Android App developed for REO Allegiance

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Android mobile application developed for REO Allegiance. They have extensive experience and knowledge in property preservation and eviction field services and their executives are often consulted as industry experts on these topics. REO Allegiance offer a complete portfolio of property preservation and maintenance services, eviction field services, repairs, inspections, code compliance management including vacant property registration, and utilities management. REO Allegiance provides custom maintenance programs and offers flat-fee and a-la-carte solutions.


Business situation


REO Allegiance has unique web-based, applications like AMI System, Contractor Login and Client Login. There are number of contractors registered with them. Property preservation contractors are very mobile and they visits properties each day. Contractor needs to take and submit photos, submit updates, bids, and documents. If he missed any deadlines, he will get phone call notifications from administrative team to remind their pending activities.


Technical situation


Contractors of REO Allegiance interact with the company through its web application. Contractor visits properties and takes photos. Once he comes back, he uploads them so that administrative team can review them, Besides Photo They need to create and submit documents, bids, and updates on their job work. This can be done through his desktop or Laptop.


Challenges


Android operating system has many versions. We need to make sure that our application should work on all the OS versions.


There are number of cell phone companies providing android as operating system, we need to make sure that application should not relay on particular device. It should work on each of the devices.


Android phones can have different resolutions, so application screens should be designed in such a way that it should work on all majorly used resolutions.


Contractor should be able to see uploaded images. High resolution images can eat phone memory, so application can crash if it consumes more memory.


Smartphone can have high resolution cameras, uploading a high resolution images takes too much time. Application should be able to reduce the image size without affecting its quality.


We are also maintaining exif information of image, to get some important information, like photo capture date, longitude & latitude etc. Compressing an images looses these information, so we must need to find some alternative for that.


Updates and documents sections have very large forms. These sections are often get updated. Whenever apply changes in these sections, it should automatically reflect in our application.


Solution


Earlier Android OS versions have very less market distribution, and they have less features and functionality compared to newer versions. Minimum popular version is 2.1 and our application is built up on this version. All android OS versions are forward compatible, so application can even work on any new versions Android OS.


Screens as designed in such a way that it can display information properly on landscape and portrait orientation.


Image gallery shows images from web, images can have high resolution. So we must need to resize it before we use to display purpose. Similarly images should resize before we upload it. We compress images before we display on screen and while uploading it to server. Compressing an image reduces size up to 70% without affecting image quality. We used special algorithm to compress the images.


To get the exif information and adding it to compressed image, we used Commons Sanselen library. It is an open source library hosted in Apache commons.


To handle frequent changes in bids, updates and document sections, we made web pages, so that we can update them on server without releasing new version of device application.


Web pages of these sections are recreated with touch optimized framework. We used jQuery Mobile framework to create web pages, so that it looks like native application. jQuery Mobile was in its alpha release when we started using it. We faced lots of issue with alpha version, but we also participated in bug solving of jQuery Mobile. jQuery Mobile is platform independent, so the same web pages can also be used in other Smartphone applications like BlackBerry and iPhone.


Benefits


Android application allows contractor to work most efficiently with REO Allegiance. By using Android application, field service providers receive orders instantaneously in the field, respond to them, navigate quickly to the property, and submit information back to us directly from the property. The end result is the delivery of superior, on-time performance for their clients. Administrative teams can now reduce the reminder team, as there will be fewer phone calls.


Products and services our company used

  • Android SDK 2.1 and up
  • HTTPComponents and Commons Sanselan libraries from Apache
  • Smartphone powered by Android
  • ColdFusion web services
  • Google’s services for map
  • jQuery Mobile: Touch-Optimized Web Framework