The Blink Mobility Platform brings a very powerful approach to delivery of mobile systems throughout an organisation. Being able to de- scribe this is key.
This Glossary aims to establish a common language for describing components and functions of the Blink Mobility Platform and phrases/metaphors that can aid in understanding them.
A common language is necessary to ensure effective, clear, unambiguous communication between anyone involved in with the Blink Mobility Platform, from first sales contact with a prospective client through to the core development team.
An adapter is a separate application outside of the Blink Mobility Platform that can be called by Interactions to exchange information with another system. Adapters talk to Interactions through a simple web service interface. They then perform any necessary conversions and checking prior to talking to the host application system using whatever methods are available.
Agents are self--running Interactions which can be set up within an answerSpace to run tasks on a regular basis without user interaction. For example an agent could be used to send out notifications by email or SMS about work schedules at 7.30am each work day. Agents can be easily set up to check on values and perform an action should a particular condition be true.
To the end-user the answerSpace looks like an “app” which they get to through a url. Each answerSpace has a unique url under www.blinkm.mobi. The answerSpace is the main management structure within the Blink Mobility Platform. It is a container of Interactions and it provides the “wrapping” of those Interactions that make them into a coherent interface. Most enterprise clients will be delivered a Master answerSpace (their Interaction Pool) and a number of Child answerSpaces. Interactions may be copied from the Master answer- Space to any Child answerSpace. Look and feel, navigation and security can be set on an answerSpace by answerSpace basis.
answerSpaces are, by default, delivered to mobile devices by navigating to a url from which a web-app or a mobi site is accessed. For iOS and Android devices it is possible to wrap the answerSpace in an application shell that will enable access to device--specific services (such as camera, gallery and GPS) that would not be available to a web-app. This process is known as appification. Appification involves using the BlinkGap toolkit to create the application for the target an- swerSpace and then doing sufficient testing to confirm a successful resulting application. The BlinkGap libraries are maintained on an ongoing basis and include intelligence such as downsizing of photographs for transmission, the management of memory and other aspects of operation that would otherwise be provided by the browser. The answerSpace app created can be delivered though an app store (the process of lodgement is the responsibility of the end--user organisation) or via corporate distribution.
Blink Mobility Platform
The name of the total solution offering provided by BlinkMobile. This is what we sell. It is a platform for delivery of Enterprise mobility. Using the Blink Mobility Platform you implement the plumbing that allows you to offer the capability of accessing ANY data source and through ONE platform deliver MANY services (or “apps”) to ALL devices.
BlinkAnswers is the base--level service which provides the Interaction Manager, Interaction Code Builder, a Master answerSpace, a (variable) number of Child answerSpaces and a variety of SMS facilities including Bulk SMS.
BlinkForms is an additional service which may be purchased on top of BlinkAnswers. It consists of a powerful mobile form building interface (the BlinkForms Builder) in which forms may be defined for use in one or many Interactions. Forms definitions may be moved between an- swerSpaces. BlinkForms also provides the BlinkForms NOW! prototyping database feature and the ability to automatically create the Interactions that deliver all aspects of forms functionality into an an- swerSpace.
An instantly available prototyping database feature provided with BlinkForms that allows the immediate “live” testing of forms on target devices. Forms can be designed interactively alongside the target users who can then be sent away to field-- test the form(s) created with live data – enabling an extremely agile iterative development environment process to occur. We do NOT provide any warranties about data stored in BlinkForms NOW! Our policy is that no production data should be stored on the Blink Mobility Platform.
BlinkLive is an additional service which may be purchased on top of BlinkAnswers. It provides a wide--ranging, powerful and growing set of “user engagement” tools that enable interactivity with end users through application of the best social media and interactivity concepts.
A basic--level service that can be purchased by itself to provide virtual noticeboards that can be accessed via SMS and a simple answer- Space. Provides a user--level web interface for simple updating of the noticeboards.
Remote Data Suitcase (aka MoJO – Mobile Journey Object)
A Remote Data Suitcase is a set of structured data (XML) that has been shipped into a mobile device’s local storage. Interactions that use XSLT can operate on the Data Suitcase locally without needing to go back to the BlinkMobile service. A Remote Data Suitcase can be either Shared or Personal. A Shared Data Suitcase can be used to provide common information to all users of an answerSpace. A Personal Data suitcase is used to ship user--specific information onto a device.
A standard feature of the Blink Mobility Platform for use in areas of poor transmission or for use with WiFi--only devices. Consists of two main parts – disconnected use of data via “Data Suitcases” (see above) and disconnected forms queueing (see below). Works on any device on which has structured local storage which can be accessed. Disconnected Forms Queue A standard feature of BlinkForms for use when there is limited signal or for WiFi--only devices. Queues completed forms on the phone for later submission when a signal is available.
The core of the Blink Mobility Platform. Always spelt with a capital I in this context. A self--contained micro--app which models a single user interaction with any data source. Interactions are programmed in MADL or Xpath and use HTML and/or XSLT to display. Interactions can be moved and copied between answerSpaces, turned on/off and the navigation changed very easily and without affecting other operations. Interactions can be tagged in a variety of manners (for navigation, security and context) which can make them act differently depending upon who is using them, where they are, what time it is etc.
The Interaction Manager is the administration interface for answer- Spaces. All of the configuration of answerSpaces is performed in it and Interactions are programmed in it.
The distinguishing architecture of the Blink Mobility Platform. Every- thing in the Platform is centred on navigating to and managing Inter- actions. This provides a simple to understand, flexible, robust and eas- ily managed mobile enablement environment.
The central “pool” of interactions held within the Master answerSpace which can be used in multiple Child answerSpaces through copying between them.
Data Suitcase (aka JO – Journey Object)
A powerful concept used for performance and as part of disconnected--mode operations. A Data Suitcase (or Journey Object) is effectively a “suitcase” of data which lives in an answerSpace which is “packed” by an Agent (or a specific interaction) from back--end data sources. Interactions can be told to use a Data Suitcase as their data source instead of talking direct to a back--end system. When a Data Suitcase is shipped to a phone it is then called a Remote Data Suit- case (or a MoJO).
LiveZones are like “rooms” in which BlinkLive Interactions can take place. The BlinkLive features such as ShoutBox, SimplePoll, Simple- Survey, Rate&Review and Rendezvous can all be linked into Live- Zones.
An easy-to-use user-level web-based administration tool for setting up SimplePoll, SimpleSurvey, and managing Shoutbox, Rendezvous and Rate&Review.
A powerful made-for-purpose language which can be used in creating Interactions.
Rate & Review
A BlinkLive component. A user engagement service that follows the “star and comment” model in use on various consumer peer--review sites. Can be managed easily by end--users with limited training.
A BlinkLive component. Aimed at encouraging answerSpace users to self--identify into interest groups in which a range of engagement may occur using the BlinkLive tools (and possibly also linkage into areas of social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter etc). Driven off a user database and allows users to deny access to contact details.
A BlinkLive component. Twitter--like chat about specific topics. Moderatable and managed in the easy--to--use LiveZone Man- ager.
A BlinkLive component. Set up instant polls on any topic from the easy-to-use LiveZone Manager. One vote per device. See results instantly on any mobile device and display to large-screen through LiveZone Manager.
A BlinkLive component. Set up short surveys of up to six questions.
Tallying of results
See results through LiveZone Manager. Export data easily.
ANY data from interactions can be made “starrable”. An internal bookmarking system for interactions. A gold star will appear next to any item and if starred the item will be kept in a My Favourites Inter- action which can be defined to suit the situation. VERY important – and doesn’t rely on favourites being available on the host system.
A BlinkLive component. Click on a QR code associated with a person or asset and be provided with details from a back-end database loaded up into a “tracking” form associated with your user. Tracking form kept within answerSpace. Used predominantly for lead tracking within conferences.
A BlinkLive component. Click on a QR code or on a browsable logo to be taken to a virtual Information Booth into which links to literature have been provided. Star the links that interest you. Email your starred links to yourself or another party to follow up later. Great alternative to conference show bags or memory sticks in a conference environment. Useful for companies to use for identifying manuals or work practices which would be useful for new field-based employees.
A web application. This is how an answerSpace is delivered to most mobile devices. There is an increasing body of literature that discusses why web apps are more suited to enterprises than native applications for reasons of management, update and cost.
A language that defines the structure of content. Used to define objects that are passed around between systems. Used in Journey Objects (which could also use JSON, another object definition language) and can be interpreted on the phones natively using XSLT (see below) XSLT A library that can be used to interpret and display XML objects. Used within Interactions that will work on MoJOs on a device without going back to the BlinkMobile service to have the work done.