app, apps, building snag, cloud computing, collaboration platforms, collaboration software, construction, construction project delivery, construction projects, HTML5, Issue management, mobile client, Mobile Devices, RFIs, SaaS, Software-as-a-Service
Apps – working independently on your mobile
Most of us are familiar with installing apps on our smart phones and also the process of getting these from the relevant app store.
An app is a standalone program that can hold data locally on your smart-phone as well as call the host system to refresh data at certain points depending on the design.
This often means that apps can hold only a subset of data and need to sync with the central system and this works particularly well when working on individual tasks planned in advance.
Since they operate on mobile devices for the end-user it is important to have a simple to use interface with large bold text and a clear flow of functions to enable completion without instruction.
HTML5 web client – giving full online access to your data
A mobile web client (using HTML5) is much like an app in that it can be added to your ‘home Screen’ on your phone appearing alongside apps and when run can look and feel very much like you are using an app.
There are some subtle but key differences since a mobile web client is in effect a web page in the mobile’s browser providing real-time information directly from the remote system of the service you are accessing. If this system is your central collaboration platform you potentially have a vast amount of information you can search for and gain access to.
For the end user a mobile web client provides the same benefits as an app with a visual interface and usability on a range of devices. The difference being that you have online access to a very large amount of data on the central system and the latest versions.
Accessing data on site – what to consider
Mobile access to data in field and mobile capturing of data may exist in a number of forms. There may be a mobile app which is downloaded onto your phone or tablet and has a corresponding server side accessed via your laptop or desktop. This is how the stand alone apps in construction work.
Both sides are kept up to date by synchronisation.
There are also mobile clients of the collaboration platforms. Accessing these through a mobile device does not employ a separate mobile app but rather access is through a web browser which is opened on the smartphone or tablet.
The advantage of the latter is that since the collaboration platform is the central repository of all drawings and documents and the “one source of the truth” for those who use such systems, you can have access to all of this authoritative data depending on the design of the mobile client. You could for example depending on the design and your permissions, access the latest revision of a drawing but also if necessary see the previous one or see other nearby systems also.
You could access any document, health, safety, CSCS status, induction, training, SOPs, methods, engineering forms or RFIs.
The issue with mobile apps here however is that you need to either duplicate work to upload of all these resources to the cloud again. For most sizable projects, however, collaboration platforms relying on real-time information exchange will be used. For these projects mobile web clients are a better alternative.
About Webforum Professional for Construction and Engineering
Webforum is a complete web-based service for all types of projects and collaboration. The system provides users with everything that supports a project available in one place: documents, drawings, issues, web pages and discussions, including the option to add support Project Planning, time sheets and Reporting. Webforum has chosen to work with a mobile web client in order to give you the full experience and access to real-time information.
To read more about how Webforum can support all areas of Construction Projects please download the Construction Product Sheet
To see how Webforum can help you with your construction projects, please contact us