Custom Construction App for Mobile-enabled Defect Management
- An iOS construction app enabling online and offline collaboration and document management on iPads
- Mobile-centric construction project management involving all project stakeholders
- Improved interaction between construction engineers, site inspectors, and external clients
A document management solutions provider approached Iflexion to enhance their DMS offering for construction companies with defect management capabilities on mobile devices.
Our Customer is one of the leading suppliers of enterprise document management, collaboration, and project management solutions for construction and oil and gas companies.
To enhance their engineering DMS for construction companies, the Customer decided to provide engineers and inspectors working on construction sites with remote access to defect management capabilities via mobile devices. As the Customer’s long-term technology partner, Iflexion got engaged in the project to handle construction app development.
The solution enables construction specialists to record defects during the onsite inspection of buildings and plants, as well as helps them to manage and correct the identified defects:
- The mobile client is installed on iOS devices and provides site inspectors and engineers responsible for defect correction with collaborative document management and reporting features.
- The server-side Collaboration Store handles large amounts of data synchronized across mobile devices and enables offline operations.
The administrator grants access to the application users and assigns relevant permissions to different participants, including:
- Project creators
- Project viewers
- Action creators
- Comment consolidators
The solution supports the following user roles:
- Site inspectors: users who can mark detected defects on the plan schemes and assign engineers to eliminate these defects and verify results.
- Engineers: users who can accept assignments, fix defects according to the remarks made on project schemes, report on the work done.
The solution enables users to fulfill the following activities:
- Create projects with plan schemes, add marks with names or comments, and attach photos to these schemes.
- Measure distance between the elements on a scheme.
- Track status of the assigned tasks.
- View statistics on projects and specific documents.
- Synchronize data between project participants.
The Customer had a clear-cut though not documented vision of the future custom construction app. So the cooperation started with business analysis in order to collect the input from all stakeholders and draw up the solution’s functional map. With the map on their hands, business analysts were able to deliver a detailed description of the mobile app development process and create UI mockups of the solution’s screens.
A technical architect worked on the client and server sides’ architecture, delivering a reliable ground for further development.
The construction app development activities were broken down into two components:
- Mobile client is an iOS mobile application that enables document management and collaboration on iPads. Iflexion used Xamarin to develop the mobile app with native iOS capabilities at an affordable price.
- Collaboration Store Server is a RESTful server responsible for data synchronization across mobile clients. It is integrated with an Exchange Server to allow users to collaborate with external users: fill in project calendars, send notifications, share documents, and assign project users.
Upon solution implementation, maintenance and support phase followed.
QA and Testing
Iflexion was also fully responsible for quality assurance of the delivered custom construction app. A QA team from Iflexion’s standalone quality assurance department performed:
- Functionality testing
- User interface testing
- Compatibility testing: iPad 2 Mini, iPad 3, iPad 4, iPad Air; iOS 6, 7, 8
- Localization testing of the French version
An integral part of the Customer’s engineering document management offering, the developed solution secures several benefits:
- Enabling mobile document management on iOS devices
- Supporting collaboration-centric defect management
- Expanding the collaboration model to a large number of document management systems
- Improving enterprise content management and collaboration capabilities of construction teams
- Facilitating construction project management owing to the ongoing interaction between construction engineers and site inspectors
Iflexion delivered a fully-fledged corporate SharePoint portal to unite geographically dispersed offices of Ferronordic Machines and to drive the customer's corporate culture and brand communication.
Iflexion set up a SharePoint-based intranet for the Customer’s employees to follow corporate news, events, and announcements, manage documents and create comprehensive reports.
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