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Jake Krohn's Avatar

Jake Krohn

28 Dec, 2012 06:52 AM

I am investigating Fulcrum as a possible replacement for a homegrown mobile data collection application, and really like what I see so far. But I was wondering about the possibility of including a couple of new features in the form builder that would serve to possibly speed up data entry while out in the field:

  1. Fields that default to the last-recorded values. We often find that when logging items out in the field, several attributes tend to repeat from one item to the next. Having the option to create form elements that default to the last-recorded value, rather than a single default or nothing at all (the current options), could prove to be useful in certain situations.

  2. Fields whose default value is based on a calculation using other field values. In our case, we have two measurements that we enter in; one being an original measurement or estimate of an item's circumference, and one being the actual circumference of the object out in the field. We typically enter the first value and our current application defaults the second field to the same value, but allows it to be changed if necessary. This idea could be expanded upon to allow for simple mathematical formulas to be applied, which could be useful for more engineering-centric types of data collection.

  3. (Update) The ability to specify what type of keyboard that pops up for the text entry fields would be nice. The numeric keypad is great for the number fields, but giving the form builder the ability to select between having the traditional letter keyboard or the number/symbol keyboard display upon first click of a form field would be a useful addition. I know that this is possible when developing web apps in Mobile Safari, but I'm not sure what your limitations are within the Fulcrum app environment.

Thanks for your time and efforts towards building such a great application.

  1. Support Staff 1 Posted by Alex Helms on 02 Jan, 2013 01:31 PM

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    Hello Jake,

    First i would like to thank you for your valuable feedback, we use it to help steer product development.

    1. This is a good suggestion and i will be sure to add it to the user request list.

    2. This has been requested in the past. We have a few concerns with a feature like this, one being the complexity envolved in creating this. Not saying that we will never implement something around calculations and functions, just that as of now, it is not high on the priority list. This could change with an increase in user requests.

    3. When developing the fields we currently specify which keyboard to call on based on the field type, so in theory we could make this function work. I will add it to the user feature wish list and bring it up with the development team to discuss the feasibility. (edit:) In you mind would this feature allow you to set which keyboard to use for a specific field or work better as a global setting? For example, Two Text Fields could have different keyboards or all Text Fields would utilize the selected keyboard.

    Thanks again,
    Alex

  2. 2 Posted by Jake Krohn on 02 Jan, 2013 04:28 PM

    Jake Krohn's Avatar

    Regarding #3, I would like to see it function as a per-field setting. There are cases where, using a text field, I'd like to default to the number/symbol keyboard, and cases where the letter keyboard would be better suited to the task at hand. The underlying field would still remain of type "Text", and while performing data entry I could still switch between keyboard layouts if necessary, but I'd like to see Form Builder give me an option to choose the default keyboard type.

    Thanks!

  3. Support Staff 3 Posted by Alex Helms on 03 Jan, 2013 02:15 PM

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    Thanks for the deep details of how you would like to see that feature function. I will be sure to share it will the team.

    Thanks,
    Alex

  4. 4 Posted by robert.clayton on 25 Mar, 2013 06:03 PM

    robert.clayton's Avatar

    I would like to chime in that being able to specify keyboard in app builder would greatly enhance data collection efficiency. I don't see a need for a custom 10-key pad ... but not having to switch back to another keyboard when going down a long list of parameters saves an extra touch per control. Love your app; keep it coming.

  5. 5 Posted by Jake Krohn on 02 Apr, 2013 08:32 PM

    Jake Krohn's Avatar

    Giving this thread a bump, as we're going to be ramping up our data collection efforts using Fulcrum later this spring, and having these features would save our field crew a ton of time. If you need more examples of use or want to bounce some ideas around, I'd be glad to participate.

  6. Support Staff 6 Posted by Coleman McCormi... on 04 Apr, 2013 07:26 PM

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    Hey guys,

    The keyboard idea is interesting, and we'll consider how it could be best implemented. As a cross-platform system, with keyboard settings largely device-specific, it's challenging to get that to behave exactly as expected across the spectrum of devices (iOS vs. Android), but we'll definitely be investigating how to address that to extend the usability/efficiency of Fulcrum deployment.

    Thanks,
    Coleman

  7. 7 Posted by Jake Krohn on 04 Apr, 2013 07:31 PM

    Jake Krohn's Avatar

    Just to make sure my other requests don't get left behind, points #1 and #2 from my original message are also still things that our team would find useful, and I hope that you can consider working on them in a future release. Thanks!

  8. Support Staff 8 Posted by Coleman McCormi... on 04 Apr, 2013 07:32 PM

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    Absolutely! And thanks for the feedback!

  9. 9 Posted by Joris Coolen on 25 May, 2013 01:15 PM

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    I think the first point - setting the default entry based on the last entered value - would be very helpful and time-saving.
    I would also like to suggest an automatically increasing number as an option for integer fields, or is this possible already and did I overlook that function?

    @ Jake: There are some free apps that allow you to switch between keyboards. I am successfully using this in Fulcrum to switch between various internal keyboard settings and an external barcode reader.

  10. 10 Posted by Jeff Carper on 04 Nov, 2016 02:56 PM

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    Did item #3 ever get legs? Or is there a work-around?

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