Web Form Editor Makeover

A lot of  changes have been going into the Web Form Editor recently and after so much work it can be a good idea to tidy it all up into a new design. This is what we’ve come up with – there’s still a lot of room for improvement but we’re happy with the general direction.

webform-editor

Web Form Page Logic

Our web form beta program is in full swing and the feedback we have been receiving is very useful. One particular feature that seems to be of most value is the ability to apply logic that determines whether or not a page will appear depending on the values entered in previous pages.

This is an extract from the documentation that describes the process…

Creating Some Variables

Open the editor for a Web Form that has multiple pages and then click on the ‘Form Variables’ button

form-vars-button

The variable manager dialog will open. Click the ‘Add Variable’ button in order to create a new variable. Enter a name that you want to give the variable and select the type of data it will be storing. The different data types are String, Number, Boolean and Date. Click save to save the variable.

variables-dlg1

In this project we have created a web form with three pages and three variables

variables-dlg2

Assigning Variables

Using this example, on page 1 of the web form select a field that you wish to use to assign to a variable. This variable will be used in the logic for a subsequent page. Click the ‘Select Variable…’ link as shown below.

assign-variable-link

The ‘Select Variable’ dialog will appear as below. Select the firstname variable and click the ‘OK’ button.

select-variable-dlg

Apply Conditional Logic to a Page

Using the page list dropdown select the second page in the web form. Then click the page properties icon and the page properties table will appear on the right of the page.

select-page2-dropdown

 

Click the ‘Modify Conditions…’ link and the conditions editor will appear.

condition-dialog

Click the ‘New Condition’ button and the conditions editor will appear. Select from the operator list and enter a value for comparision. In this case we want to check to see if the firstname variable starts with the value ‘joe’.

condition-dialog-entry

To summarise what happens when a user is navigating the form now… if they enter a value for firstname such as ‘joe’ or ‘joey’ the second page of the web form will appear. If not the second page will be skipped.

You can enter as many conditions for a page as you want.

If you would like to get involved in the beta program just send us an email to beta@inforama.com

Our Web Forms are Going Mobile

Before I go into the specifics of this post, I want to let you know that we’re starting a beta program for companies interested in what’s being outlined. If you’re interested send me an email to beta@inforama.com

The Background

To date we’ve worked with companies that already have customer data on their own databases in-house or in the cloud. But more recently we’re working with companies that need a way to capture the information associated with documents and forms via web forms. In particular, this demand has been driven by smaller legal practices. This is fine for data entry on the desktop but what happens when you’re in the field and you need to capture data in areas suffering from poor network coverage?

Well it turns out the the web form templates that are created in the Inforama studio can be applied pretty easily to run on mobile devices. This adaptation is being carried out for field service and construction companies and this is just a quick overview of how it’s working so far.

Create the Web Form

Inforama Web Form Editor

Inforama Web Form Editor

Using the Inforama Studio Web Form Editor you can create a Web Form very quickly with the following options.

  • - Components including textboxes, textareas, labels, date pickers, checkboxes, lists, entry lists, signatures, etc.
  • - Multiple pages that can be displayed depending of previous page entries
  • - Different styles
  • - Repeatable elements
  • - Out of the box validations

Create a dataset

When you have a web form created you can then generate a dataset from the fields that can be used to map to output documents.

Create a dataset based on the web form fields

Create a dataset based on the web form fields

Send invitations to complete the form

You can send invitations to users who are part of your organisation or you can send them to third parties via email.

Send invitations to organisation or third party users

Send invitations to organisation or third party users

Cache Invites

Your organisation users can now log onto their account and get a list of invitations assigned to them. Now all they have to do is click the cache button in order to take the forms and invitation data offline.

Cache your active invitation list

Cache your active invitation list

Store and Forward

Now your organisation users can go on the road and capture data including signatures. When they get back to an area of coverage they can click the Sync button and their data will be stored on the Inforama servers.

Capture data offline store for later

Capture data offline store for later

Generate Documents

Using the captured data, you can now generate documents from templates that you manage within Inforama, or you can use the data to generate emails including generated documents as attachments.

generated-doc

As I said at the beginning of this post we’re looking for people who are interested in beta testing the mobile forms. The advantage for beta users is that they get to shape the first release of the mobile forms. If you’re interested drop us a line to beta@inforama.com

The Trend Towards Website Platforms

Over the years we’ve had numerous enquiries from law firms who wish to automate documents in a more efficient way. More recently however, more companies have started to contact us in order to automate the creation of other documents including quotations, personalised brochures, manuals, etc. This seems to reflect a shift in the way companies are starting to engage with websites. Users are no longer just going to websites to read about the features of a product or service that might be available for download and installation. They want to start interacting with websites that offer services that will become part of an overall technology strategy.

Web 2.0 along with the adoption of AJAX became a term for something that was being done for many years previously but encapsulated an industry trend at the time. The move to the cloud was and is similar – sites such as Salesforce and Xero spearheaded software as a service where in-house installation and maintenance could be minimised in a few clicks.

The current trend that seems to be emerging is being defined not by users who are working in isolation, but by technology architects and managers who wish to use disparate services as part of an overall strategy. Sure, there are security and data location concerns but I believe this is like the move to web 2.0 – more of a shift in perception than any major technology advances per se. That’s not to minimise the importance of security but more a realisation that security like charity begins at home – more security issues appear to originate internally than from hackers.

I’ve been surprised by some conversations I’ve had lately with financial services companies. It’s not that they aren’t worried about cloud service security, they are and should be, but they don’t see this as a barrier to adoption. If they can be convinced that a service operates a secure service, the benefits to the organisation are too great to be ignored. I intend to challenge more people I know on pre-conceived notions of Saas services that may have existed to date to test what I have encountered lately in order to see if this is a more general trend.

Fact 5

Fact 5

The beauty of using Inforama’s cloud based offering is that users can generate templates, regardless of their location. What was once office based work can now be conducted at home, on the road etc..   road

Fact 4

Fact 4

Inforama includes a WYSIWYG (“what you see is what you get”) interface for designing templates. Our full featured browser based studio eliminates the requirement for client installations and plug-ins for MS Word.


 inforamastudio

Javascript Tooltips

We’ve started to create an interactive guide to developing projects within the Inforama Studio and one of the features that supports this is HTML formatted Javascript tooltips. These tooltips are triggered at various points in the template development process providing help to the user on how to progress.

tooltip-screenshot

You can download the code for these tooltips and use them in your own website development. Go to the page at https://www.inforama.com/tools for more information.

Inforama 3.0 Released

It doesn’t seem so long since we were announcing the release of Inforama version 2.0 but since then we’ve been listening to our users and adding features and enhancements that have been requested. We’re happy with the results but take a look for yourself to see how Inforama has been made even better.

Open Office / Libre Office Templates

You can now create Templates in Open Office writer that can be merged with dataset data and project resources like text blocks and images. This is perfect for documents that can have a variable layout like contracts and legal agreements.

When you generate an Open Office document you can return it as Open Office format or you can choose to convert it automatically to PDF. As with other document types an Open Office document can be included as part of a pack.

Click here to read more on this feature.

Multi Document Packs

Packs allow users to group multiple documents of different types together so that they can be produced in a single document production job. Email templates can be associated with packs in cases where you need to email the generated documents.

Click here to read more on this feature.

Default SMTP Gateways

You can now use one of the default SMTP gateways through which to send your emails or configure your own if necessary.

Click here to read more on this feature.

Project Resources

You can include resources including text blocks and images which can be included in emails, PDF documents and Open Office Letters.

Click here to read more on this feature.

Inforama API SDKs and Examples

enterprise-api

We’re working on creating a number of examples of how to use the Inforama APIs. These include a PHP SDK that can be used to integrate with systems such as SugarCRM. We also have a Java test application that can be used to test API calls quickly and easily.

These will be published along with the new version of the platform in the coming days. If you can think of any other scenarios that you would like to see developed or documented let us know.