What is an App?
In Fulcrum, the Apps refer to dynamic and customizable groups of attributes composed of different data types - text, numbers, dates, pick-lists, photos, settings, and more.
Basically, an App is the form used on the mobile device to fill out record attributes along with all the other rules and settings you configure. They also act as databases to hold your collected data. Apps are always created on the Fulcrum web app, as the mobile device is only used for collecting data.
There are two ways to create an app: selecting an app from the app gallery or creating from scratch.
First we will cover how to select an app template and then we will create a simple app that can be used to capture ATM information.
Adding an App From the App Gallery.
Fulcrum has a number of app templates that can be used to collect data if it meets your needs, or just as a way to get some ideas. Every template can be modified. Many of the templates have pre-defined choice lists and custom classification sets.
Once on the App Designer page, click the “Choose a template from the App Gallery” hyperlinked text at the top of the screen.
You can now browse through the categories or use the search box for a specific app. For this tutorial, let’s add the “ATM Survey App” app from the Banking Apps category.
- You can locate the app by either going into the Banking Apps category or using the search box. Once you are on the ATM Survey app page, click "Add This App to (your plan name)."
The app will automatically be imported into your plan and you will be taken bac app designer page for the app.
- Feel free to make any edits you wish to the app so that it will better meet your needs.
- Once you are done, select "Save and Exit" to save your app and be taken to the app's dashboard page.
Creating an App from Scratch
In the end, most users will end up building their own custom app out instead of using one of our templates. Building out your own app allows you to meet your exact needs and requirements. While the apps in our app gallery can be modified as needed, they are simple and generic by design. Users often find that it is worth it in the end to build their own apps.
Let’s build an app!
- From the homepage, Click “+ New App” button in the upper right of the screen. This will take you to the App Designer page.
This will bring you to the App Designer page. The App Designer is broken up into three main parts. Starting from the left side, you have the Fields section, then the Layout section, and finally the Settings section on the right side. The various field types within the Fields section can either be clicked on or click-and-dragged to be added to the layout section.
Below are some additional details on the contents of the three sections of the App Designer. Be sure to follow the hyperlinks to be taken to more specific pages.
The fields within Fulcrum are broken into groups to help with quickly finding the field that best meets your needs.
The first group are basic field types. This group consists of:
- Text - A generic field that will accept any character type.
- Numeric - Accepts numbers, positive and negative. Integers or decimals.
- Yes/No - Can display up to 3 buttons for the user to make a selection.
- Date - Capture a formatted date, leverages platform's calendar picker.
- Time - Capture a formatted time, leverages platform's calendar picker.
The Next group are the Choice fields. This group consists of:
- Single Choice - Select a single choice from a choice list. Option to allow users to manually enter in a selection.
- Multiple Choice - Select multiple choices from a choice list. Option to allow users to manually enter in a selection.
- Classification - A hierarchy list that drills-down into deep choices until the path has been completed. Only one path can be capture. Option to allow users to manually enter in a selection.
The Design fields are used to assist with your apps layout and give direction to the data collector. This group consists of:
- Section - Nest fields within sections to help break up your app into logical groups. Section's contents can either be displayed inline or drill-down into their own page.
- Repeatable Section - Creates a sub-app or child app that can capture child records that are associated with the overall parent record.
- Label - Designed to give the data collector information they may need when capturing a record.
The Media fields are used to capture media that is associated with the record being created. This group consists of:
- Signature - Captures a signature directly on the mobile app by signing with a finger or stylus.
- Photo - Captured photos, which can be annotated if needed.
- Video - Capture video and GPS track while the video is being captured.
- Audio - Capture audio and GPS track while the audio is being recorded.
The Advanced fields are unique fields that can capture addresses, provide links to external resources, produce results from functions, capture barcodes and link records between apps. This group consists of:
- Address - A formatted field type designed to capture the street address. Can automatically capture the address associated with the record's location on the mobile apps.
- Hyperlink - Designed to provide the user with a link to an external resource.
- Barcode - Scan a barcode or QR code leveraging the device's camera. Also allows for manual entry.
- Record Link - Designed around lookup table functionality. Link records contained in another app and have data automatically populate into fields in the record the data collector is correctly working in.
To add fields to your app you will either want to click on the field from within the fields section or click-and-drag the field into the layout area. Fields can be nested within the section and repeatable section field type.
The settings section along the right side is where you can give your app a name and description. Set the app to be available on the mobile devices through the app status option. Set the field(s) to be used as the record's title. Setup custom status options to dynamically control the color of the record's pin through the status field. Disable location capture or make location information required through the location settings option. Programmatically do actions based on defined event triggers with the data event field.
Let’s fill out the app settings menu. For this tutorial, we will be making a general ATM survey app.
- Name the app “ATM Survey” and enter a brief description.
- We will keep the app status as “active” which means it will be visible on the mobile device.
- Skip the Record Title, this can only be set once a field has been added to your app.
We will begin by adding three section fields to the app and then title these sections. Sections field types allow you to modify the layout of your app and can help with the app flow by allowing you to logically group fields together. This can help with adding more advanced features such as using conditional logic.
Adding the Sections
- Start the app by dragging three Section fields to the layout area. Be careful not to nest a section inside one of the other sections.
You probably noticed that when you added the sections to your app a popup showed up. This is the field options popup. This is where you enter in the details about the field. Thinks like setting the Label, Description, Data Name, among other options depending on the field type.
- To open the field options, simply click field you wish to see the options for.
- Open each section's field options popup and click the label field. Name the first section “Basic Information”, the second “ATM Functions”, and the third “Conditions”.
You may have noticed the Display option for the section fields. This allows you to change how the section will be presented on the mobile device. Go ahead and select drill-down for the "Conditions" section.
Now we will add fields to the ‘Basic Information’ section of the app. This section will capture the general information of the app such as the operator of the ATM and information about the fees that this ATM charges.
- Drag a Text field into the section. To do this drag the text field more towards the center to the app designer’s layout area to get the field to nest within the Basic Information section. Within the record's option popup, type “Operator” into the label box.
- Now add a Yes/No field below the “Operator” field within the Basic Information section. Give the Yes/No field a label of “Fee.”
- Now add a Numeric field below the “Fee” field and label this field “Fee amount.”
Below is an image of how your app should look so far.
In the rare chance, you find an ATM that does not charge any fees. You will want to make it so the “Fee amount” Field only shows when “yes” is selected on the “fee” yes/no field.
To do this, we will use conditional logic.
- Start by click on the “Fee amount” field to bring up the field settings popup. Then click Visibility Rules at the bottom of the settings screen.
This results in a new popup being displayed to create the visibility rules. We do not have to worry about the match rules since this field is only going to contain one rule. So for the match option, we can use either All or Any
- In the -Select a form element- select the “fee” field.
- Since we only what this field to show when the “fee” field is equal to yes we can leave the equal to in place.
- On the -Select a value- field select “yes.”
At the bottom of the visibility logic window is a checkbox to preserve data. When enabled the system will not clear our values if the field is hidden due to logic. When it is not enabled (by default) the system treated any values that are within fields that are hidden by visibility logic as not valid and will clear the values when the record is saved.
Your visibility logic should look like the photo below and if it does click the save button.
Now we that we have completed the first section. We can add the fields to next section. In the "ATM functions" section, we will add information about the what features the ATMs offer.
Add Choice Field
Now on to the next section. In the “ATM Functions” section, drag in a Single Choice field. The single choice field will be used to collect data about the currency that the ATM dispenses. So label the field “Currency Dispensed.” Towards the bottom of the field settings, you will want to add the choices that are presented when collecting data. Since we will not be listing every currency available you will want to check the “allow other” check box. Below is an example of what your choice list could look like.
Adding More Yes/No Fields
Now we will add five additional Yes/No fields to the “ATM Functions” sections.
- This time after adding the first Yes/No field click the turquoise icon on the right side of the Yes/No field. This is the duplicate icon and can be used to quickly duplicate a field or a section and its contents within your app.
- After you have duplicated 4 more Yes/No fields, match the labels up to the labels in the image below.
Now we will be adding fields to the “Conditions” section. This section captures information about the general condition of the ATM.
Adding More Fields
In the last section, we want to add information about the condition of the ATM. We will use a Yes/No field to see if there is damage or not and then using visibility logic display two additional fields, a Multiple Choice field, and another Yes/No field.
The labels for these fields are below:
- Damage Present? ( Yes/No field )
- Types of Damage ( Multiple Choice field )
- Damage Affecting ATM? ( Yes/No field)
Use the information that you previously learned to complete these three fields, with choice values, and visibility logic.
Your end result should look like the image below.
Now that we have completed the app's design we can use the "Save and Exit" button in the lower part of the Settings section to save the app.