K2 and Mobility

The K2 platform provides the ability to interact with K2 applications on mobile devices. The K2 mobility story falls into two categories:

  1. Mobile resident applications
  2. Mobile friendly forms development

This section covers these two areas in more detail and highlight content that can provide more specific technical details.

Mobile Resident K2 Applications

K2 offers mobile OS specific apps that are available for download directly onto to devices. K2 offers mobile apps for the following types of devices:

  • iOS
  • Android
  • Windows
  • Blackberry

The K2 mobile applications are accessible via the respective public OS (Apple, Google, Windows…) app store.

The main purpose of these apps are to allow for interaction with workflow tasks. For example if a user is assigned a task within a K2 workflow, that user can open up the K2 mobile app on his/her smartphone or tablet and sync it with the K2 server. At that point the app will find all the tasks currently assigned to him and download the tasks to the device. The user can then interact with the embedded worklist within the K2 mobile app to view his currently assigned tasks. If the user wants to open a task, the mobile app will attempt to browse to the URL that is associated with that task so a live connection will be needed to open that form (there is one exception to this; more details on that later). If there is no need to actually open the form, the application does permit the user to action the task with a decision without opening the form.

As mentioned, there is one exception to the online requirement for forms interaction within the K2 app.  The exception is the iOS version of the K2 mobile app.  The iOS application has the ability to cache tasks as well as form definitions and data.  This permits them to be leveraged on the iOS device even if offline.  In order to leverage this correctly the form has to be designed appropriately within K2 smartforms, which brings us to the second point of the mobile story: forms development.

Mobile Friendly Forms Development

Mobile friendly forms within the K2 solution space are based upon K2 smartforms. K2 has invested significantly in expanding the feature set of the K2 smartforms tooling. In addition to standard (non-mobile specific) UI functionality, there are a number of items introduced in K2 4.6.9 focused upon enhancing the mobile experience:

  • Responsive theme – The “Lithium” theme allows K2 forms to assess the form-factor (PC/tablet/phone) on which it is currently being viewed and will auto adjust controls and layout to better accommodate the screen size of that device. Keep in mind that even with this responsive theme there still is a need by the form developer to plan for the user experience. For example, if a form needs to interact with large volumes of data, and the primary user base for that form will be a small, form-factor mobile device, considerations should be given during the UI design phase to how to best construct this experience. In this example, it may be worthwhile to split the form into multiple, smaller forms and or tabs.
  • Application Forms* - are forms that surface in K2 Mobile and would typically be used to capture data, start a workflow or be used for reporting purposes. These forms are not necessarily workflow task related (although often are).
  • Offline Forms* - Offline forms allow for data caching. These forms can be accessed and actioned in K2 Mobile while not connected, either by the internet or cellular data. If K2 Mobile is offline and the user submits an Application Form or actions a task, the Form will be moved to the Outbox thereby actioning the item offline. When K2 Mobile is connected again, the Form will automatically be actioned or submitted.

         * Both Application Forms and Offline Forms are only currently available within the iOS K2 Mobile application.  For more details on how to use Application and Offline forms please reference the product help content.

Any person interested in building skills in this area should focus first on general K2 smartforms proficiency since. Keep in mind that K2 smartforms is built upon K2 blackpearl (with deep integration and reliance upon the SmartObject framework). Thus anyone wishing to work in this space should begin with K2 blackpearl training and then move on to K2 smartforms training.

Additional Resources

Please refer to the below items for more details around K2's mobility options:

K2 Platform Technical Enablement

It is important that resources tasked with implementing a K2 solution for the first time have the ability to properly learn the platform. We offer a comprehensive training program to help clients achieve maximum value from their investment, which is organized into five technical competencies, allowing for focus on particular aspects of the solutions, or the entire story.

Common Technologies Overview

Common usage scenarios for some of the most utilized technologies seen within the greater K2 community.

Solution Structure and Governance

An overview of best practices for naming conventions, teams with multiple developers, solution deployment and solution versioning.

Data and Integration Planning

Learn more about K2 database practices, SmartObjects and reporting.

Process Design

This section provides more information on process design tools, design best practices, destination rules best practices, workflow design patterns, line rule considerations, and external system call backs to K2 workflows.

K2’s SmartForms Design

These SmartForms design considerations and performance tuning guidelines will help you get the most out of your forms.

K2 Language Support

By default all K2 design time and runtime elements display in English.  If there is a need to design solutions that accommodate other languages then it is important plan appropriately.  This involves understanding what language support the K2 platform offers as well as which areas must be accommodated within solution design.