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How to Run Elliott V8 on Tablets or Mobile Devices

Q - I would like to know how to run Elliott V8 on tablets or mobile devices.

A - Elliott can run directly on Microsoft Surface Pro as a native application. That's not much of a surprise since Surface Pro runs Windows OS. Over the years, people have asked if Elliott can be run on iPad, iPhone or Android devices.  The answer is "Yes," but not as a native application.

Remote Desktop & WIFI

The secret to making Elliott work on iOS or Android devices is "Remote Desktop." We have successfully tested the concept in-house and with certain user sites by running Elliott on tablets or mobile devices through the JUMP Remote Desktop client.  We tested several remote desktop clients, and so far we find JUMP gives us the best result on tablets or mobile devices.

In the past, we know of users running Elliott on notebook computers or Surface Pro tablets directly over the WIFI. They often use these types of devices in the warehouse for WMS purposes. One of the common problems these users run into is that WIFI signals can fluctuate and are not as reliable as the wired Ethernet connection.  As a result, from time to time their Elliott sessions crash due to PSQL dropping the connection because it can't tolerate the interrupted network traffic. In many situations, this is a minor annoyance, and you have to terminate your Elliott task and start up another Elliott session again when the signal is re-established. Sometimes this causes an extra user license to be taken.  In the worst case scenario, this can cause data integrity problems.

With Remote Desktop, the Elliott session runs on the terminal server, which is extremely fast and much more reliable than running Elliott locally through WIFI.  Furthermore, if the WIFI signal drops and the session is discontinued, Elliott will continue to run on the terminal server and wait for the remote desktop session to reconnect. So when the WIFI signal is restored, all you have to do is to logon to the Remote Desktop and reconnect to your lost session.  You will find your Elliott session stays at the same place as when it was disconnected.  Since the Elliott session stays intact, there's no data integrity issue.  Overall, we find Remote Desk is an extremely valuable alternative if you run Elliott over WIFI.

To run Elliott on tablets or mobile devices on an iOS or Android environment, you will have to use Remote Desktop since Elliott is not a native application in these environments.  But even for running Elliott on Windows Notebook computers or Surface Pro tablets through WIFI, we suggest that you run through the Remote Desktop client to make Elliott reliably work in the WIFI environment.

Configure Elliott V8 to Run on Tablets or Mobile Devices

Control Center

When you start up Elliott V8 on a tablet (presumably through Remote Desktop), the first thing you will notice is the icons and fonts are too small. This becomes even worse on mobile devices.  This can be easily resolved via the Elliott V8 Control Center by using the font size control button on the toolbar.  See sample screen below:

You simply click or touch the "Bigger" font icon until it is big enough for you.  See sample screen below:

Just remember, when you touch an icon in touch interface, it is the equivalent of left clicking on a mouse.  When you touch and hold, then it is equivalent to right clicking on a mouse.  

Elliott Task Window

Now you can launch an Elliott task as you could on a regular desktop.  When the Elliott task is launched, the first thing you will notice is the traditional menu interface is not suitable for tablets and mobile devices because they are too small and difficult to touch.  Furthermore, the toolbar icons can be bigger to make it easier to touch as well. See sample screen below.

So the action you took with the Control Center to make the fonts bigger in the previous step does not affect the regular Elliott task window. 

Change Application User Interface of Elliott Task Window
To address this issue, you will go to Elliott V8 Control Center, and click on the Setup button. See sample screen below:

Then you will see the Setup/Preference window show up.  Go to Input/Fonts tab, and click on the "Change Format" in the "Application UI" area. See sample screen below.

Then the Application UI Format window will pop up. See sample screen below.

The format you choose here affects the Elliott Task Window (the legacy window).  There are three different formats. By default, the PC interface is selected:

PC: In this format, the system uses a traditional menu, which is not suitable for touch interface.  But it is appropriate if you use a mouse or hot key for menu selection. For users accustomed to the Elliott V7.x interface, this may be the best choice.

Tablet: In this format, the system uses a button menu to make it easier to touch in the touch environment. The toolbar icon becomes larger to make it easier to touch as well.  Then there is an additional toolbar at the bottom for F1 - F8, Up, Down, Page Up, Page Down and Enter keys. In touch interface, there's no physical keyboard.  It is often difficult to access these function keys on the soft keypad. To address this shortcoming, we provide them on a toolbar to make it easy for you to operate in the touch environment.  Some desktop users find it easier to use a tablet interface than a PC.  This is especially true if your desktop also supports a touch interface (like Windows 8 or 10). See sample screen below. 

Mobile Device: This format is similar to the tablet interface.  But the icons will be even bigger because the mobile device screens are smaller than tablets.  As a result, we only have space for the most important functions in the toolbar areas.  See sample screen below.

The changes your make here only affect your personal desktop and have no effect on other users' desktops.

Tablet Interface

Mobile Device Interface

Additional Features to Support Touch Interface

The main drawback of touch interface for Elliott is the data input is more difficult than the traditional desktop with a physical keyboard or mouse.  To address this issue, we introduced the following features in Elliott V8.

(1) Allow to scan function key barcodes
One of the possible data input methods in tablets or mobile devices is to use a barcode scanner.  For example, you can use a wireless Bluetooth barcode scanner as an alternative for data input.  This has proven extremely effective for WMS applications.  To find out details on how to input function keys through barcode scanning, please look at the following Knowledge Base article:

(2) The easily changeable ICON size
It goes without saying that you can use the "Bigger" icon button to make the font size easier to use for the tablets or mobile devices interface.

(3) The F9 (globe icon) to cycle through Elliott Task Windows
If you open up multiple Elliott Task Windows, it is easily switchable in the desktop environment even if your desired task window is hiding in the background.  But with the touch interface, it is not that easy. To resolve this issue, Elliott V8 introduced the Globe icon (F9) on the toolbar to support the switch to the next Elliott Task Window. You can keep touching this icon until your desired Elliott Task Window shows up.  If you have a barcode scanner, you can also scan the F9 bar code to switch as mentioned in (1).

(4) The Elliott launch option of multiple tasks in the group
In Elliott V8, you may use the startup command prompt option as follows:

        M:\Elliott7\Bin\EL800.EXE /CO:01 /G:WMS

Where /CO:01 means company 1.  /G:WMS means to highlight the task group "WMS" (this assumes the WMS task group has been created for the user already). From there, the user can just pick the task he/she wants to run on the right side pane of the Control Center to perform the task. This greatly speeds up the navigation necessary in the Elliott Control Center.

Furthermore, you can use the /R option in your startup command. For example, you can use:

         M:\Elliott7\Bin\EL800.EXE /CO:01 /R:COMMON-WMS

This will cause all tasks in the COMMON-WMS group to be launched as the user starts up Elliott V8. This can be helpful with the mobile environment.


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