Fulcrum as a Platform

20 March 2012 by Tony Quartararo

We’re making rapid progress in all areas of developing on Fulcrum and we are excited to see the level of interest from around the world.  We’ve got potential partners wanting to develop private-label apps powered by Fulcrum as well as a growing collection of DIY users taking the power of Fulcrum in directions we had not imagined just a few months ago.  This is all very exciting.  On top of that, we’re rolling out the latest iPhone version later this month (the iOS Universal edition as well).  We’re a tad behind on Android but I’m confident it will be at parity with iOS by mid-year 2012.

One of the more powerful aspects to what we’ve done on the platform is to enable rapid prototyping of concepts and enable testing in the field, all within a matter of minutes.  Here’s an early preview of an app that grew out of my Ignite talk at WhereCampTB last month, which itself was inspired by Mitch Sipus when I visited Kabul last December.

Graffiti Mapping App

I created a standardized form in just 2-3 minutes, then, if needed, clone and copy the form and annotate accordingly.  In this example, I went overboard initially (as I am somewhat prone to do) and had a very complex set of choice lists, but as I started testing in the field and putting myself in the shoes of the average consumer, I quickly realized that this level of complexity was not only unnecessary but likely to slow down any real adoption when it hit the iTunes App store.  I could rev the app by simply cloning and renaming (why not save that for a later version?) and the modify (delete fields) to make a simpler version for initial launch.  I was able to do all this in a couple of hours of refinement without once bothering the engineering staff with the “customizations” that I was tinkering with.  Once I arrived at the final data model and had tested it in the field, I turned it over to the product group and within a couple of days, it was looking like a finished product. Most of the iterations I have seen so far are variations on the UI but not the data model.

This capability is available to all users of Fulcrum.  While we’re not ready yet to spawn a massive constellation of privately-labeled or branded apps powered by fulcrum, users can  certainly create an unlimited amount of apps in their own accounts and the DIY ability is a native part of the evolving platform that Fulcrum has become.  Giving people what they need in the field, nothing more, nothing less, to do their job and get instant results has never been easier or more powerful.  Sign up for Fulcrum here..

About the author

Tony is the president & CEO at Fulcrum. He thrives on solving impossible geospatial problems for governments, industry and commercial business, anywhere, anytime.

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