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Offline mobility guidelines in Pega 7.2

Updated on December 6, 2016

If you develop Pega 7 Platform mobile apps, you must follow certain guidelines and be aware of some special considerations to enable mobile apps to work in offline mode.

For more information, see Offline mobility.

Enable offline in your access groups and cases

Keep the following information in mind while enabling offline capability for your access groups and cases:

  • You enable offline capability for an access group by selecting the Enable offline support check box on its Advanced tab.
  • You must enable offline capability for each case. Select the Enable offline support check box on the case's Advanced tab.
  • After offline capability is enabled, you can perform individual assignments within that case while working offline. Screen flows that are a part of the case can also be performed while offline. For more information, see Flow processing considerations.
  • A single offline-ready application can support both online-only and offline-ready cases. The online-only cases will still be available in the mobile app, but the user can only create or perform assignments or edit them while online.
  • The following restrictions apply:
    • Case stage transitions are not supported while working offline.
    • Circumstanced application rules are not supported.
  • You must build a mobile app by using the Mobile tab of the application rule form. For more information, see How to build and brand a hybrid mobile application.
  • If you create a new case type, it uses dynamic views by default which will not work in offline. Therefore, make sure to create a case type that uses a regular harness with a regular section, instead.
  • The login rule for all offline-enabled apps must be based on the Web-Login rule found in the Pega-EndUserUI ruleset. This rule contains all the necessary user interface items and references to scripts used by the offline-enabled apps.

You can create your own portal for offline capability, as long as it uses some of the key principles and design of the pyCaseWorker portal. For more information, see About composite portal and Creating a composite portal. A portal that is based on the Case Worker portal (such as pyCaseWorker) has the following requirements:

  • It is not available by default in the Pega 7 Platform. You need to add the UI-Kit-7 ruleset to the application stack - see Using the UI Kit ruleset, for more information.
  • Must be set as the default for every access group whose users access the offline-enabled application.
  • Must use a frameless dynamic container.
  • The harness in the portal must be defined in the Data-Portal class.
  • Must adhere to the following guidelines.

Use supported controls

When developing a mobile app for offline capability, you must build every screen by using modern layouts and lists. Refer to the Supported controls when working offline help topic for a complete list of supported controls that can be used while creating the user interface.

Use supported actions

Buttons, links, icons, and menu items must use only the supported set of actions. The complete list of actions that are supported while working offline is described in the Supported actions when working offline help topic.

Flow processing considerations

You must use cases in flows. Case step flows can be used to perform assignments when offline:

  • Case steps can be performed offline.
  • Back-to-back case steps also can be performed offline.
  • Case step flows can be expanded. Only assignment shapes can be performed while offline. If any other shape is reached, the flow processing stops when offline.
  • Subflows are not supported.

Screen flows can be used to perform back-to-back assignments when offline:

  • Decision shapes with Boolean expressions (no when rule) are supported.
  • Screen flows can contain only assignment or decision shapes. If the flow contains any other type of shape, offline users cannot continue past the assignment that precedes the unsupported shape. In addition:
    • The only exception is a decision shape based on a simple expression that can be run on the client. This shape will work in offline mode.
    • Utility shapes can be at the end of the screen flow. The utility does not run when offline, but becomes available online when the completed assignments are synced to the server.
    • Only assignment shapes can be performed while offline. If any other shape is reached, the flow processing stops when offline.
  • You can include custom JavaScript code to execute some basic business logic before and after a flow action is rendered in offline mode. This is accomplished by adding your own JavaScript code into a custom user scripts bundle. Its functions must be called within a try/catch clause. The JavaScript code to be executed before a flow action is rendered is always called after ClientCache and before the DisplayHarness is called. Pre-activities and post-activities can also run when the flow is syncing to the server.
  • Back-to-back assignments are supported, but you must use the default Back button in the screen flow harness. The Back button returns you to the previous assignment as defined in your screen flow.
  • The completed datetime recorded in the audit trail is the datetime that the assignment is completed on the server when the item is synced when back online.

Other general flow processing notes:

  • The worklist displayed in an offline app must be of the Assign-Worklist type.
  • The latitude and longitude coordinates are recorded for assignments performed in offline mode.
  • Both the client and the server processing datetime stamp is recorded for each assignment performed in offline mode.
  • You can create work with parameters.
  • pyWorkParty is not supported while working offline.
  • You can open work by handle.
  • The confirm harness used is the confirm harness that is set on the pyStartCase flow.
  • When building an application on top of another application, you cannot reuse flows from the built-on application in offline cases. To solve this issue, save the flows again into the class of the current application.

Other considerations

The following information is important to know while using mobile offline capability.

  • Case objects are now available in offline mode:
    • When a case is marked for offline use, there is a new field to add a data page that will hold the list of case objects to send to the client for offline use. Any case in this list that is synced will be available offline.
    • However, if this data page misses a case that a user needs, when the user goes to online mode and attempts to open a case that is marked for offline and that case is not in the local case, the client retrieves the case from the server. The case is then on the client when the user goes offline.
  • A new landing page now lists various configurations that need to be performed for the offline mobile app. To access this landing page, click Designer Studio > Mobile > Offline.
  • To improve performance, large data pages are supported for storing reference data for offline use. Only the changes are synchronized when going online, not all the records of the large data page.
  • For regular data pages, the following data sync limitation applies:
    • The data page size cannot be larger than 8,000,000 characters.
    • Because the string is UTF-8 encoded, this size represents approximately 7.6 MB if all the character codes are between 1 and 128 (for languages such as English, German, or French).
  • You can extend the app by using a CallActivity extension point. Refer to callActivity action as an extension for details.
  • You can include external scripts in one of the following ways:
    • Add a custom script by saving the pypega_ui_userscripts_offline script bundle to the application ruleset, and then add your script files to this bundle.
    • Save the script as a JavaScript file named pypega_ui_userscript_offline to the application ruleset, and then add custom JavaScript functions to it.
  • When using defer load support:
    • The defer loaded sections or layouts are loaded on the initial load, and the defer load pre-activity is always ignored.
    • Defer load is not supported in tabs. You must use a layout group instead.

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