Re: Form application for Tablets

Subject: Re: Form application for Tablets
From: Tony Chung <tonyc -at- tonychung -dot- ca>
To: Pam Harper <pharper -at- bailiwick -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 6 Mar 2013 09:58:54 -0800

Hi Pam,

Tell your boss that until your organization figures out its data capture
and reporting requirements, then hold off on the input method. Just think
of a tablet as just any other method of recording information to be

This is because:
- If structured data is important, then web forms OR PDFs will be
important. You can easily store data only from PDF forms into a database.
However, a web form would be more flexible.

- If keyboarding is not desired, then handwriting recognition will also be
important. I haven't found a match for my Windows Tablet PC for
handwriting. If your technicians have handwriting worse than mine, then
they will have to learn proper penmanship, or spend hours training the
tablet to understand them. I had a great time with my Toshiba M200 - read
I'm looking to get a Windows 8 tablet to see if it makes it better.

- If sketches and drawings are more important, then you might be able to
get away with Penultimate on the iPad, which stores images into Evernote,
which has a powerful text-in-image search. But then the data is stored and
analyzed on offline servers that your IT department wouldn't like.

A massage clinic I work with recently switched to an online medical records
and reporting system. It works great for everything in the back end. They
thought that the web interface on a tablet would make life easier for the
therapists. But it didn't. The therapists don't like typing on the screen.
They prefer drawing sketches. They recently found a new system that does
all the same back office management, but also stores scanned records for
archival purposes. They found a much better system based on what the staff
would really use.

Hope this helps.

On Wed, Mar 6, 2013 at 8:33 AM, Pam Harper <pharper -at- bailiwick -dot- com> wrote:

> I've been asked to research what application would work for our
> technicians to fill out a form on a tablet. I thought it would be a PDF
> form, but our IT people said for it to be on a tablet (probably IPad), it
> would have to be a web-based application. And then what do we do with the
> captured information-where/how would it go? Any information in this area is
> very much appreciated.
> Pam Harper
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Form application for Tablets: From: Pam Harper

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