Get your mobile application project started on the right foot by understanding key parts of the Integration Spec Sheet.
Before starting a big project, such as introducing a new app, it's good to understand where you're starting from. By sharing key information about your organization, existing tools, and your enterprise resource planning (ERP) tools, you're helping your development team get a clear picture of what to expect when they start working on your new application.
To help you through this form and understand exactly what your team needs, we created this complete guide to walk you through it.
Accessing the Integration Spec Sheet
Typically, one of our Bushel integration specialists will email you a copy of the spec sheet. If you do not have one, please reach out to us in order to get one sent to you or a new copy.
Filling out the General Information Section
This section shows your team who to involve throughout the project, from stakeholders at your organization to the people you've designated as testers. Having this information early helps save time on communication and implementation so everyone knows who to go to when they're needed.
Most of these sections are pretty straightforward, such as company name and website. However, it's definitely worth clarifying a few of the fields in here to ensure that your team is on the same page when the project starts moving.
For Company Address, please use your organization's physical address.
Preferred App Name for iOS (Apple) and Android is also important to consider. We recommend having the same name between the two platforms because you might have Apple users letting Android users know about your new application. You can also consider having a distinct name for your app to help differentiate your organization from your competitors. It just needs to be brief, 30 characters or less, in order to use it.
If your server is at your location, please add the Timezone that it is in. This information is important to consider for security programs that use time as and location for web authentication.
For Feedback Email Address, think about where and/or to whom you'd like to route your customer's opinions about the application. Some organizations might set up an email inbox to exclusively receive feedback. Others might route it to a customer service department or a specific person. Check within your organization to determine where your customer's feedback will best be heard and considered for future updates.
The Failed Login Email Address field is for whom will be the best contact to help customers should they find themselves locked out of the application. We all know that getting locked out of an application isn't a fun experience, so consider a contact that will be able to respond quickly to these emailed requests.
While filling out the Login Assistance Phone Number field, indicate which person or department users should call if they have questions about how to log into the application. Similar to the previous field, consider having a contact that can quickly respond to these calls and have the patience to coach someone on the other line how to access and sign into your app.
For Company Contact Email and Company Contact Phone Number, consider how customers can get a hold of someone at your company for general information or topics that fall outside the categories of feedback and login issues. For example, some organizations might have a dedicated email account and/or phone number for general questions. Check within your organization to determine which would be the best information to use here.
Although optional, it's good to include Other Names Your Company is Known As if you know of any. This helps your development team consider how to incorporate some of that information to make it easier for your customers to find your application and trust that it's the right one.
First impressions are just as important with applications, which is why it's good to include a High-Resolution Image of Your Logo. This helps you achieve a solid professional look within the app stores and lets users know that they're seeing your legitimate application.
Data and Features Information
Sharing which ERP and Cash Bid Provider that you're using, or plan to use, are key to know before your team builds the application. Providing this information allows your development team to plan for what type of linkages and integrations they need to make or are likely to encounter.
The Features section shows what customers will be able to access within your application. Think of these as what you would allow your users to do within your application. If you'd like them to be able to receive and view digital scale tickets, for example, you would want to ensure that the corresponding Included column has it labeled as "Yes".
You'd be surprised how many good questions and conversations could come out of filling out the contact information for projects like this. While filling out this section, keep in mind who'll be responsible for the application, it's connection to your system, and the location where people can find it.
The Main Contact is for whom your team should be in contact with throughout the entire project and is responsible for the application once it's published. This might be your company's digital marketing manager, an IT expert, or some other role within your organization.
Contact For Tunnel is the person who is responsible for maintaining the connection between the application and your organization's digital systems. They'll help ensure that accurate information flows smoothly to your users.
Designating a Contact for App Store and Google Play Store is a key role to consider for this project and ongoing application management. These roles help ensure that users can find your app when they're ready to download it, as well as the application's status within the store.
Sometimes projects require Additional Contacts because other stakeholders need to be involved in some way or another. Stakeholders are people who are tied to the project and ongoing success of the application. For example, you might want to consider including your organization's IT manager as an additional contact if he or she isn't listed as one of the contacts for the tunnel or app stores.
Data Validation Testers
Testers are key for ensuring that the application is performing as expected. When the application is ready for internal testing, these contacts will test that the data flowing to the application is accurate.
We recommend having only 5 or fewer employees involved at this testing stage. Five is generally a sufficient number for validating this type of data. And having employees test the application first allows your application to have a better first impression when it's ready for customer testing.
Test Grower Cell Phone Numbers
Once your application is ready for customer testing, we'll need a list of people who will be willing to provide feedback as they use the application in a real-world setting. We recommend coming up with this list toward the beginning of the project, that way we can reduce the risk of delay once it's ready for testing. Unlike data validation testers, we recommend 5-10 testers to help ensure that we get as much feedback from people who would represent your core users.
Filling out the Features and Configuration Section
Here's where you start getting into more of what you want the app to offer and how things should be ordered. Think of this as the start for what information customers should see and how it should be displayed.
Keep in mind, if there are no configure options that you want that are available, we have to consider it as a custom feature. These type of features will likely mean that we need to update that contract and possibly include a new discovery process and additional development time, which can change your launch date.
The Welcome / Login Message and Login Button Label tell customers how to log into the application. It's important to have clear directions here so that users know exactly what to do in order to access the information that they need. We included a default message and label that we use on other applications. However, you can consider editing this message to welcome users to your application.
Similar to the welcome message and login button, the Failed Login Message and Failed Login Button Label work together to let the customer know that their login attempt did not work and the next course of action. We included a default message and label that others have used as well. Just be sure to include your company name so your users know where they should go or how to contact your business to get access.
The In-App Company Name field tells developers what company name should appear inside the app.
The pricing, amount, weight, and cash bid decimal fields tell developers how many numbers after the decimal would like to appear within the application. Generally, businesses use two decimals for all four categories. However, if your company needs more precise amounts you can select up to four numerals.
You have the option to hide cash bids behind a login in this section of the form. If you select no, that means users can see cash bids without having to login. By default, we have it selected as "no", but you can have that discussion within your organization to make the decision that's best for your users.
In the Futures section, indicate which commodities you would like to include in the app and what order they should appear in. By prioritizing certain commodities, you make it easy for users to quickly find the most important information by putting it up higher on the list. Commodities can also be removed from this list, but not added.
Commodity Balance Positions
If you're unfamiliar with Commodity Balance Positions, that's okay. In a nutshell, their purpose is to inform growers how many bushels are unpriced in a particular stage of the process, including but not limited to Open Storage and Deferred Payment.
For Database Balance Names, you'll want to include the commodity balance position that your company uses. The corresponding In-App Display Name is how you would like that to appear in your Bushel-powered application. Sometimes these might be the same name, such as Open Storage. However, we recommend picking a term that users will easily understand for the In-App Display Name.
The Remote ID field is for documenting which characters we should use within the application to correspond to the Database Balance Name. This won't appear within the application; however, it's important information to ensure your development team is connecting the position name to the correct ID.
Custom navigation links allow you to provide as many as 3 custom links that can help users find additional information without leaving your app. Consider using this location to link users to your website, newsletter, market reports, emergency bulletins, weather forecasts, and ag news.
For the Display Name, this is the label that users will tap on to go to the URL. To create a good label, consider something that sounds actionable for users. Let them know what they can do once they click on the display name.
For example, "Contact Us" would be an appropriate display name for a URL that directs people to a page that has phone and email information for the business. "Get Your Weather Forecast" would be another appropriate display name for a URL that directs people to weather information.
For the URL field, indicate where you would like customers to go once they tap on the display name. Ensure that it is a complete URL by including the "https://www." at the beginning to make it more likely that the URL will work for the user.
If this information is on your spec sheet, please fill it out as beast as you can with information specific to your ERP database.
Filling out the Locations Section
This step of the process is usually the most time consuming, so please allow yourself or your team adequate time to complete. We need all active locations, their corresponding IDs from the database, and current contact information. Sometimes your ERP might contain inactive locations and out-of-date info, so this is a good opportunity to ensure that your company's information is current and accurate.
ID and Name Fields
These two fields work together to help organize your business' location information inside the application.
For the ID, this is the unique location ID that is assigned to each location in your ERP database. For example, "HQ" may be an ID for company headquarters.
Next, use the Name field to provide the full name for the corresponding ID in the left column. For example, this could be something like "Company Main Office" if you have "HQ" as the ID.
Address Lines 1 and 2, City, State, and Zip Code
Include the physical Address of each location in these two fields. Then include the City, State and Zip Code to complete the address.
Email, Phone, Fax and Website
It's always good to include an Email, Phone Number, and if available, a Fax number or Website for each location. This allows more ways for users to contact specific locations or in some instances a designated contact who can help them. By including that contact information in the document, your development team can add it to your application so users can access it without leaving the app.
Differentiating the Location Type helps your development team know whether the location is an elevator, office, ground pile, or even a C-Store. This helps your team learn more about your business.
Display as Cash Bids Location and Cash Bids ID
Depending on your organization, you might want to show certain areas as a Cash Bid Location. For instance, you might not want your corporate office to appear as a cash bid location. To indicate that a facility should be listed as a cash bid location, select "Yes" from the drop down menu.
Filling out the Crop Types Section
This section refers to the crop information that your ERP database will share with the application.
For Crop ID, please include the ID code that is listed in your ERP database for each crop. Generally, this is an alphanumeric code that the application will use to identify crop information to be shown in tickets, contracts, and if applicable, the commodity balance screen. If you do not know the Crop ID, your contact at Bushel will be more than willing to help you find it.
Crop Name refers to how you would like that Crop ID to appear in your application. For example, the Crop ID in your ERP database might be for "yellow corn" but you might want to have it appear as "corn" in the application. One consideration for this field is to shorten lengthy crop names to reduce the risk of it being cutoff in the application. For example, instead of hard red winter wheat, consider using "HRW Wheat".
Filling out the Remarks/Discount Codes Section (if applicable)
Similar to the Crop Types section, this section is about how discount codes – such as those used to mark moisture, test weights, and damage – get sent from your ERP database and appear on the application, . This will be key for the scale ticket in your application.
Grade Factor Code
Think of the Grade Factor Code field like the Crop ID from the previous tab. This is the ID that maps to specific reason codes within your ERP database. For this column, we recommend including as many of those grade codes from your ERP, even if you don't think your organization uses them that much. That way you reduce the risk of a grade code appearing in the app without an assigned display name.
Grade Factor Display Name
The Grade Factor Display Name is how that grade code factor should appear within your application. We recommend choosing display names that are easy for your users to understand, even at a quick glance.
One consideration, if you're using Agtrax as your ERP provider, you won't be able to change the display names.
Filling out the Cash Bid Crops Section
This section is only for customers who will be using Bushel CMS cash bids within the application. This information is independent from what you provided in the Crop Types tab, so providing it will help your development team know what data needs to flow from a futures feed.
For Crop Name, you don't necessarily need to have a consistent naming structure for crops in a previous tab. This is the name that will appear within the cash bid area of your application.
Ensure that you're using the correct Ticker Symbol that's tied to the crop name. This information is key for pulling in the correct trading information from the CME Group.
Filling out the Database Name/ID Section
If your form contains this section, then your development team needs some additional information about your ERP database, specifically the Data Base ID name. Knowing this helps your development team build a good connection between your ERP database and your application.
Data Base ID Name
The Data Base ID Name is the label of your primary ERP database, from which the application will get its data from. If you have multiple databases, for example, there might be customer information and important data stored throughout them that will need to be connected for the application. To find this information, you can check your ERP or by contacting your provider.
Once you're done with this form, submit it to your contact at Bushel who will be leading your development team. While you were working on this form, your development team was likely busy creating the accounts for the App Store and Google Play store.
If you have plans to change or update your server or ERP database providers after submitting this sheet, please notify your development team. This helps reduce the risk of downtime and ensures that your growers can access accurate information.