Two years in the making

XForms began its life when Ron and I met up in December 2016 and started sketching out some ideas on a whiteboard in a small office in the Oficio co-working space located on Newberry Street in Boston.  At the time, Ron and I had decided to build a brand new generic forms software platform from scratch, with no legacy code ported from our mature platform (Adesso) and also no legacy clients to have to answer to.  This gave us the freedom to rethink what a modern generic forms platform could look like and how it could behave without having to worry about any impacts that our work would have on anyone and without having to answer to anyone. Full creative control, basically.

One problem existed

What industry or use case would be the lowest hanging fruit that we could target?  That December day we set our eyes on 2 initial use cases:

  • Safety Forms
  • Commissioning

Reason for addressing these two use cases initially was my experience and contacts in these industries, having built a few safety and commissioning apps for some big players in the utilities industry. 

Safety forms won out initially, as it was a more straightforward and less complex use case to tackle than Cx. Work commenced with the development of the platform architecture, buildout of some basic APIs, database development, mobile app components, UI and controls, and a web application framework.

A lot of though into addressing commissioning use cases

Once the platform had reached a basic level of functionality, a lot of thought was expended in thinking through ways of addressing many of the concerns that commissioning managers have with manual processes and even with existing software tools in the market today.  This included the following issues:

  • How to set up a project quickly instead of having to spend a month or more on just the setup of the form templates, device lists, device types/categories, system id codes and schedules for completion, and assigning all of these to thousands of devices.
  • How to create a system that can provide aggregated percent complete values easily, with drilldown capability and even partial % complete credit for devices not fully completed.
  • A system that was easy to use in the field, so that management would not have to force the commissioning technicians to use the system but rather the technicians would want to use the system (because it’s a cinch to use and easier than paper).

CxEnergy 2019

CxEnergy is the premier building commissioning and energy management conference, being held April 15-18 at the Caribe Royale in Orlando Florida.  We will be exhibiting at this conference, where our 2+ years of work on the XForms platform will be ready for review and critique by the Cx industry.  Stop by booth #406 to say hello.  If you’d like to schedule a demo during CxEnergy or beforehand, click/tap on the contact us button below.

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