Pendragon Forms VI enables you to design mobile forms applications on
your desktop, then automatically deploy and synchronize these forms to
the latest mobile devices.
How does it work?
Pendragon Forms VI consists of three components:
The Administrative PC is where you design forms, and where your
back office data resides..
The Administrative PC is typically a Windows desktop or laptop,
but it could also be a Windows server..
The Staging Server is a web server and a database that hosts
your form designs and data while they’re exchanged with remote
In a typical installation, your desktop or laptop is also your
Staging Server. However, the staging server software will run
on any system that supports the Apache web server, the MySQL
database server, and the PHP programming language. This means
your Staging Server software can run on a hosted server
elsewhere on the Internet, or on one of your company’s public
The client browser is an HTML5 web browser that is capable of
using the forms..
The client browser is typically running on a mobile device, like
an iPod touch, an iPhone or an Android phone. You can also run
the client browser on a desktop PC or a netbook..
When installing the software, you will be asked to choose whether you
are installing a Typical (all-in-one) configuration, or if you are
performing a stand-alone Administrative PC installation or a stand-alone
Staging Server installation. We recommend performing a Typical
installation unless you have experience setting up server software. If
you perform a Typical installation, you can later split move your
Staging Server to another machine.
There is no installation for Client Browsers because handheld devices
automatically download the client software just by accessing the Staging
Server’s web site..
Pendragon Forms VI has two-level synchronization. The Administrative PC
synchronizes with the Staging Server, sending form designs and data to
the Staging Server for client devices to pick up. Devices synchronize
with the Staging Server to pick up form designs and data, and to send
back data that has been collected in the field..
For the purposes of synchronization, the Staging Server is
password-protected. To make your synchronization properly secure, you can purchase a secure SSL certificate for your Staging
Server so that all conversations with the server are encrypted by SSL
One advantage of the two-level synchronization architecture is that you
can run the Staging Server software on a separate machine. This is
useful if your Administrative PC is not accessible 24/7 or if the
Administrative PC lacks a fixed IP address. Install your Staging Server
software on a PC that is accessible from the Internet at all times, and
users can always synchronize with it.
The Administrative PC makes connections to the Staging Server, not the
other way around. When the Staging Server is on a separate machine, you
do not need to open a hole in your firewall for incoming connections to
the Administrative PC. This means you can place your Staging Server
machine in a less secure location on the network, while maintaining high
security for your enterprise databases. The Staging Server can be
hosted by the third party, or hosted in your company’s “DMZ”.
Administrative PC Applications
The Administrative PC software consists of two applications. The
Pendragon Forms Manager
is used to design your forms and to distribute them to the Staging
Server. The Pendragon Forms Manager is also the default storage
location for your form data and reference lists.
Pendragon Transfer Agent
is used to administer the Staging Server and to transfer data between
the Administrative PC and the Staging Server. The Pendragon Transfer
Agent is used to add users, and to deploy forms to groups of users.
Every minute, the Transfer Agent checks in the background to see if
form data is due for synchronization with the Staging Server, and
synchronizes your data in the background. You can also instruct the
Transfer Agent to do an immediate refresh of the data.
Synchronizing with the Staging Server
The Staging Server consists of an Apache web server and a MySQL
database. The web server listens for connections from the
Administrative PC and from remote clients. When remote client devices
synchronize with the Staging Server, they upload new and changed records
to the Staging Server. They also pick up unchanged records from the
When the Administrative PC synchronizes with the Staging Server, it
downloads records that were created or modified on remote devices, and
stores them in the appropriate database table on the Administrative PC.
The Administrative PC then sends an updated snapshot of the
Administrative PC database up to the Staging Server where it can be
downloaded by remote devices.
Synchronizing Client Devices
Configuring the client software is as easy as opening the Staging Server
web site in your device’s web browser, and signing in with a user name
There’s a SYNC button which initiates the synchronization process. This
can be done whenever the device has a network connection it can use to
reach the Staging Server. Typically, a client device will use a WiFi,
3G or 4G wireless connection to reach the Staging Server.
After a successful synchronization, all of the web pages required by
your forms application will be stored in the client web browser cache,
where they can be accessed even when the client browser is disconnected
from the network. Client devices can use their client browsers to
collect data while disconnected, and then later choose to synchronize
the data back to the server when they have a network connection.
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Tutorial: Quick Start Guide
How Pendragon Forms works