- This article is about the module that can be added to your app project in Woodford to support inspections features. For information about the standalone product on Resco Cloud, see resco.Inspections.
Resco Inspections is a solution that allows you to shape every step of your inspection process:
- Create custom questionnaires, dynamic forms, surveys and more.
- Make inspections more effective for your field staff and analyze collected data afterwards – all with one solution.
Resco Inspections is a flexible module with many customization options.
But you don't have to start from scratch! Browse a library of checklists, forms, and reports that you can download and use in your organization. See How to use a template from the Resco Template Library to get started.
With Resco Inspections, you can follow up the inspection by generating a mobile report, for example in PDF format. The report is created directly on the device, even offline. Again, you have several options for how much attention do you want to spend on your reports. Out of the box, there's a generic report that simply collects all the questions and answers. You can use Questionnaire Designer to customize your reports, change question layout, colors, fonts, or decide which questions to skip. For the most advanced scenarios, we offer a dedicated tool, Report Designer.
For more information, see Mobile reports for Resco Inspections.
Back in the back office, you can easily access the answers collected in the field, as well as any reports.
- Automatic Dashboard or Analyst - tool for visualizing and evaluating questionnaire results
- Results Viewer - tool for viewing completed questionnaires
Customizing the solution
Mobile users can usually access questionnaires from the home screen or an entity form (depending on the configuration of your app project. There are many more options how questionnaires can be accessed; see Adding questionnaires to app projects for inspiration.
Once the questionnaire is filled and saved, a copy of the initial template is created with all the answers and stored as a separate questionnaire record. Users don’t make changes to the original questionnaire, since it is used as a template for future inquiries.
It is not possible to have two questionnaires opened at once – the user can work with one questionnaire at a time. To fill out another questionnaire, the user must save and close the questionnaire or discard changes and close it.
Resco Inspections performs excellently with our proprietary CRM solution, Resco Cloud, but it can also be natively integrated with Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Salesforce. Additionally, we provide an API for integration with third-party systems.
Resco Inspections on Resco Cloud
Resco Inspections works best on the dedicated inspections cloud. Use a web browser to connect to your organization.
- Go to
- Log in to your organization using the email and password you used for registering the organization.
- Click Log in to access the landing page: Manager's experience for Resco Inspections.
To access inspections features on your classic Resco Cloud, use a web browser to connect to your organization.
- Go to
- Enter your organization name, email address, and your password.
- Click Log in.
To integrate Inspections feature into an existing Resco Cloud project
- Go to your Resco Cloud organization as described above.
- Start Woodford from the landing page.
- Enable inspections as described here.
- Log in to Microsoft Dynamics 365.
- Start Woodford. If you have not used it before, you can find the detailed guide on how to download and import Woodford into your Dynamics 365/CRM here.
- Enable inspections as described here.
See also a detailed blog post describing this procedure.
We have also prepared a dedicated page to guide you through the process of setting up and using Resco Inspections on Dynamics 365.
- Log in to your Salesforce server, go to the AppExchange and install the Resco managed package to the Salesforce organization in which you want to run Resco Inspections.
- Log in to the Resco for Salesforce website.
- Start Woodford.
- Click Update to download your custom settings to Woodford.
- Open a default project called Inspections and click Validate to verify that your organization's metadata are compatible with settings in the default project.
- Depending on your Salesforce customization, there is a possibility that some standard fields on Account, Contact or Event objects will not be enabled in your organization, so just remove them from Views or Forms to resolve the warnings.
- Customize the project as needed and publish it.
See also a detailed blog post describing this procedure.
When you use Inspections without custom objects on Salesforce, the following limitations apply:
- Question data are stored on Resco Cloud and not available in Salesforce UI.
- Binary questions (e.g. images and signatures) are not supported.
- Data migration from Resco Cloud to Salesforce is not supported.
- Resco Cloud data will not be available in the app once you install the Resco Managed Package and update metadata.
Salesforce users without admin rights need the appropriate permission to access Inspections features, see Grant permissions to non-admins.
Contact Resco for information about connecting to your ERP and working with your data.
- Questionnaire OData service: a read-only OData v4 API service for accessing questionnaire results
- Resco CRM Connector: a universal REST API to Resco Cloud
Configuring in Woodford
To configure inspections in Woodford, you need Woodford 10.2 or later.
- Edit an app project.
- Select Inspections in the Project menu.
- Check Enable Inspections and click Save.
- You can integrate Inspections with your project in a few clicks:
- To add Inspections to your Home screen, click Add to Home.
- To add Inspections to a Form, click Add to Form. You have to select an entity; Inspections are added to that entity's default view. You can repeat this step for multiple entities as needed.
- To install a pre-configured automatic report, click Install Report.
|Note||Inspections require a separate license. If you are not sure if your organization has the appropriate license, please contact your account manager at Resco or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.|
The one-click integration into app projects (the Add to... buttons) wasn't originally included. The bindings had to be created manually. If you want to create your integration from scratch, or if you are looking for inspiration how to customize the display within the app, see Adding questionnaires to app projects.
Questionnaire templates, snippets, and questionnaire answers are stored in the same entity: questionnaire (see technical information for details). Additionally, templates can have different states, depending on their lifecycle (draft/active/inactive or draft/staged/published/archived). All of these can be displayed in the mobile app. However, it usually does make sense to differentiate and filter these records. Consider the following Woodford settings:
- Use Sync Filter to define what data from the server is replicated in the Resco Mobile CRM application during a synchronization. Remember that sync filters usually only apply in offline mode!
- Use view filters to restrict the displayed data in the view to only those that meet the specified conditions. You can create multiple views for different use cases.
For example, when displaying a list of available templates for mobile users to choose from, use only active or published templates. Set this up in the view filter. For the sync filter, however, consider also including archived templates if you want to allow the mobile users to view older completed questionnaires.
Resco Inspections have a strong focus on innovations to fully leverage modern devices and technologies.
- Inspections with augmented-reality video calls
- Inspectors in the field can initiate a video call to an expert. The recipient can draw instructions straight into the shared video scene. See Houston video calls.
- Wearables and ruggedized devices
- Smartwatch integration: perform inspections with a smartwatch and voice control
- RealWear: a custom version of the Resco app tailored for voice control is available for the head-mounted tablet HMT-1
- Zebra: Resco Inspections is certified by Zebra for their TC series of handheld computers
- HoloLens: Perform inspections in 3D.
When you deploy Resco Inspections in large projects without considering performance, your users may experience performance degradation. Learn about the possible problems in advance and set up your questionnaires to mitigate the risks.
Rapidly increasing database footprint
If you created your Resco Inspections organization some time ago, the default setting used to be that every single answered questionnaire is saved in a self-contained way, i.e., it includes the answers, but also the questions along any possible custom images (logo), business rules, and styles. This approach ensures that even if the original questionnaire template changes, your answered questionnaires are unaffected.
In scenarios where questionnaires are changing frequently and each questionnaire is answered only a limited number of times, this is a valid approach. However, if your inspectors perform hundreds or thousands of inspections every day, you might discover that your database gets full of redundant data.
Use the parameter Dependency Level in the properties of a questionnaire template to control this behavior.
- None: This is default value. Questionnaires are self-contained, at the cost of increased database footprint.
- Images: In this case, static images of the questionnaire template (such as the logo) are not included in each answer.
- Full: Save only the answers. Static images, questions, rules, and styles are not included; instead, they are replaced with a reference to a questionnaire template. This option is recommended if your questionnaires rarely change and it is only available for versioned questionnaire templates.
- Using versioned templates means that old template versions gain the archived state. Sometimes, the sync filter for the Questionnaire entity is configured to exclude archived templates. If you attempt to view old answered questionnaires (that use an archived template with medium or high dependency level) in the app in offline mode, you may encounter the Questionnaire template not found! error. In this case, consider modifying the sync filter to make archived templates available in the offline mode.
Another complementary option is saving your images in external cloud document storage, rather than in the database. This behavior is configured on the Properties pane for images in the parameter Storage Entity. Cloud document storage is often much cheaper than databases. Resco Inspections supports third-party document storage by Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, and SharePoint.
Slow questionnaire loading time
If your complex questionnaire templates include many On Change rules, app users may experience slow performance when they open the questionnaire in the app. This issue affects particularly older devices.
Edit your questionnaire template and on the Properties pane, set the Rules Version parameter to Latest, to take advantage of optimized handling of On Change rules during questionnaire loading. To learn more about this parameter, read Rules version.
Sync: upload takes too long
Inspectors in the field who perform many large inspections regularly may sometimes experience the problem that the upload phase of synchronization takes too long, particularly is the network isn't too good. Increasing the dependency level to full as described above can help, because the amount of data for upload is reduced. Additional savings can be accomplished by changing how questionnaire answers are stored and uploaded.
Edit your questionnaire template and on the Properties pane, configure the Answer Storage to select how should the answers be stored.
- Records: This is the default option. Each answer is transferred as a single record during synchronization. This may make synchronization slower, but ensures the best compatibility with the backend servers and allows you to leverage existing tools to visualize the data.
- JSON or Compressed JSON: These options offer improved synchronization performance, however, not all tools understand JSON.
Sync: download takes too long
If your app users (inspectors in the field) experience long download times followed by many deletions, consider setting the Synchronization strategy for the entity Questionnaire to Incremental with Sync Filter.
Tip: Migrating inspections between environments
If you need to migrate more complex inspections scenarios between environments, for example, for a dev/test environment to production, proceed as follows:
- Migrate the questionnaires (using the export/import function of the Questionnaire Designer).
- Migrate the mobile reports (using the export/import function of the Report Designer) and activate them.
- In Questionnaire Designer, associate the reports to the right questionnaires.
- In Questionnaire Designer, set up the Run Report command on each questionnaire to point to the right report template.
- In Questionnaire Designer, activate (non-versioned) or publish (versioned) questionnaire templates.
Resco Inspections utilizes the data-driven architecture rather than the metadata-driven approach. It means that the Resco Inspections data model (entities, fields, relationships) is already created, and when building a new custom questionnaire template you are not altering the data model – instead, you’re adding the entity records. As a consequence, the user who manages the questionnaire templates does not have to be a backend administrator since this user is not changing the data model.
All questionnaire data is saved as records on your backend server (Resco Cloud/Dynamics/Salesforce), in multiple custom entities:
- Questionnaire (resco_questionnaire) stores information about the questionnaire templates, snippets, and answered questionnaires. Each questionnaire can contain any number of question groups and questions. How is a particular questionnaire record used depends on the following properties:
- As a questionnaire template (if Is_Template = Yes)
- As a snippet (if Is_Snippet = Yes)
- As a filled-in questionnaire
- Question Group (resco_questiongroup) stores information about the question groups. Each question group can contain multiple questions.
- Question (resco_question) stores all the questions created for the questionnaire, as well as answers. The unformatted answer value can be found in the Value (resco_value) field; formatted value in the Value Label (resco_valuelabel) field.
- Questionnaire Folder (resco_questionnairefolder) stores information about the folder structure that organizes questionnaire templates in the designer. Each folder can contain multiple questionnaire templates. Usually, this entity does not need to be enabled in the app project.
When an app user starts a questionnaire in the app, a new copy of the template is created. For an answered questionnaire, we store both questions and answers. This approach ensures that when you change your questionnaire template, existing answered questionnaires are not affected; historical records are not altered.
See also: Dynamics 365 – how is the data stored?
Permissions for Inspections entities need to be set based on what action will the user perform on questionnaires.
For Questions and Question groups, users – administrators – managers, who create and fill out questionnaires, should have a Read and Create permission (enable the Update permission only if it admins will need to modify questionnaires later).
- User / Inspector
- (a person who is filling out the questionnaires)
- Read permission – required for owned records and records owned by the manager that creates the questions (e.g. Business unit level).
- Create permission – is needed so the user can answer questionnaire templates and save the completed questionnaires.
- Update, Delete permissions – users may not have these permissions unless they’re creating questionnaires themselves.
- (a person who us creating questionnaires, and gathering info)
- Read permission – necessary for owned questionnaires.
- Create, Update, Delete permissions – required at least for owned questionnaires. Delete permission is upon consideration.
|Note||If you want to enable viewing and updating all questionnaires available on the server for all managers, these permissions need to be set rather for a business unit.|
It is also possible to manage permissions by assigning ownership of Questionnaires to teams in the backend server.
Saving questionnaire data
Questionnaire data can be saved in three different ways:
- Record-based model (default): Each answer in a questionnaire is a record.
- JSON / compressed JSON: Answer are stored in JSON format that might be compressed. JSON requires fewer records and may result in faster synchronization. However, analyzing the answers may require additional effort.
The data model can be configured on the Properties pane, in the Answer Storage field.
A questionnaire has a completion status field (resco_completionstatus) that can take three values:
-  Active (incomplete, in progress)
-  Completed
-  Canceled