The PlayMaker mobile application for Android and iOS is an invaluable tool for reps that are out in the field, providing quick access to account, contact, referral, and event data. This article discusses one of the fundamentals of the mobile application: syncing.
Syncing (short for synchronizing) is the process that takes place that pulls data from the PlayMaker website and loads it into the mobile application. Syncing also takes content created in the mobile app (such as call notes, new contacts, or new details of an account, etc.) and stores them on the web, adding to or updating content. The goal of syncing is to ensure that all data is available in both the mobile app and on the web.
As an example of how syncing works, here's a quick analogy using a service that most people are familiar with: email. Most of the time, there are two kinds of email services available, Push and Fetch. Push email services are what most email providers use. This kind of email service pushes emails from the server to a smartphone whenever a new message arrives. This process uses data from your device's plan at any time, as emails and notifications are sent as soon as the email is received in your inbox. Fetch email accounts, on the other hand, wait until a mail application is opened on the device and a request is made to pull data from the inbox to the phone. With this type of email account, users can determine the best time to retrieve new messages (perhaps when they are on wifi rather than their cell network), and all new messages will download from the server to the device.
The PlayMaker mobile application works in a similar fashion, and uses both types of syncing. Instead of thinking of them as Push and Fetch, they could be considered Save and View.
When a new record is created on a mobile device and saved, it is pushed to the web to be stored on the server. These records could be call notes, events, or accounts and contacts. If the device has a strong cellular or wifi connection, saved records will show up almost immediately on the web. If there is not a connection to the internet, the data will be stored on the mobile device until the strength of the cellular or wifi signal are strong enough to upload data to the server.
Once a new record has been uploaded (which happens behind the scenes since it's automated), it can be viewed in the web. However, the mobile device won't see the new record yet. This is because it is still displaying the data from the last downloaded sync and does not update automatically. In order to view the latest data from the web, a manual sync must be performed. This can be done by tapping on the sync icon on the Home page of the mobile application, by tapping the More menu and then tapping Sync Now, or by pulling down on the Accounts list from the Accounts screen. This process will pull all updated records from the web, allowing them to be viewed on the device, or a "refresh" of data from the web. This sync will include new contact, account, referral and event information, providing the user for the most up-to-date data available on the web.