Absolutely! The Forms On Fire app works without an Internet connection, downloading and storing all data locally on the user's device and then keeping this data up to date whenever the app has an internet connection. Any Form entries or other data captured by the user is also stored locally until the app can successfully upload the data.
Our unique technology uses robust processes to perform regular background synchronization of data while the user is working on the app. This means that users can still collect data through Form screens, access Docs and progress Tasks even if they are in a location with no network connectivity. It also makes our app a perfect fit for WiFi-only devices, whereby workers can head out and work in the field and then come back to the office to synchronize their day's work from the app.
There are a few exceptions to this offline capability that do require an internet connection:
- First time logging into the app
This is because the app needs to authenticate the user and download all assigned Screens and data before they can start using the app. Note that a connection is only needed on the user's very first time logging in (i.e., after installing the app for the first time). Subsequent logins on the app will work even if the user is offline.
- Map display/access
Currently we do not support offline mapping, so all maps in the app will require an internet connection to stream image tiles to the device. Any Screens that require the use of a map will show a blank grey area where the map should be if the user is offline at the time. We plan to add offline maps support at some stage in the future.
- Real-time data scenarios
For most general usage scenarios, access to real-time/live data is unnecessary for workers to get their jobs done. However, in situations where data is changing rapidly or must always be requested from an online source, an Internet connection will obviously be needed.