A presentation by Mike Peat about Visual DataFlex on Mobile Devices – developing and using native iOS apps with Visual DataFlex web services. A summary of the slides is given below.
Visual DataFlex on Mobile Devices
Mike Peat – Unicorn InterGlobal Ltd, UK
Visual DataFlex and mobile apps – the landscape
Mobile touch-screen devices are increasingly pervasive:
- iPhone & iPad
- Android phones and tablets
- Windows phones
- The new Microsoft “Surface”
People use these to browse the web…
Web sites vs. web applications
- Web sites
- Web Applications
VDF Web applications – the user experience
- Mobile device web browsing is OK (mostly)
- But how do web applications fare?
- Let’s take a look…
- We’ll use the new VDF 17.1 AjaxWeb app:
VDF web applications on mobile devices – some of the problems
- The lack of screen real-estate is the most obvious (although that was an iPhone – iPads are a little more generous)
- The on-screen keyboard is an issue – the browser has a strategy for dealing with this, but its behaviour is hardly satisfying
- Changes in device orientation can also make a mess of our layout
VDF web applications on mobile devices – addressing the issues
- One answer is native apps for the target platform
- Greater control of the device
- Let’s take a look at a simple (or maybe a “dumb”) one…
Using native apps for the target platform – Is it better?
- Well… maybe…
- …or maybe worse!
- Even with native apps we are going to have to do better if we are going to produce something useful
- Let’s see what that might look like…
So, is the more controlled approach to using native apps better?
- I think so
- We deliberately gave up our screen space to the keyboard
- We controlled what screen orientations we were going to support
- We were able to live (just!) in the available space
So how do we build a native iOS (iPhone or iPad) app?
- If I still have time…
- Let’s see what is involved in building a native iOS (iPhone or iPad) app that uses VDF web services
- Watch this space…
Is using native iOS apps with VDF web services good enough?
- Here I am less sure…
- The utility of these devices as general purpose data entry platforms is itself moot
- We were restricting ourselves to an iPhone layout – an iPad layout would have given us more space to work with
- We may have to adopt different design approaches for mobile platforms
Try the free demo app
We have uploaded the app to the App Store for you to download and try out. Download Free Now or search the App Store for Scanduc12.