Introducing our new capability: data routing

Data Routing provides you with some simple tools to process the data that flows into a ProntoForm and use it to run business logic.

As part of our mission to help organizations make data work for them and empower firstline workers to ensure their efficiency and effectiveness, we’re excited to launch Data Routing, a new capability for customers on our Enterprise Tier. 

The problem  

Execution of front-end work requires synthesizing a large amount of data from a wide range of sources. Data obtained from industry barcodes is often in a format this isn’t easy to consume by field service technicians. For example, a single bar code can contain thousands of characters of data.  

These are large or complex strings of information, where substrings hold important and valuable data. Handwritten notes related to industry barcodes can create significant issues such as information that’s difficult to decipher and inaccurate or repeated data. 

Each of these substrings means something in a form and might indicate a different scenario a frontline worker needs to understand and follow a set of instructions for. It follows that these strings are most useful if they can be parsed into individual values so conditional logiccalculations, and other business logic can be driven off them.  

The solution is data routing 

Data routing:  

  • Reduces data entry work for field technicians  
  • Saves time by reducing clicks within the form  
  • Enables multiple workflows based on one point of data intake  
  • Is flexible enough to handle almost any data format, provided it is text-based.  

Data Routing in a form provides you with some simple tools to process the data that flows into a form and use it to run the business logic in that form, thereby automating as much of the process in the field as possible. Routing is used to parse long, complex strings of data captured by a Router Setup question into smaller substrings. You can then push these substrings into target questions in your form. 

Data Router is an additional property on certain question types that allows pieces of information to be sent to other questions based on either Index (sequential pieces of data) or Regex (regular expressions) criteria.  

  • Using Index router, customers can parse sequential chunks of data such as from a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) including make, model, year of manufacture, factory, and more into the appropriate parts of the form, and use that to drive business logic, such as firing off a different workflow based on the car make or model, all based off the VIN.  
  • Regex router helps you use Regular Expressions to reduce massive amounts of manual data entry by extracting what’s needed and sending it to the appropriate parts of the form, triggering conditional logic to provide additional context as well as increasing automation, saving the field tech large amounts of manual work.  

Take a barcode string for a piece of equipment, for example. The string might include the device number, lot number, serial number, and manufacturing data. You can use the Router Setup property to separate these substrings and push them to target questions in your form.  

Use cases 

A scan with the ProntoForms app has the potential to autocomplete huge sections of a mobile workflow and trigger any number of validations of an asset such as expiration date and warranty information, even without a network connection.  

You can use the substrings to: 

  • Display information such as asset manufacturing data to a mobile device user.  
  • Perform calculations in the form based on substring values.  
  • Use conditional logic in a form to drive specific workflows.  

Field users can now rapidly collect data on assets in the field, and the information will go where it needs to as quickly as possible. 

Data Routing for medical device companies 

Data Routing is especially relevant when identifying, capturing, and sharing data on medical devices, namely for UDIs, and other forms of GS1 barcodes. 

The U.S. FDA Unique Device Identification (UDI) Rule established a unique device identification system for medical devices. Medical devices are marked with a Unique Device Identifier (UDI)   in human-readable and machine-readable format (e.g., barcodes). Barcodes encode information such as serial number, dates, batch/lot, product shipment, and location using GS1 syntaxes.  

All medical device companies have corrective and preventative action systems (CAPA) in place and the FDA performs regular audits on assets. The amount of preventative maintenance or standard break/fix service calls on complex assets that must conform to rigid standards demonstrates the need for digital tools. This is no place for paper-based systems. Technology  ensures field service engineer efficiency, compliance, auditability, and above all, patient safety.  

ProntoForms’ Data Routing gives field engineers a way to capture barcodes effectively on their mobile devices. For example, a field technician may need to scan several UDI barcodes for various pieces of medical equipment so they can carry out required maintenance based on lot numbers and manufacturing dates. Data Routing can be used to process the data from a form and run the business logic in that form, providing context around what equipment they’re working on, rendering strings of numbers into human-readable data, and more.  

Learn more about data routing 

Please consult our Product Documentation Portal for complete information on Data Routing. Head over to the ProntoForms community if you’d like to chat with other citizen developers about this or any other ProntoForm feature. Level up your ProntoForms game and connect with your peers!  

Related articles
Fireside Chat: The future of low-code application platforms in the field
Top 5 features of the best mobile forms app
Taking Your Business Systems Mobile, Without Breaking the Bank