Using Texada Mobile in Areas with Poor Reception

An explanation of how the Texada Mobile application handles synchronizing data when used in an area with little or no Internet access.

Quick Reference

  • The Texada Mobile app is designed to be used both online, and in areas with little or no Internet connection.
  • While an Internet connection is available, Texada Mobile will regularly synchronize with Texada Web and SRM, both receiving updates from the web and uploading changes made by the operator. These updates will occur whenever an action is taken in Texada Mobile, such as switching between screens, submitting a form, or searching for information.
  • In areas with no Internet connection, any changes made on Texada Mobile will be saved locally on the operator’s phone. These changes will automatically be uploaded to SRM the next time the operator uses the Mobile app from an area with good reception.
  • Texada Mobile is not able to receive updates from Texada Web and SRM while in an area with no Internet connection.
  • It can be difficult to upload photos to Texada Mobile in areas with poor connectivity. If an operator is having issues with uploading photos, it is recommended to either:
    • Wait and close tickets when in an area with good connectivity;
    • Begin the upload and complete other tasks while the upload works in the background; or
    • Use a lower image quality to make uploading easier.

Introduction

Whenever a driver or mechanic interacts with Texada Mobile from a device that is connected to the Internet, the app will automatically communicate with the server and pull the most up-to-date information available from Texada SRM. This includes:

  • Status of tickets assigned to the operator
  • Status of work orders assigned to the operator
  • Inventory availability
  • Services
  • Etc.

This communication also flows in the opposite direction: any changes the operator makes on the app, such as adding a photo to a work order or marking a ticket as completed, will be automatically uploaded to Texada SRM. In short, provided the operator has an active Internet connection, Texada Mobile and Texada SRM/Web will remain completely synchronized with one another.

However, operators must also sometimes work in areas with little or no Internet connection. For cases like these, Texada Mobile is designed to work offline as well as online. 

Using Texada Mobile Offline

Making Changes in the App

When a field operator makes updates to Texada Mobile in an area with no Internet connection, these changes will be saved locally on the operator’s phone. The next time the operator enters an area with good reception and interacts with the Mobile app, any changes they have made while offline will automatically be synchronized with Texada Web/SRM.

The Mobile app will only attempt to synchronize data when it is being actively used. Specifically, it will synchronize whenever the user takes an action such as switching between screens, submitting a form, or searching for information. This means that an operator who has been using the app while offline must open the app again once they have returned to an area with good connection to ensure that their changes have been synchronized. It is not enough to simply return to an area with good connection, as the app will not attempt to synchronize until it has been used.

Using the Time Tracker

Texada Mobile’s time tracker feature is designed to work both online and offline. This applies both to the Clock In / Clock Out feature in the user menu, and to tracking time against individual tickets or work orders.

When a driver or mechanic selects “Clock In” from the user menu or “Start Working” on a ticket or work order, the time they spend working is recorded on their mobile device. What happens when the operator stops working will depend on their connection status at the moment they clock out:

  • If the operator clocks out in an area with good reception, Texada SRM/Web will automatically be  updated with their recorded time. 
  • If the operator clocks out in an area with poor reception, their recorded time will instead be uploaded to Texada SRM/Web the next time they access the app from an area with good reception.

Updating Ticket / Work Order Status

When a driver or mechanic begins work on a ticket or work order in Texada Mobile, that task will appear as ‘In Progress’ in SRM/Web. If the operator then pauses or completes that task while in an area with poor reception, the task will continue to be shown as ‘In Progress’ in SRM/Web until the operator is able to connect again. At that time, the status of the task in SRM/Web will automatically be updated to reflect any changes the operator has made in the app.

Receiving Updates from SRM/Web

When Texada Mobile is used offline, it will not be able to receive any updates from Texada SRM. This means that in order to view updates from dispatchers, such as new ticket or work order assignments, the operator must enter an area with good connection and open the Mobile app.

Uploading Photos in Areas with Poor Reception

If an operator is working from an area that has poor Internet reception, it can be difficult to upload photos to the Mobile app. This, in turn, can make it difficult to close tickets or work orders that require photographic proof in order to be submitted. 

If an operator attempts to submit a ticket or work order for which photos have not finished uploading, they will receive the following warning message:

Unsaved Photos - Trim

When this occurs, there are a number of options available:

  • The operator can take the necessary photos using the camera on their phone, then wait until they have entered an area with good reception to close the ticket or work order.
  • The operator can begin uploading the photos and allow the app to work in the background while completing other tasks.
  • The operator can adjust the camera settings on their phone to take lower-resolution images. Low-resolution images have a smaller file size and are easier to upload. Note that lowering image resolution will negatively affect picture quality; if you choose this option, make sure that the picture quality is still such that important details are still legible.
  • If none of the above options are feasible, the operator can select “Complete Anyway” to close the ticket without uploading photos. Please note that in this case, the photos must be manually added at a later date, and that photos cannot be added to asset inspections after the fact.