How to use Dispatch

Dispatch allows you to pre-populate Canvas apps and then assign them to any users in your account.  This is a great way to assign jobs to your mobile workers so they know where to go, who to talk to when they get there, and what needs to be done.  Jobs can be dispatched via our website or in bulk by uploading a CSV file.  You may also utilize WebServices to push dispatches automatically to Canvas from your own system.

Dispatch is only available on Android, Apple (iPhone/iPad), and the Windows desktop.  It is not available for Blackberry at this time.

Enable Dispatch

To use Dispatch, you need to enable it on your apps.

  1. Go to My Apps 
  2. Choose the Quick Links icon of the app you want to use Dispatch and select More.
  3. Scroll down to Features and select Dispatch.
  4. Dispatch - Step 1
  5. Check the box and push Save to enable Dispatch.

Dispatch - Step 3

Now you can use Dispatch for this app.

How to Dispatch Individual Jobs 

1. Click Dispatch in the blue navigation bar. 

Note: If you do not see that option, click on My Home first.

Create Dispatch - Web Interface - Step 1

2. Now you are in the Dispatch Manager page. Push Create Dispatch.

Create Dispatch - Web Interface - Step 2

3. Choose the app you wish to create a dispatch for. 

Create Dispatch - Web Interface - Step 3

4. Fill out these fields before sending:

  • Select App - While already chosen, you can change it now if you like.  
  • Item Description - This is the name of the dispatch you are creating. Think of it as a filename.  They will appear in alphabetical order on the device.
  • Assign Item to - This is the user that you are assigning this dispatch to.  If you need help adding users to Canvas, please click here.

Create Dispatch - Web Interface - Step 4

5. Enter the data that you want to send out to your remote worker.  Hit Save at the bottom when finished. 

Create Dispatch - Web Interface - Step 5

6.Click Dispatch Manager to see the dispatch you assigned.

Create Dispatch - Web Interface - Step 6

You have now assigned a dispatch out to your mobile worker!

How to Create Dispatches in Bulk

Want to send out the same dispatch to multiple workers? Follow these instructions below

1.Go to Dispatch Manager page

2. Click on Sample Dispatch File. Canvas will create a CSV file for you that contains the fields (as columns) you need to assign dispatches in bulk.

Create Dispatch - Bulk - Step 1

3. On the Dispatch Samples page you will see a list of all of your Canvas apps that have Dispatch enabled. Each will have a download sample link next toit.  Click on the sample next to the app you need.

Create Dispatch - Bulk - Step 2

4. - A CSV file will be downloaded to your computer.  Open it in Excel.  The first 3 columns represent the 3 fields you must complete in order to assign a dispatch to a user. 

  • App Name - It will auto-populate the app name in the second row based on the sample you downloaded.  Drag that value down to populate more rows.  

    Note: You can dispatch to multiple apps in a single file.  Make sure your app name is accurate.
  • Description - This is the name of the dispatch that will show up in the Dispatch Manager and on the user's mobile device.  They appear alphabetically on the mobile device. 
  • User email - This is the email address of the mobile worker you want to assign the dispatch to.  

    Note: You must add users to your account if you intend to assign dispatches to your mobile workers.  

Create Dispatch - Bulk - Step 3

5. Save the file.  It must be a CSV. On both Dispatch Samples and Dispatch Manager page, push Upload Dispatch File.  

Create Dispatch - Bulk - Step 4

6. Push Choose File and select the file from your hard drive. 

7. Push Save button to upload. 

That's it!  Your dispatches will then appear in the Dispatch Manager.

Create Dispatch - Bulk - Step 5

Dispatch on the Mobile Device

Once you have created dispatches and assigned them to users, the information is available on their mobile device. 

1. The user will need to Synchronize their device to receive the dispatch. 

The message below will appear when a dispatch (or multiple dispatches) is received by the mobile user.  You will also see a round, purple icon next to the app.

Dispatch - Mobile Device - Step 1

2. Click on the app with the dispatch assigned  and see a list of dispatches available to the remote user.  The dispatches will be named by Item Description.  Dispatches will show up on this list alphabetically.  The user simply clicks on the dispatch to see the pre-populated data .

Note: at the bottom of the screen the user can select New if they need to fill out this app for another job not related to the dispatch.

Dispatch - Mobile Device - Step 2

3.  After viewing the prepopulated fields, hit Next to fill out the app like usual

Dispatch - Mobile Device - Step 3

Tracking the Dispatch & Viewing your Data

The status of your Dispatch will change in the Dispatch Manager as the user fills out the app.  This allows admins to see where your mobile worker is in the process of completing this job. 

Below are the different statuses you may see.

Dispatch Received - When your user downloads the dispatch to their device.

Dispatch Completed - You'll see the completed dispatch and next to it there is a blue icon that will link you to the Submissions area  to view the data from your mobile user.

View Submission - This link takes you into the submission that you dispatched.  You can view the data on screen or you can push PDF to generate the same PDF that is emailed when you email submissions.

Dispatch Video

For those of you that prefer video, this is a 17 minute video that will walk you through everything from enabling Dispatch all the way through uploading dispatches in bulk via a CSV file.

In summary, to use Dispatch you must first enable it by going to the more under the quick links you wish to use Dispatch with and then selecting Dispatch under Features. Click the checkbox, and hit save. Now, you can use Dispatch on individual jobs or in bulk by first navigating to My Home and then Dispatch on the blue bar. For individual jobs click Create Dispatch, choose your app, fill out the fields, and hit save. It is now assigned to to your mobile worker! To send out a bulk Dispatch select Sample Dispatch File. Download the sample CSV file for the app you want to use. Complete the file and then upload it as a CSV under Upload Dispatch File. Your Dispatches will now appear under the Dispatch Manager. 

Your users will need to synchronize or refresh their devices to receive the Dispatch. Open the app to view the Dispatches assigned (You can also hit New at the bottom if you wish to do a job not relating to the Dispatch). The user selects the Dispatch to view the pre-populated data and then hits next to fill out the app like normal.

There are three statuses that can be seen on Dispatches from the Dispatch manager: Dispatch Received, Dispatch Completed, and View Submission.

If you have any questions about Canvas or need help replacing paper based forms with a Windows Mobile, BlackBerry, Android or Apple device, please don't hesitate to contact us.


Ralph Sculco Jr
May 19, 2013

It would be great if canvas had recurring dispatch feature (custom, daily, weekly, monthly etc.)  This would cut down on double entry.  Also would be great if master user could generate analytical reports.

Ali Moussavi
May 22, 2013

Hi Ralph,

Thanks for the input! We will add these features to our customer request list for further review and possible implementation.

Let us know if you have any other thoughts on how to improve the Canvas Customer experience.


Jared Rogers
September 30, 2013

I would love it if I could send a submission to another user before “finalizing” it - for example, to get their signature even if we’re not in the same room together. Is it possible to send a “non-final” submission from one wireless device to another?

Ali Moussavi
October 07, 2013

Hi Jared,

Currently we do not have this functionality but it has previously been requested. We will likely add something like this to the Canvas platform in the near future. Please continue to visit our site and blogs for future updates.

Let us know if you have any further questions or recommendations.

Marty Mantell
November 12, 2013

It would be nice to see the dispatch manager display of the active or most recent dispatched items on the dashboard…

Ali Moussavi
November 22, 2013

Hi Marty,

Thanks for the input!

That’s definitely a great idea and I will add it to our list of user requests.

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