Evi heads off for review

48 hours from start to finish. Evi Estimate Viewer is our new application that allows users of Buildsoft Estimating (Global and Offsider) to view their estimate on the iPad.

Support for Paradox databases is sparse so we needed a format that was more iOS friendly. This was achieved by writing a little utility (Evi Estimate Converter). Isn’t it funny when you start with a simple idea how it just keeps growing.

The estimate converter had to support local (or network) Buildsoft data, but then we decided that it should be usable by people without the estimating software available to them, so functionality was included to handle the.E0X file as well.

Next the UI for the Windows application, it has to be easy and clean.

It was noted that the file size of the data was starting to get a little on the large size (2-4mb per job), so a review of the methods used and some cool compression was put in place…. Now between 20kb-100kb (Yes KB)

Obfuscate the binary and build the setup program. Finally build in auto error reporting, I prefer the options provided by Red-Gate SmartAssembly

Off to the testing team for their tick of approval. ( SSW Do you conduct a “test please” )

Now, back to the iOS side of things. Support for the data file needs to be flexible, so iTunes File Sharing, Dropbox and in App support (email etc) had to be built. The most frustrating of these was the in App support. There is a quirk when using the iPad simulator where URL support just works, however, when tested on a real device it fails. It turns out that the simulator does some behinds the scenes magic and will match the case of a filename, yes, match the case! An afternoon of frustrations sealed with an early morning (3am) victory.

Finally, another round of testing, followed by a PASS, and it’s time to submit to Apple for approval and sale.

Here are some of the screen shots from the final products.

— UPDATE : 21, Feb

EVI Is Approved ! available in the AppStore