Phone/Pad apps

Our long-term plan is to make Goldenseal a “home base” that runs on a server in your office, and then allows log-ins from anywhere with an Internet connection.

When connecting from a remote laptop or desktop, it will use our current multi-user code, but through a secure VPN (Virtual Private Network) instead of a local network.  While on the remote client, Goldenseal will look the same as if you were running it on that computer.

To connect in from phones or pads, it’s more complicated.  They have screens that are way too small for desktop-style windows.  Memory is much more limited, and processor speeds are slower.  They also use different operating systems (iOS & Android instead of Mac & Windows) that are designed for small mobile devices rather than large-screen hardware.

Because of that, we can never run the full Goldenseal app on mobile. Instead, it will have to use very simple, single-purpose apps that connect to the parent app.   We’ve identified the following tasks that will each get a separate app to “phone in” to the home database:

  1. Expenses.  Data entry screens similar to the Material Purchases, Subcontractor Costs and Other Costs windows.  Probably ability to search prior records with something like the Find command.
  2. Employee Hours.  A screen similar to Employee Hours, for an employee or foreman to enter work hours from the field.
  3. Estimates.  Similar to the Estimates window, for entering measurements and calculating costs.
  4. Sales Billing.  Similar to the Sales window, to write up and print details for a sale or a service call.
  5. Contact/Problem/Project Logs. Similar to the current windows, for entering and tracking meetings, calls, punch lists, project events, etc.
  6. Project Billing.   This may be too complicated for mobile.

When we finish Goldenseal Pro, we will “spin off” smaller desktop apps that do each of the above, for people who only need simple accounting.  That way we can design the mobile and desktop versions of the small apps to look similar. It will be easier for users to switch from desktop to mobile, and also easier for our support staff to help with both.

Fortunately, Turtlesoft started off writing apps for the 512×342 Mac Plus, so we are already experienced with small-screen design.

Dennis Kolva
Programming Director
Turtle Creek Software

Author: Dennis Kolva

Programming Director for Turtle Creek Software. Design & planning of accounting and estimating software.