus on the phone. Users are given the ability to manage multiple drafts of multiple forms by the client software. It then saves forms submitted in a queue to be sent to SharePoint when a data connection is accessible.

Anuradha Shukla is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Anuradha’s article, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Kelly McGuire










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