80% of all IT budgets will be committed to cloud apps and solutions

More than 80% of the organizations surveyed in this recently published report (25 pp., PDF, opt-in) are now following a Cloud First strategy. They prefer to purchase applications as a service deployed in the Cloud over applications deployed on physical servers in their data center.

Those with a Cloud First strategy believe that their IT budgets will be 80% cloud services in less than 12 months, while those without such a strategy think it will be closer to 20 months with 15 months being the average. That’s remarkable [at least to me]. Clearly, trust and confidence in the Cloud has grown quickly.

IT80percent

Cloud First is the reality. Most organizations want to migrate quickly to the Cloud. Source: Building Trust in a Cloudy Sky (see link above).

At frevvo, that’s very much in line with what we see. Customers mostly prefer our public cloud – even very large organizations. They’re less concerned about security and availability and more interested in practical issues like cost. That’s likely because incidents have decreased.

We also offer both Public and Private cloud. We’ve noticed too that customers increasingly perceive the benefits of public cloud surpassing private cloud, especially when it comes to cost. The TCO for Public Cloud is almost universally perceived as being hugely lower – sometimes to the point that customers expect public cloud services to be incredibly inexpensive.

PublicCloudBenefits

To us, it’s still a surprising number. 80% of the IT budget going to Cloud computing in just over 1 year. Clearly Cloud Computing has matured and is being adopted broadly.

Learn more about frevvo’s solutions by visiting our website where you’ll find several customer success stories. Explore some of the examples and contact us for more information.

Download the full report at Building Trust in a Cloudy Sky: The State of Cloud Adoption and Security (25 pp., PDF, opt-in).

 

Announcing frevvo 7.2

form-workflowToday we’re happy to announce the general release of frevvo 7.2. Cloud customers were automatically upgraded on April 29. On-Premise availability is coming up shortly – subscribe to Release Announcements for the precise date. This release also includes upgrades to the Database Connector.

We know that frevvo is powerful software but there’s also a learning curve. frevvo 7.2 is the first in a series of updates this year focused on making it easier to use.

Visual Rule Builder

VRBTopDiagram3

One of the main areas customers tell us about is Rules. They’re really really powerful and many customers love the flexibility of being able to write JavaScript code and create very complex, dynamic behavior. But, they can be hard to use. Enter the Visual Rule Builder. Using it, you can create many rules visually rather than writing JavaScript. Read more in this blog article and find detailed documentation here. We’re excited about this new capability and expect improvements over multiple releases to make it easier and increasingly capable of replacing JavaScript-based rules.

This release also includes some security enhancements – e.g. user ids no longer appear in URLs and are replaced by opaque UUIDs – and other under-the-hood improvements needed for future ease-of-use improvements.

Database Connector

The DB Connector is one of the most widely used connectors – customers have created all kinds of integrations with their SQL databases. Most of the improvements made in this release are fairly technical and we won’t go into details here. See the Release Notes for reasons to upgrade. We’ve also made several under-the-hood improvements so we can make this oft-used connector easier to use and as point-and-click as possible. We’ll detail those in future blog posts.

We’re excited about this release and several upcoming ones. The focus is squarely on updating and making so many of the good things we do easier to use.

 

Embed frevvo on mobile pages

mobiledevicesfrevvo’s forms and workflows already work well on mobile devices. They’ll automatically resize to fit your phone or tablet, the icons and controls will be slightly larger, long forms can be broken up into multiple pages etc. They just work without much tinkering if any.

But, customers want to embed them in their mobile web pages. Since the web page and form are usually served up from different hosts, we have to use an iframe. And iframes are notoriously difficult on mobile devices. It’s doubly tricky for us since the size of the form can change e.g. when the user selects a different Tab or expands/collapses a Section or clicks + to add a repeating item.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Fortunately, mobile browsers & devices have now evolved to where we can provide this to customers. As you can see from the slideshow above, frevvo’s own Contact form is embedded in our website and renders perfectly in an iframe on tablets and phones. The forms will resize automatically to the device width, they height will automatically increase if the form height changes (switch Tab, expand Section etc.) and device rotation will also work automatically. We’ll be rolling this out in the next few weeks and customers won’t have to do anything.

We’re also working on rolling out truly responsive forms on desktop browsers since we finally have no customers still using [the much-hated] IE8 and almost no one using IE9 either. But, that’s for another article.

Roadmap: Part 4 – box.com Connector

 

frevvo-box

Save documents & attachments generated from frevvo forms and workflows to your box account

In a recent article, my colleague Yuri wrote about adding frevvo to Google Drive/Apps so it can be used as a low-cost ECM system.

It makes sense. Customers want an end-to-end solution where they use frevvo so they can stop emailing PDF documents around for signatures. It works great for them. But the documents need to live somewhere.

But, many enterprise customers still aren’t comfortable with using Google Drive for ECM.

We’ve recently noticed an uptick in customers and prospects who have asked about saving submission data from an automated frevvo form or workflow to their box account. So, we’ve decided to do something about it.

box-wizard

Save to box wizards

We’re working on a Connector and associated wizard for box. Similar, in principle to the Google Drive connector that lets you save documents to Drive. It’s simple and visual:

  • Choose Document Actions and select the Save to box.com option.
  • In the wizard that pops up, provide your credentials. The wizard will login to your box account, browse to find available folders and display them.
  • Select a parent folder (e.g. Purchase Orders) and a submission folder. Typically, the submission folder is a template that’s dynamically generated e.g. {ClientName}.
  • You can also choose which documents get saved including generated files e.g. a Government W-4 for an Employee On-Boarding workflow.
  • Click Finish and you’re done.

When the form or flow is submitted, the documents will be uploaded to your box account in a new subfolder whose name is generated from the ClientName form field (in our example). All subfolders reside in the parent folder (Purchase Order in our example).

Once in box, you can use all their features to collaborate, share and manage the documents in question.

It’s as easy as that. The Connector is targeted for V7.1, which is currently under development and targeted for late October, 2016. Obviously, the date could change 🙂

Interested in learning more? Contact us anytime for more details.

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.

 

 

Business Insights with frevvo

At frevvo, we’re gearing up for some big new feature releases this year. Our Engineers are hard at work right now on one of the most frequently requested [and delayed] features – Business Insights. We have a long list of powerful capabilities for real-world business applications (mobile forms, database connectivity, XML, workflow etc.) but it hasn’t been easy to see what’s going on operationally. That’ll change over the next few releases.

Monitor/Analyze in flexible ways.

You’ll be ableworkflow-by-state to view things like:

  • Which workflows are in process now?
  • Who are they waiting for?
  • How much time is being spent in each state?
  • What’s the average time in each state?
  • What regions are applications coming from?

etc. There are really an infinite number of ways to slice and dice.

Top-notch User Experience

widgetsWe think that usability and aesthetics are two sides of the same coin. If it doesn’t look good, no one will use it.

  • Many ways to visualize – pie charts, bar charts, gauges, tables, stacked charts etc. Choose whatever makes the most sense for your needs.
  • Like everything in frevvo, it’ll all just work automatically on mobile devices and look natural. You don’t have to do anything.
  • You can use dashboards/widgets in frevvo Spaces (which themselves look good on mobile) so you can access your forms & workflows and your dashboards from one place.

Easy Customization & Reusability

dashboard-designerWe’ve said before that the scarcest resource in most organizations is talent. Yet,in today’s business environment, it’s even more important to provide decision makers with timely information. Visual dashboards and reports can really help.

  • Create your own dashboards just like you create forms. Drag & drop from a palette and hook the widget up to the data. That’s it. Under the covers, the dashboard is literally just a form (without a Submit button).
  • You can use familiar techniques to position widgets, size them, show/hide them, dynamically update them etc. They behave just like form controls. There’s nothing new to learn.
  • Since they ARE forms/flows, everything else works – internationalization, accessibility, access control, embedding, sharing, mobile views – it stays the same.
  • Since charts/widgets are just regular controls, you’ll be able to use them anywhere in your forms as well (the ones with Submit buttons). No restrictions.
  • Other areas of frevvo e.g. Submissions Views & Task List are also being improved to use some of these capabilities to provide a much better user experience.

Now, it’s going to take some time to get all this done and we’ll deliver over the course of many releases throughout the rest of the year. But we’re super-excited about these coming features. We’ll keep you updated via this blog or by email. Join our mailing list if you’d like to learn more.

Cloud Security on your mind?

ds-explosionConcerned about Cloud Security? You’re not alone. A single breach can have a huge negative impact on your business. Even the Rebels destroyed the Death Star by exploiting a single security flaw.

cs-infoA staggering 90% of companies are very or moderately concerned about cloud security with the biggest worries being unauthorized access and malicious insiders.

Make frevvo your ally and you can rapidly take advantage of powerful, impactful cloud solutions today while minimizing security risks and decreasing your compliance costs. We know that data security is critical for your business. Check out this new infographic and see how our multi-layered approach can help you secure your information as we continuously monitor and improve your systems, processes and services.

Interested in learning more? Contact frevvo today to get a comprehensive overview of how you too can securely deploy everyday workflows on mobile devices using frevvo’s Cloud.