Mobile business app for flock monitoring and data entry

March 23, 2020
QwinSoft
Challenges
To improve operational speed & efficiency, our partner – QwinSoft – has assigned us to develop a business application as a part of OVO-Vision, an ERP solution for eggs and poultry industry. The main goal of the app is to enable usage of Business Central functionality through mobile devices. Our engineering team, together with our customer defined these tasks as main priorities:
  • To reflect Business Central specific logic in the mobile app with a user-friendly interface;
  • To simplify and facilitate the routine process of data and to record input for firstline users – farmers and workers that are on the go the whole day – as much as possible. To develop the app with the target audience and their needs in mind;
  • To cover all types of OVO-Vision customisations. The app's structure should be adjustable specifically to each customer case. Adding new specific units like barns, flocks etc. Should be easy to set up and connect to the app.
  • To optimise the structure of expenses on MS licensing
"We have taken an important step towards making our solution more mobile. Which can potentially improve operational speed and efficiency for our customer's egg producers."
- Iwan Ubachs, Project Manager
Solution
  • The mobile application is engineered and built with Power Apps, a part of Microsoft Power Platform. The usual paper-based way of collecting records has been transformed; a smartphone based app has become the first entry point for all "field" data.
  • The user-friendly interface allows users to navigate quickly and intuitively through categories and their structure. No special skills or training are needed to use the mobile app.
  • Business-critical and user-friendly options are enabled now:
  • Data entries can be collected during the whole day, posting it only at the end of the day.
  • Simultaneous sessions for different users: users can see which block / area is already covered and what records are still required to collect for a specific time frame.
  • Multiple field types, check-box, single / multiple inputs etc, help to speed up data entry for first line users that has an enormous effect on the operational process in general.
  • Supervising option: an opportunity to check, approve or decline the data entry records from a specific user.
  • Security issues: no data will be stored on mobile phones, interim records are transferred to a custom-made "buffer" tables on Business Central side.
  • Set up the view of categories according to the user's profile and permissions within the ERP-system. The tailored-made calendar as one of the essential elements which reflect business specifics and facilitate the correct data entry, monitoring and tracking for end users.
  • The flow of data between the mobile business app and Business Central is organised with MS Power Automate. This MS Power Platform app helps to set up versatility principles for different localisations of the solution while finding data. HTTP requests are used for data interchange between the client and the server. Each request uses JSON format for representing data.
  • The business app invokes Business Central logic when needed. The core principle: if some part of Business Central logic was changed, it would be reflected on the Power Apps side automatically. No code changes are needed in this case. Data transmission from mobile app to ERP-solution is organised through the Business Central Web API. The draft version of the entry data is stored and supervised on the Business Central side. The data is then posted to Business Central after the confirmation of the supervisor or authorised officer. This logic helps to eliminate mistakes already in the early stages of data input.
  • Quality Assurance was conducted during the whole development process covering all test-cases. You can learn all the details about the QA processes here.
Technology
MS Power Apps
MS Power Automate
MS Dynamics 365
Business Central
Spira Test
Impact
3
project team members
4,5
months until the first release
10x
faster –
operational speed and efficiency of
the data entry
About our customer
OVO-Vision by QwinSoft B.V.is an ERP solution for the egg and poultry industry, based on Microsoft Dynamics Business Central. OVO-Vision was introduced in 1998 due to the need of the egg industry for a tracking & tracing system. Today OVO-Vision has many granules designed explicitly for the egg and poultry industry.
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