Native Android App for Generating PDF Reports Case Study

The Client

A leading water park and attractions company that designs, manufactures, installs, and maintains facilities worldwide.

The Challenge

With offices and installations happening worldwide, the client is seeking a solution to enable site inspectors to submit their ‘Daily Reports’ using their Android mobile device. Currently, the report is submitted to head office and project managers as a MS Word document that can only be completed on a desktop PC. The client would like site inspectors to be able to fill out and submit the report directly from their Android device while in the field.

Key Challenges

– The app must store the data locally to work in locations without an Internet connection.

– Integrate the device camera and gallery to allow users to attach photos to the report.

– Auto-populate repetitive information in certain fields.

– Generate a PDF document that matches the layout of the existing ‘Daily Report’.

– Compress the PDF to reduce the data used when submitting the report by email.

How Optimus Helped

  1. Optimus met with the client to discuss the project requirements and understand the success criteria. The goal was to comprehend how site inspectors would use the application on a day-to-day basis and identify what features were important to all stakeholders.
  2. The next step was to create a document with the project functional and non-functional requirements, the technical architecture and wireframes demonstrating the user experience. Optimus presented the document to the client, incorporated their feedback, and produced a final baseline document that was shared with the development team.
  3. A POC was proposed to research and test various PDF libraries. Optimus selected an open-source library, tested converting text and photos to PDF, and provided the client with a sample PDF to approve.
  4. Mockups were created based on brand-guidelines provided by the client. Optimus produced a design that was consistent with the look and feel of the client’s website.
  5. During the development process Optimus frequently shared builds by email as an APK file, which allowed the client to easily install and test the build on multiple devices.
  6. To ensure that a high-quality application was delivered that worked on the devices most commonly used by the site supervisors, Optimus tested on a Samsung Galaxy Note 2 (Android 4.1) and Samsung Galaxy S3 (Android 4.3).

At the end of the project the client had an application that allowed their site supervisors to quickly produce and share their daily reports while on a project site.