MOBILE development

 
 

In 2010 Bluedog Technologies embarked on a mobile solution for a local council in Far North Queensland, Australia.  The main objective was to offer a mobile knowledge solution to improve customer service in the field, reduce the time spent and costs associated with travelling and the administrative support required for field officers.


The council region is an area covering 64,768 square kilometres, which is slightly larger than the area of Tasmania, Australia.  A major technical constraint in developing a mobile solution is the availability and reliability of a 3rd Generation / Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) signal.  Due to this constraint an off-line solution was required with the ability to update the mobile storage device securely when a reliable signal could be obtained.


The mobile solution offers the following functionality to the field officer:


  1. Access to all ratepayer details including contact details and associated properties, land parcels, applications and animal registrations.

  2. Supports “full-text” searching on all details and allows navigation via associations or a contextual map.

  3. “Near Me” service to display adjacent properties based on your physical location. Nearby animal licences and development applications details can be filtered from the map.  (Note: Viewing maps requires a 3G connection)

  4. Update local storage securely via 3G over VPN or wirelessly.

  5. Integrate with the existing “property and rating system”.


The iOS from Apple was selected as the initial platform as the council had already selected the iPhone as their preferred smart phone device.

Some example scenarios:


1.A local law officer has found a stray dog with an old registration tag and they are not in an area with mobile reception.   The officer can perform a search on the tag, obtain the owner’s contact and address details. Arrangements can then be made for the dog to be collected or delivered without returning to base.

2.An officer is in the field and requires access to an adjacent property to collect stray cattle.  Using the “Near Me” mapping service they can obtain and contact the property owners.

An iPad version has also been developed with the same functionality.

Technical Details:


The solution contains the following components:

  1. 1.iPhone/iPad application (Universal Binary)

  2. 2.Web server (Apache or IIS) - delivers the updated data store (SQLite DB) to the application.

  3. 3.Server side application - performs the extraction, transform and load (ETL) from the “property and rating system” and then prepares and copies a compressed data store package to the Web server.  This server side application can be deployed on Windows, Linux, Unix or Mac OS X.   Based on your type of “property and rating system” the extraction process would be modified accordingly.


The application can be configured to only communicate over a VPN or wifi connection.

The iPhone/iPad application can be distributed to your organisation by obtaining an enterprise distribution provisioning profile.  There are three different methods of distribution.


  1. 1.Distribute the app to your users for installation using iTunes.

  2. 2.Have an IT administrator install the app on devices using iPhone Configuration Utility

  3. 3.Post the app on a secure web server; users access and perform the installation wirelessly.


For more details on this solution please contact info@bluedog.com.au.

Authenticated

VPN

Connection

Web
Server
ETL
Process
Property & Rating System