Offline Apps for Mobile Data Collection


Joe is serial entrepreneur who has been a pioneer in a variety of emerging technologies, including creating one of the 1st digital media companies at the advent of the Internet.

We understand the importance of offline apps for data collection work such as surveys and inspections. Working offline is a top requirement for most Formotus customers and a central tenet of our app design philosophy.

“Offline First” Mobile Forms

The importance of robust offline functionality is under-appreciated, and the difficulty of delivering robust offline apps is underestimated. Forrester Research has described offline as the “most important and difficult feature” of mobile business apps. Offline support for your mobile applications has always been one of the pillars of the Formotus service.

“Offline support will be a crucial consideration for nearly every future modern application. Unfortunately, our experience shows that offline support is the mobile app feature continually underscoped by developers and over-simplified by stakeholders.”
Forrester Research

Offline productivity is in the very DNA of Formotus. Formotus apps are ‘offline first,’ built from the ground up as robust self-sufficient apps, optimized at every turn for offline use. This means that your mobile workers can do much more than just continue filling a form after a connection is lost.

Offline capabilities checklist

Below are some of the things you can do with Formotus Pro apps even when there’s no Wi-Fi or LTE available.

  • Initiate
    Site Safety Inspection FormCreate a blank new instance of a form while offline to begin filling it. Create several blank new instances of several different forms. Spend days or weeks offline if you need to, staying productive.
  • Save
    Store the drafts of all your forms locally on the device until they are ready to submit.
  • Resume
    Open a saved draft of a form in progress and continue filling it. Switch among several saved drafts of forms.
  • Calculate
    Use forms with simple or complex calculations built right in. No server-side actions are required so everything works offline.
  • Navigate
    Use multi-screen forms where the user moves from one screen to another as if navigating a Web site, with no connection necessary.
  • Branch and Skip
    Show or hide questions based on the answers to other questions. Show or skip whole sections or screens based on field values and rules, with no server connection needed.
  • Condition
    Turn something red based on an answer. Set a field’s value with a calculation if another field meets your criteria. Hide, show, set, calculate or format just about anything based on multiple complex condition statements. Create business logic as complex as you need without coding, and execute it all offline.
  • Query
    No, of course you can’t query an online data source while offline. But you can build a data source right into the form and query that data offline. Also, when you know you’re going to need to work offline, you can first query an online source while you’re connected and cache the results for later use offline.
  • Validate
    Verify that required fields have been filled with data in the required format, and cue the user to correct errors, all without a server connection.
  • Submit
    Submit the form any time. If you’re offline it will queue in an outbox to sync when you’re back online.

At Formotus we understand the importance of supporting robust offline app productivity for our customers. That’s why we’ve spent years engineering our enterprise mobility service to deliver you apps that are truly ‘offline first.’



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