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Mobile App

Contacts: Johan Olander (European Spallation Source ERIC)

If you know of other recent tutorials or related materials, please add them to the appropriate places on the page and create a new subheading if needed.

Overview

This page intend to describe the current tools support and recommended. See the Mobile App Working Group for more details on support and JACoWs intentions. There is a recommended App Vendor available and presumed for this instruction. There is also a need to utilise a data extract software called SPSM_extract.py. The architecture is based on reuse of SPMS data and if possible should be kept that way due to the state of the Indico migration.

Preparartions & Conditions

The toolset is developed to be used with the AppInConf offering, it would very likely be quite pointless with another app-vendor. Contact details for the company are available. One should pay attention to the discussion of the Mobile App Working group before experimenting too much which the agreed feature base.

This process presumes that you have setup your SPMS according to the recommended standard process. The data export is pretty absolute, this means if you don't have proper sessions codes or proper time slot set up it will fail. For IPAC'17 this acted as a data verification tool and led to a better SPMS setup and a faster way for us to spot problems.

Data

The benefit of using this process is that the vast amount of data being tracked per conference. Instead of recreating this somewhere else we rely on SPSM to provide a single source of truth. Making updates and changes easier to manage and track. This following information is extracted and parsed from SPMS:

  • Author
    • First Name
    • Last Name
    • Abbreviated Institute
    • Institute
    • ID
  • Main Classifications
    • Title, e.g "Circular and Linear Colliders"
    • ID
  • Rooms
    • Title, e.g "Internet cafe"
    • ID
  • Abstract
    • Title
    • PaperID
    • Abstract
  • Schedule
    • Type - Either Invited, Contributed or Poster
    • Description of session type
    • Author Array
    • Co-Author Array
    • Moderator Array
    • Location
    • Time slot
    • Day

For IPAC'17 there was 5283 Authors tracked, 10 MC's and 8 rooms and 1581 Schedule events. Due to these big numbers manual change is almost impossible to get right. On top of this the schedule and abstracts are also exported.

Tools

SPMS, the spsm_extract script and the CMS from AppInConf are the necessary parts. A local machine to run the script on is also necessary.

Setup

There are two fields that needs to be modified inside the script.

  • Base SPMS URL
  • Start date for the conference

The script was originally developed running with Python 3.5 (as part of Anaconda3-4.1.1-Windows-x86_64) and will most likely work on any version of python3, and can be modified for python2. There are some dependencies needed, please use google (or bing if in China) for guidance.

  • Create an empty folder to download the script into
  • In that folder create a folder called 'abstracts'

Run the script by invoking: 'python spms_extract.py' The expected output is: config.plist, scheme.plist & one file per abstract

Workflow

IPAC'17 being the pilot for this vendor selection there is a lack of structured data transfer between SPMS and the App platform. A couple of pieces of data need to be catered to, namely:

  • Exhibition floor plan
  • Venue floor plan
  • Delegate list
    • First Name
    • Last Name
    • Institute
    • City, Country

These are put into excel files and uploaded through the CMS. The Floor plan are uploaded to, and exhibitors and other things are mapped out with a GUI. The extracted data from the script is zipped into an archive and sent to the vendor. The recommendation is that the App should be made available for download C-1 month, so as soon as SPMS has data enough to produce the abstract booklet they you are ready to go. IPAC'17 ended up doing 21 data transfers, mostly for early bug fixes but also due to some data errors.

Specifications

  • STANDARD EVENT APP (iOS & Android)
    • My meeting (personal agenda)
    • Design
    • Program (agenda shown in list format)
    • Info pages (general information)
    • Speakers (list of speakers with links to the agenda)
    • Push (possibility to send messages to all delegates WiFi needed)
    • Notes
    • Social Media (links to social networks; Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin)
    • Global search
  • Added Functionality
    • Program (interactive and graphical overview)
    • Delegates (list of all delegates with contact information) yes
    • Map (interactive floor plan of venue, zoomable with clickable items)
    • Abstract viewing (abstracts linked to the program with option to write notes)
    • Exhibitor list function (possibility to include logos, company info, links etc)
    • Splash (appears when the app opens)
  1. A three hour training course of the CMS-system for the app.
  2. Support to the client during the conference; (please contact us whenever you need 24/7).
  3. Support on site will be available at a

Current Feedback

IPAC'17 did an extensive survey, here are the results for the mobile app.

General Usability

Feel free to add your motivation for supporting (or not supporting) a paper-less conference.

  • I needed the colored overview table of talks. Such a view is missing in t app.
  • paper print costs additional money for (compared to app) less value -- also environmental concerns (booklets thrown away after conference anyway)
  • It is true that the booklet is big, and hence it makes use of a lot of paper. On the other hand, reading through all poster titles takes quite a while, and thinking of doing it over the small screen of a mobile phone makes the process more difficult.
  • I do not own a smartphone nor will I so ...
  • I suggest to add an alarm for the conference talk(s) marked as "favorite".
  • Indico - used in many other conferences - would be much better than this app. The functionality of the closed one-off app did not conform to widely - used standards.
  • I did not use the IPAC'17 paper booklet
  • I love writing notes in my booklet
  • I personally would not require a paper booklet at the next conference, as I was very happy with the app. For people without a smartphone or with Windows phones, this may be an issue, though. Also, it would be great to get the app running more smoothly, as it took a long time to load every now and then.
  • The search engine should be improved, as some surnames were not found on the authors/papers even when they were there.
  • Quick written notes and comments convinience is difficult to replicate in an app
  • Contribution to environmental issue

Statistics

  • Splash 7,598
  • Application launches: 36,079
  • Programme: 96,901