Journal Article

Transitioning customized ACASI Windows.NET solution to Android Java on lower-priced devices and technical lessons learned

Research-based organizations are continuing to find ways to leverage newer technologies in projects, specifically using lower cost hardware solutions if at all possible. There exist many electronic data collection solutions for purchase, as well as free open-source options to assist researchers and investigators, particularly those engaged in international public health. Sometimes, however, these solutions may not meet the specific needs of the research project. In this case, organizations may opt to architect and develop a custom product. Android devices, both smartphone and tablet-based, continue to expand into many markets globally, particularly in the developing world. These devices can be found in most major cities and local technology support for them, as well as an understanding of their operation is growing along-side this expansion in use. Recently Google chose India to introduce the first of a series of affordable smartphones under its Android One initiative, a bid by the company to win over the “next billion” users in emerging economies (Rai, Saritha 2014). Software developers may be required to transfer existing developed applications and programs to operate on the new Android-based devices. In our case we had a working Microsoft .NET program developed in the C# programming language that works well on Windows-based laptops and tablets, but it could not be used on the lower priced Android units. Converting the .NET application or at least the heavier programming logic in the application, to the Java language may be possible and the details of performing this task are discussed in this paper.