Month: March 2016

frevvo + Google Apps: Part 1. Save to a Google Sheet

Does your organization uses Google Apps? If so, you can combine frevvo + Google Sheets/Drive etc. to create some really cool and useful solutions. In this multi-part series of articles, we’ll explore several possibilities:

  1. Save submissions from a frevvo form into a Google Sheet (this article).
  2. Perform automated mileage calculations using the Google Maps API.
  3. Create dynamic drop down controls where the choices come form a Google Sheet.
  4. Update a Google Sheet with values from a form.
  5. Save documents generated by your frevvo form to Google Drive.
  6. Put it all together to create a leave approval workflow that connects with a Google Sheet, routes between multiple users for signatures, updates the Google Sheet and saves PDF documents to Google Drive.
  7. Single Sign On to frevvo using your Google Apps credentials.

Let’s look at the most basic and common use case. You have a form and you want to collect your submissions in a Google Sheet.

Step 1: First, you have to get an access token. This is a one-time step. Login to your Google account and then visit: https://app.frevvo.com/google/consent. Follow the prompts and copy the access token and save it. Detailed documentation is here.

Step 2: Create your form. We’ve created a simple example contact form with a few fields. If you need help creating a form, check out the Quick Demo and Form Designer tutorial videos on our website.

Contact Form
Contact Form

PropertiesStep 3: Create your Google Spreadsheet. Make sure the column header names match the Name property of each control. You can view the spreadsheet we created for the form above at this link (it’s read-only). See how the column names are Name, Email, Street, City etc. The Name property of the corresponding control in the form is set to match exactly.

Step 4: Connect your form to your spreadsheet using the Save to Google Sheets wizard. Detailed documentation is here. You must login using your user id and auth token (from Step 1), select a spreadsheet and worksheet and click Finish.

That’s it. When the form is submitted, the data will be saved to the selected Google Sheet. You can perform all the usual operations on the data e.g. see the Graphs Tab in our example sheet and you can see how we have created some sample graphs to analyze our submission data.

graphs
Google Spreadsheet graphs for submission data

Interested in learning more? Visit our website to view examples, watch videos, sign up for a free 30-day trial or contact us for more information.

Like what you see. Check out Part 2 which shows you how you can perform automated mileage calculations using the Google Maps API.

ROI in less than 3 months

roi-1Sometimes, we get asked in the sales process about the ROI (Return on Investment) of buying and implementing a digitized frevvo workflow vs continuing with the current way of doing things. Typically, this means sending an Excel or PDF document around by email for approvals.

Emailing Excel and PDF documents for approvals is incredibly expensive.

The manual approach is fraught with problems:

  • How do you ensure that you have the latest version? Shared folder? Intranet?
  • How do you actually get the approvals? Via e-mail? Schedule a meeting? What happens if someone is on vacation or fails to respond in a timely manner? What if there’s an error? More e-mail?
  • What if a signature is required? Attachments? Does this mean printing, signing and scanning?
  • How do you keep track of and formally record who has approved the document? Save multiple e-mails? Meeting notes?
  • What will happen months from now when you need to find the signed and approved document?

An automated approval workflow from frevvo can quickly save you a lot of money. In most cases, you will start seeing ROI with frevvo in less than 3 months (even faster at higher volumes). Check out this ROI calculator for a Purchase Requisition or click on the image to see how frevvo can save you $$$.

As a bonus, you’ll have happier employees who can focus on customers and new business opportunities rather than chasing down paper. Interested? Contact us now to learn more.

 

[Infographic] HR Process Automation

infographic_wireframe_frevvo_jan2016_3
We’ve discussed in previous posts how customers are using frevvo for HR process automation. It’s one of the most common areas for automating workflows with frevvo.

The fact is that everyday approval processes such as employee on-boarding, leave approval and time sheets take an exorbitant amount of time if done manually. Employees and managers are waiting longer than necessary and spending more time/money than necessary to tackle these routine tasks. There’s also a much higher rate of inaccuracy in the manual process.

Check out this new infographic on the value/benefits of automating your day-to-day HR workflows.

It’s 2016! There’s simply no excuse for outdated, manual systems that cause delays, result in unhappy customers and missed business opportunities.

With affordable, cloud-based workflow products for HR process automation, there’s no need to deal with printing PDFs for signatures, correcting Excel-based time sheets, or tracking down approvals in email.

Learn more by visiting our website. Explore some of the examples, read customer success stories and contact us for more details.

PDF Mapping – generate a W-4

It’s a common requirement among our customers – they want to generate their own PDF document. For example, a Federal W-4 or I-9 during Employee On-Boarding. You can try an example by clicking on this link or download the form here if you want to view in detail. You can also find detailed documentation on our website.

Let’s take a quick look at the steps:

Step 1. Create your form or workflow as usual. You can use business rules, signatures and all frevvo’s features as usual.map-pdf

Step 2. Click on the toolbar button to View Generated Forms, click New and upload your PDF. Note that it must be an Acroform but you can easily convert any PDF using free, online tools. Then, click the Map Fields button. After saving your form, frevvo will display the PDF with mappable fields highlighted.

Step 3. Open the Form Outline at left in the designer and simply drag & drop fields from the outline onto the PDF to map. Alternatively, you can double click any PDF field and map a frevvo field in the wizard that shows up. You can even drag in a Signature field into the PDF to map it. (Note that the standard W-4 downloaded from the IRS website does not have a mappable field for the Signature and associated date. You can download a modified 2016 W-4 PDF at this link.)

map-fields
Drag & drop from the left outline onto any PDF field to map

To facilitate viewing, you can also drop a Form Viewer control onto the form and choose the mapped W-4 in its properties.

w-4-mapped
Generated W-4. Click image to zoom.

That’s it. Try it out and see that frevvo generates the W-4 with form data mapped to the proper fields. Even the signature is properly mapped. This generated W-4 is valid and can be used to send to the IRS.

You can also generate multiple PDFs, conditionally generate some PDFs and not others (e.g. a state W-4 depending on which state the employee resides in), save these PDFs in back end systems, send them by email etc.

Try it out for yourself. Sign up for a free 30-day trial on our website, upload the template form and see give it a shot.

 

[Video] Expense Report Workflow Template

Many of our customers choose frevvo to automate their finance/accounting and human resources (HR) workflows. Getting an expense report approved and paid is a common use case.

Expense-Report-Video
7.5 min video. Create your own fully-functional expense report workflow..

We’ve created this short (7.5m) video to help you install, configure and try out this template. We know that it’s one of our most frequently downloaded workflow templates.

Click on the image to view the video and see how you can start with a pre-built template and have a fully-functional expense report workflow in less than 10 minutes. You can also view the documentation for this template.

Using Control Templates

When designing forms and workflows, there are some common use cases that come up very frequently. Some of these have associated business rules. Control Templates provide a mechanism for building these once and re-using them many times. Let’s take a look at an example and see how you can use it. You can try these templates by clicking on this link and download the form here if you want to view them in detail.

Automatically set today’s date

Purchase Order, Employee On-Boarding, Expense Report, Leave Approval and many other forms have a date control that should be automatically set to today’s date. Instead of making the user type it in, we can just set it up automatically with a trivial business rule:

if (form.load) {
if (tDate.value.length === 0) {
tDate.value = frevvo.currentDate();
}
}

Easy enough. Now, let’s turn it into a reusable control template.

Step 1: Put the Date control in a Panel and give it a nice user-friendly name like Current Date Panel. You can publish just the control but it’s necessary to put it into a panel so that the associated rules get carried along.

datePanel
Panel with a User-Friendly Name

Step 2: Drag the Panel into the Custom palette. Hover the mouse over the header of the custom palette area while dragging. The header and drag icon will change and you can drop the control into the palette.

customPalette
Drag/Drop into Custom Palette

Step 3: When you drop it in, a wizard appears. Enter any desired tags, a description and make sure you check the box next to the rule. The read-only box will automatically get checked. The tags can be used later by other designers to find the published custom control. The read-only box prevents changes to certain properties that could cause the associated rule to fail. Then click Submit and Voila! You have a published custom control.

publish
Publish Wizard

 

How can another designer use it?

It’s simple. In the Form Designer, open the Custom Palette and click the Search link. In the wizard that shows up, you can view all published custom controls or enter a string and click the Search Controls button to narrow the list by tag. When you find the control you want, check the box next to it and click Finish.

searchCustom
Find Published Templates

The control will appear in your Custom Palette from now on every time you open the Form Designer. To use it, simply drag & drop it from the Custom Palette into your form. The layout and behavior will be preserved. In this example, the date will automatically initialize to the current date.

The example form above also contains templates for calculating a sub-total and grand total for line items in a Table and for initializing controls automatically with the currently logged-in user’s information (e.g. First Name, Last Name). You can download the form by clicking on this link to view the controls and associated rules. We’ll discuss these examples in a separate how-to article.

 

 

[Video] Employee On-Boarding Workflow Template

Many of our customers choose frevvo to automate their human resources (HR) workflows. Getting a new employee on-boarded is a common use case.Employee-On-Boarding-Video

We’ve created this short (8m) video to help you install, configure and try out this template. We know that it’s one of our most frequently downloaded workflow templates.

Click on the image to view the video and see how you can start automating your own Employee On-Boarding workflow in less than 10 minutes. You can also view the documentation for this template.