Offline Mode Support
I’m very excited to introduce the Q2 2021 release of TAS Mobile. The Q2 release shares all the form enhancements that were part of the latest TAS Online update which is detailed in this blog. On top of the shared features that were released with TAS Online, the Q2 TAS Mobile release introduces a huge new feature, Offline Mode.
TAS Mobile is in use worldwide by our global clients and is also used by Kalibrate for its field data collection projects. Our clients are often in remote areas that do not have reliable internet access. Offline Mode allows you to save data locally on the mobile device so you can complete field surveys without requiring internet access. When you get to an area that has reliable internet, such as your hotel, you can save your changes to the server and refresh your local data to account for any other changes that were made to the data from other users.
How to use Offline Mode
By default, Offline Mode is disabled for all users in your company. Your company’s system administrator can enable Offline Mode on a per user basis using TAS Management Studio. When a user has been given access to Offline Mode, they will have a new option within the legend to Download Data.
When you select Download Data, you will be prompted to select which data elements per layer you would like to save locally. As shown in the image below, you can select to save information forms, edit forms, add forms, photos, and comments locally per layer.
The data will be saved locally as an offline package. In addition to the data layers in the legend, we also save all the base map data such as streets, map labels, and city boundaries locally. To accommodate the offline saving of map data, we switched the map engine of TAS Mobile to Mapbox. The best part of offline modes is that all the data validations you built for your forms still work! You can rest assured that your user base is collecting validated data no matter if they are in offline or normal mode.
When you want to upload your changes, you open the new offline manager tool, select the offline package you want to upload, and simply start the upload. Once uploaded, you will have the ability to either refresh or remove the existing offline package. The entire process is very simple and only takes a few minutes.
Consideration for system administrators
As you think about enabling offline mode for your user base there are a few items that you need to think about:
- If you have lots of photographs within TAS and the offline user selects to save photographs locally it could take a lot of disk space.
- The device needs to support biometrics. All latest generation devices support biometrics but if your users are on older devices it may be time to upgrade.
How can I learn more?
All our support documentation has been updated. As always, please feel free to reach out for further training or if you have additional questions.