Feedback Wanted: Schedule Importer integration for iPhone, iPad (Android...)

Neal Culiner

Founder, President
Staff member
Joined
Nov 14, 2001
Messages
12,572
Location
VA
Hello All:

As you may have read in the previous newsletter, the next "thing" to come for Logbook Pro iPhone and iPad apps is schedule importer integration. It's in development "now" and I wanted to share a few thoughts with you on how this is going to work and see if anyone has any thoughts on this process, like it, hate it, etc.

The schedule importer site as it stands now at https://schedule.logbookpro.com is going to be moved inside of the main web site. Just like your My Sync portal you will have a My Schedule portal. The shortcut most likely will be http://logbookpro.com/schedule which will take you into the new portal. You will have to login just as you do with the My Sync portal (same login) to access this site as it's tied to your account. This will give you the ability to save schedules associated to you.

The workflow will be, as it stands now, you go to the schedule portal and paste in your trip data, just like you do now. You'll have the option of downloading files for Pocket PC, Palm, or save the trips to "My Trips". "My Trips" will be a staging area for other programs to pick up your trips which include iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Logbook Pro PC edition, Android, and Windows Phone 7 (Android and WP7 are not yet available). When you sync a device such as the iPhone it will check for trips available in your "My Trips" store and if available will pick them up and import them into your log as pending flights. To prevent duplication these trips saved in your "My Trips" area will be purged.

APDL prompts whether or not to import trips, I'm not sure if I'm going to make this prompt available or not. You know whether you have trips staged for sync, therefore, the trips will be saved into your log and flagged as pending flights awaiting to be flown and updated.

A step-by-step outline:
  1. Visit http://logbookpro.com/schedule (not yet available) and import your trip data
  2. Save trips to "My Trips"
  3. From your device tap "Sync" and the trips will be merged into your flight log
  4. My Trips will be purged automatically
  5. Fly the trips and update on your device, clear the Pending Flight checkbox and then Sync to send to Logbook Pro
I envision this system will be integrated into Logbook Pro PC edition 1.10.55 as well which will replace the Import .trp file system. Instead you'll click File..Sync Trips and it will import the My Trips data automatically without having to deal with files anymore.

Please provide your thoughts on this system, your feedback is welcome. This system is expected to be implemented in 1.1 of the iPhone and iPad apps (free updates) and also 1.10.55 of Logbook Pro PC edition, slated for the end of October, hopefully sooner.
 

Andy Adams

Support Engineer
Staff member
Joined
Apr 23, 2008
Messages
2,793
Location
Wilson, NC
sounds good. i have a few questions.

it sounds like the trip import sync will occur simultaneously with the my sync portal "sync". does this also mean that it will occur automatically on app start and exit as the my sync portal does? although i like the fact that there is less button pressing, it seems that there could possibly be a situation where someone would want to sync one but not the other for some reason (can't think of one, but i think there probably is one). i suppose if you indirectly control the import sync by either having or not having trips there to import then this is kindof a moot point but i thought still worth mentioning.

in addition to all of what you said, i would like to suggest some kind of streamlined method of importing the trips to the "my trips" area without requiring a PC. i'm guessing you would be able to access the schedule portal through your mobile device's browser, however i suggest at least a link within the app to go directly to it for simplicity. even better would be a dedicated area to paste the content of your trip and tap sync to have the app upload the text to your schedule portal for you and then sync back down to the app.

ie. go to your company schedule website and copy appropriate text,
open lbp app and tap a link or better yet paste directly into the app and the app uploads it to your schedule sync for you and then imports?

now that i have the mobile app, i find myself using my PC less often and it's actually a bit of a pain to get out the PC when there's something i can't do on the phone. so creating a path to complete all this sans-PC would be appreciated by many i believe.
 

Neal Culiner

Founder, President
Staff member
Joined
Nov 14, 2001
Messages
12,572
Location
VA
Thanks for the feedback Andy. This is why I posted this thread. APDL prompts to import flights, I'm not sure if that's going to exist or not. My vision is that you'll save trips to "My Trips" when using the web based importer and when you sync it will collect any "My Trips" available. I could prompt with trips available to import but it's an added layer and I'm not sure it's necessary. I would assume that if you've taken the step to do the pasting and importing then you want it passed to your device to fly. It will be marked pending so it's not going to affect anything and won't change the stats in the PC edition as it won't be synced there yet.

As to the workflow of doing it all from the device, i.e. paste in the trip, submit, get the trips back is possible, however, the workflow of the schedule importer now is paste, view/edit, then save to file. The view/edit "confirm" phase is what you would be missing. Therefore, I'm thinking it's going to be best to visit the schedule web page and paste in the data, view/edit the trip parsing, then perform an action on the file; save to My Trips, save to APDL Palm, or APDL PPC, etc. "My Trips" I'm envisioning can be picked up by either a syncing device or syncing the PC edition with the schedule portal.
 

Buschor

Well-known member
APDL Beta Team
Joined
Aug 22, 2008
Messages
233
Review / Edit

I would like to see the review/edit feature maintained. I use it extensively to change the data before it gets imported. Some examples are converting all flight numbers to 4 digits (padding the leading edge with zeros where necessary), deleting my self from the crew list and deleting the hotel info from the remarks (would be nice to see a feature that allows you to toggle hotel info off on the import).
 

Andy Adams

Support Engineer
Staff member
Joined
Apr 23, 2008
Messages
2,793
Location
Wilson, NC
I agree. I had also thought of some things similar to those suggestions but I have not used the importer as of yet and didn't know it included things like the crew list and flight numbers. This is probably more appropriate to a much later implementation but I would also like to see a customized style import. Something even if it requires quite a bit of customization by the user such as was just mentioned to exclude your own name and put the flight number in whatever format you prefer. Similar to the customization required by the user in the current currency editor. It works with no user editing, but a more advanced user can get more out of it if they choose
 

PilotFlying

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 17, 2006
Messages
72
Location
Toronto, ON
Hi Neal,

Sorry, I haven't visited this forum in a while and haven't seen this thread until now. I've never used APDL and have no experience with the schedule importer, so I don't have any useful suggestions to pass along quite yet. I've also just moved to a more senior piece of equipment, which means I'll be on a more junior reserve schedule and therefore, unfortunately, won't be able to take full advantage of the new schedule importer right away. However, I'm very excited to see the results, as the the idea sounds very promising!

With regards to Andy's suggestion of being able to import a schedule from within the app, have you thought about adding a 'My Account' section in LBP4iP that would essentially be a built-in browser window that would directly access the 'My Account' section of the main website, and would give access to areas such as 'My Sync' and the new 'My Trips'? Then maybe eventually you could even create a mobile-optimized version of these pages to be more efficiently displayed on the iPhone screen.

Looking forward to v1.1. Keep up the great work!

Cheers,

Chris

:cool:
 

PilotFlying

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 17, 2006
Messages
72
Location
Toronto, ON
P.S. The fact that you haven't heard from me in a while is a good thing - LBP4iP has been working flawlessly (except for the odd blank home screen, which appears to be fixed for v1.1)!!!!
 
Top