Another new feature with the latest release of Fulcrum is the introduction of a new field type to add to your apps: Hyperlink fields. Hyperlinks allows you to store URLs to any desired path right alongside a record within your app, in order to link to content outside of Fulcrum data. Links can be used in all sorts of different ways to do interesting things during your data collection projects, like linking to web addresses, or content paths on your own server. Using Hyperlink fields, viewing a record containing a URL allows your field user to tap and open those URLs associated with each piece of data. In this post, I’ll outline some of the basic setup information of how to use Hyperlinks, and show an example of exactly what’s possible.
If you have data that contains links to external resources, you can use Fulcrum’s powerful import tools to load it into Fulcrum and take out into the field on mobile devices. In my example below, I’ve got a batch of parcel data that I’ve imported which I’d like to distribute to my team of property appraisers, so they can visit each location and perform assessments using an app I’ve built to collect all of the data.
Beginning with a batch of public data downloaded from the local property appraiser’s website, I cleaned it up some then imported it into my Property Appraisal app, mapping the fields of data to my app structure. On the county appraiser’s site, each parcel has a dedicated listing (like this one) that shows the value summary, record history, sales history, and a good amount of information about the structures on the property. The URL for each parcel exists inside of the dataset, with a unique URL for each parcel’s detail page. So using the “URL to Listing” hyperlink field within my app, these links get imported and synced to my team’s mobile devices.
Once the appraisers have their mobile phones or tablets synced up, they can pull up the property records one-by-one to conduct their on-site appraisals. If they need additional information for the property they are inspecting, they can tap on the URL included with each parcel to pull up the county records website right inside the mobile browser on-the-fly.
This is just one of many ways that hyperlinks can be useful for accessing things outside of Fulcrum. You could use them to link your users in the field to PDF files, manuals or specifications for equipment maintenance, images hosted on your own server, or even to open other apps on your device using custom URL schemes. Stay tuned for more examples later on in how you can use links in other interesting ways.