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Delivering truly cross-platform intelligent workflow applications

It’s great to be out talking to clients, both existing and prospective, about how Fieldforce iQ is put together and the technologies we’ve used to build the platform.


For the most part there is a lot of nodding and expressions of agreement and understanding as I talk about the use of Apache Tomcat for the web and middleware, MySQL for data storage, Rabbit MQ for the service bus, etc. But the more interesting reactions come when we get to talk about the mobile application and how we solved the challenge of delivering truly cross-platform Intelligent Workflow applications. In particular the revelation that our SmartWorker mobile platform uses HTML5!

Now, unless you actively avoid reading any of the vaguely IT-orientated news site or blogs you will have heard of HTML5. A quick exploration on any of the major search engines brings up a whole list of sites purely dedicated to this one piece of technology. There are many blogs with articles discussing HTML5 from every viewpoint. So, with all this information flying around, it is no wonder that the mere mention of this almost magical five letter acronym can elicit a whole range of reactions from surprise, to concern, to delight.

Regardless of the initial response, I will always take the opportunity to share our experience of using HTML5 as part of our mobile application platform. And it doesn’t take long for the penny to drop as to why we chose HTML5 - even when we explain that it was not all plain sailing, and that really HTML5 is only part of the story.

So, what better subject for my first series of articles exploring the technical aspects of our Fieldforce iQ platform?

We’ll look at how the need for cross-platform workflow applications came about, and take a closer look at HTML5 and why we choose to use it in our solution. Then we’ll take you through (the sometimes painful) journey of building a new mobile platform, the role of HTML5 and how we complemented its capabilities with our own technology. Finally we’ll take a slightly deeper dive, seeing first-hand how it all hangs together, and what can be achieved when you’ve got the right set of technologies under the bonnet.

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