Fast OnLine Data Entry (FOLDE)

In recent years, many apps have migrated to an online model – browser apps, phone apps, cloud-based services, and so on.  And with good reason: we value our mobility, the ability to work anywhere (he says as he writes this while sitting in an auto dealership waiting room), and freedom from onerous installation, configuration and maintenance issues. With ubiquitous broadband internet connections, improving mobile phone speed, and maturing client-side browser capabilities, the previous shortcomings of online apps are receding in the rear view mirror. 

But for fast production data entry and complex user interaction (picture a customer service rep talking to customers on the phone, editing in real-time), online apps still come up short compared to traditional installed applications.

There are several major issues at play:

  • Usage scenarios
  • Round trips between user and server 
  • User interactivity
  • Business logic
  • Saving data

Each of these items by themselves is a big topic, and there are other issues as well.

 For the past several years, I have been developing browser apps which implement fast online data entry, or FOLDE, for short.  FOLDE apps use various design techniques, client side programming in the form of Ajax and JavaScript, and database optimization to satisfy the speed and accuracy requirements of production data entry while still allowing use from any computer connected to the internet. Not only does this make life in the office easier, but allows users to do their work from anywhere, whether at home, the local coffee shop or an internet cafe on the other side of the world.

I will be exploring each of these issues in more detail  in upcoming blog posts.  I would be very interested in hearing from others on this topic.

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About Dan Hurwitz

A consultant specializing in .NET.
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