In today's fast-paced digital world, uninterrupted access to applications and data is crucial for efficiency. But what happens when you find yourself in a situation without internet connectivity? The answer lies in robust offline functionality. This guide delves into the essence of offline capabilities, their inherent benefits, and best practices to ensure seamless work experiences even in the absence of an internet connection. Whether you're an app builder or a user, understanding how offline modes operate can drastically enhance your productivity and data security.
- What is Offline?
- What is the Benefit?
- Working Offline
- Best Practice
- Form Visibility
What is offline?
Offline is the capability of using your offline applications without needing internet access. When offline the data is stored on your phone and uploaded back to your site when an internet connection is established.
What is the benefit?
The Key benefit of this functionality is being able to work without an internet connection with no need to worry about losing data mid-input or interrupting your workflow. This gives you the ability to work in new situations that may never have been possible before.
⚠ You must be logged into your site prior to going offline ⚠
This can be a pre-opened tab on your phone or desktop that is synced on the site you would like to work offline on. You will not be able to work offline otherwise as your browser will not allow you to search your site. Other than that, if you are on a record on a train and lose connection, your app will be unaffected so you can keep working until a connection is reestablished, when it is established the data will be uploaded to your site in the background.
The best practice is to make sure the site is as up-to-date as it can be, this can be done by logging out and back into your site. You can update apps individually through the actions menu in the top right, these changes are pushed through every 10 minutes. Platform updates appear via a grey bar pop-up at the bottom of the screen, these are important to click on as soon as they come up to make sure your platform version is correct.
Expressions do not work while offline, you will be able to enter data into fields but these will not run expressions until you regain a connection. These fields are represented by a triangle next to them that when you hover over will display a message saying that they will not work offline.
Filters that are based on expressions will not work offline as the expression will not update without a connection, so if a risk status should change to red based on data from different fields the change will not happen offline so the record would not appear in a filter that only displays red risks.
Form Visibility does work offline but will not work if an expression field is used in the filter, as the expression would not have run when offline.
If form visibility is important to the flow of the app then in filters use fields that don't run on expressions. For example, if a form rule was dependent on a bit field showing as true if a date and text field were filled in then the form rule should instead be based on those date and text fields and not the bit field.
🔴 Filter with expression field that does not work offline: $filter=[NotEmpty] eq true
🟢 Filter without an expression field that does work offline: $filter=[Date] ne '' and [Owner] ne ''
Workflow does not work offline.
If a workflow runs off an expression then it will only run the next time you gain a connection and the record/data is uploaded. For example, if you create 10 records offline that each trigger an email to be sent, 10 email workflows will be sent when you regain a connection.