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March 2, 2009

FrontlineForms takes off with SMS

GLOBALFrontlineForms, the new data gathering tool from the people behind FrontlineSMS launched today, utilising SMS as a carrier for data collection and surveys. Sticking with its core methodology of using SMS as a core technology, the new platform is designed to enable NGOs and those working in the field in remote parts of the world to gather and process data more efficiently.

Like Nokia Data Gathering, FrontlineForms is designed for those working in the field to collect and process data rapidly and efficiently. What makes Forms different though is its use of SMS to carry the data, making it much more accessible in areas where mobile networks aren’t as advanced as we’re used to, and SMS is the cheapest and most effective way to gather information. The only tools required are a laptop and phones capable of running a Java client.

Using the app, NGOs can create surveys and send to any device running the Java client, which users in the field can use to collect information before sending back for processing. The client on the device can save and store any number of surveys simultaneously, so different surveys can be activated as needed. Completed forms are compressed on the device before being sent back to the survey.

This method of data gathering is utterly focussed on developing countries (though is equally applicable in developed countries) and by sticking to some fundamental mantras Ken Banks and his team have managed once again to create something that genuinely helps those who need it. FrontlineForms is released as an update to FrontlineSMS and Ken promises further updates through the year as the software develops, with each new update becoming available as an additional module which the user can activate or deactivate depending on need.

Check it out at FrontlineSMS

future tech