V7.3 – Dynamic pick lists & web services

One of the most common features our customers use is dynamic pick lists (or radio/checkbox controls). Examples abound such as a List of products for a Sales Order / PO, Number of available vacation days for a Leave Approval, List of projects for a Time Sheet and many others. With frevvo, you could always setup dynamic options using a business rule written in JavaScript.

/*member productCode, productName, resultSet*/
var x;
if (form.load) {
eval(‘x=’ + http.get(‘http://localhost:18080/database/BIRT/allProducts’));
var opts = [];
for (var i=0; i < x.resultSet.length; i++) {
if (x.resultSet[i]) {
opts[i] = x.resultSet[i].productCode + ‘=’ + x.resultSet[i].productName;
}
}
Products.options = opts;
}

V7.3 – no JavaScript

Products-WS

Selection Control connected to a web service

Starting with V7.3 (late August 2017), you can select an Options Source in the Properties pane for the selection control (drop down, radio or checkbox). By default, the Source is Design Time which simply means the choices are static and the designer specifies the list of options by typing them in at design time. But, you can now select Web Service. If you do that, three additional properties appear below:

 

  • Options URL: This is the end point for the web service. If you’re using the database connector,  it’ll be the same as the URL used in the JavaScript rule above. The assumption is that this call returns either XML or JSON.
  • Value binding: the path in the returned XML or JSON that determines the value of the select control (what’s in the submission).
  • Label binding: the path in the returned XML or JSON that determines the label of the select control (what the user sees).

That’s it. The URL can also be dynamic.

Edmunds

Selection control connected to the Edmunds API

For example, the screenshot at left shows a checkbox control that’s connected to the Edmunds API. The Options URL depends on the Year since that web service API returns Car Makes for a particular year. The URL is set to:

https://api.edmunds.com/api/vehicle/v2/makes?state=new&year={Year}&view=basic&fmt=json&api_key=<key hidden>

When the user types something in Year, the web service is automatically called, the results are refreshed and the choices in the Car Makes checkbox will change based on whatever the web service returned.

V7.3 will be released at the end of August. Visit our website and sign up for a free 30-day trial if you’d like to learn more or contact us for more information.

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.

 

[Webinar] 45m to automate PO approvals

roiPurchase Order Approval is one of the most common day-to-day workflows. Many customers choose Live Forms to digitize this workflow and quickly see positive ROI.

Join us on this webinar where we’ll show you how to:

  • Install a PO template with a single click.
  • Run the template.
  • Edit the template and modify it.
  • Add users & roles for routing.
  • Add the workflow to a portal and use it on multiple devices.

Webinar Details
Date: Tuesday, Mar 21, 2017
Time: 1.30 PM EST
Duration: 45 minutes (including Q&A)

Register Now

Visual Rule Builder: business rules without the JavaScript

I9-02.png

Federal I-9 in Designer

In recent articles, we’ve discussed how frevvo and other low-code platforms are making it easier for citizen developers who aren’t coders-by-trade to create effective, high-quality apps.

Here at frevvo, we’re constantly working on improving our product to reduce the need to write code. Our customers are organizations (companies, Universities etc.) that use frevvo for real-world business forms like Purchase Orders and Employee On-Boarding. These forms usually have dynamic behavior – in frevvo, that means business rules. One of the most common business rules is where you want to show or hide certain parts of the form (a Section or Tab or any control) depending on data that’s been entered into the form elsewhere.

Show/Hide Alien Authorization Numbers in Federal I-9

Let’s take a look at an example – an employee on-boarding workflow where the user has to fill in a Federal I-9. The Federal form asks for Eligibility Status and for one of those statuses – an alien authorized to work until a certain date – the employee has to provide additional information. In earlier versions of frevvo, you’d have to write a business rule in JavaScript. Something like:

if (CitizenStatus === ‘WorkAlien’) {
AlienNumbers.visible = true;
} else {
AlienNumbers.visible = false;
}

Seems simple enough but these JavaScript rules and their interactions with each other can quickly get very complex and difficult to understand. Dynamic behavior then becomes much harder for citizen developers to implement effectively.

Enter the Visual Rule Builder

When you create the above rule, you can use visual wizards as shown below:

rb-01

What’s the condition that causes this rule to fire?

rb-02

What action(s) should be taken when the condition is true?

rb-02b

[Optionally] What action(s) should be taken when the condition is false?

You can specify multiple conditions and a logic expression to evaluate them e.g. “A and (B or C)”. You can also specify multiple actions e.g. Show Alien Numbers AND Hide Citizen Information when the condition is true and vice versa when false. The Visual Rule Builder will generate a rule as shown below:

rb-03

If you need to edit the generated code, you can click Rule Code and make changes manually to the generated JavaScript. And, of course, the existing JavaScript-based rules continue to

um-01

Show/Hide Section

be available – some things are impossible to do using wizards e.g. connecting to an HTTP URL and parsing the result in specific ways.

When you run the form, it works as expected. Choose the appropriate option (alien authorized to work …) and the required Section shows up. For any other option, the Section in question is not visible exactly as desired. As with all frevvo forms and workflows, it’ll just work automatically on mobile devices.

Simple and easy. Now, of course, this is the first iteration of the Visual Rule Builder (it’ll be released shortly with V7.2) and it can currently generate a subset of rules. For the others, you’ll have to use the existing Rule Editor. However, like everything in frevvo, we’ll keep improving it with every version so your citizen developers will be able to do more and more with it.

[Webinar] What’s new in frevvo 7?

webinar1frevvo V7 has been out for a few months. We’ve improved it in a number of ways that are really important to customers. We’re also really excited about some upcoming developments, especially the Rule Builder.

Join our webinar on Thursday, February 9, 2017. We’ll be covering:

  • One-click templates
  • Business Insights (Reports)
  • Improved Submissions & Task Search
  • Visual Rule Builder (coming soon)
  • File System Connector & Wizard
  • box.com Connector & Wizard

Webinar Details

  • Date: Thursday, February 9.
  • Time: 1:00 PM EST
  • Duration: 50 minutes (including Q&A)
  • Speaker: Ashish Deshpande

Register Now

frevvo 7.1: Submissions Search

We’re always working on improving frevvo based on customer feedback. We have ambitious longer-term plans but we’re tackling some of the most common requests ASAP.

frevvo V7.1 (which will be available later this year) includes one such item: the ability to search for submissions based on form data. There’s also a new Submissions View and Excel export. Let’s take a look using a Contact Form.

searchable-fields

Searchable Fields wizard

First, you have to define your Searchable fields using a wizard. Simply add/remove Searchable fields as desired. Once defined, frevvo can also go back and re-index your existing submissions so you can search them using the same fields. In our Contact Form, we’ve chosen First Name, Last Name and Email Address.

Then, go to the Submissions View for the form. By default, you’ll see the Submissions for the past month with no other filters applied. Searchable Fields appear in the table if they fit.

Expand the Submissions Filter Section. You can filter and search for submissions by a wide variety of criteria. There’s Date Range and Submission State but you can choose other criteria including the Searchable fields. You can also create a logic expression as shown in the image. We’re searching for Submissions this year where the email address contains frevvo.com and the first name begins with either M or P as the shown in the logic expression field.

filter

Filter/Search for submissions

If the columns don’t fit on the screen (for example, on a mobile device), you can click + for any row to view them. As usual, you can double click any submission to view details (XML document, PDF, attachments, signatures etc.) and delete unwanted submissions.

submssions

Expand/Collapse individual submissions to view details

Similar functionality is available in the Task List as well – we’ll describe it in a separate article. And, in a future release, we plan to unify these user interfaces so you can handle tasks, submissions and reports from the same place in the UI.

frevvo + box: Automatically save documents to box

In recent articles, we talked about how you can easily connect your frevvo forms and workflows to Google Drive and use it as a low-cost ECM system. While frevvo also works with more traditional ECM systems, we’ve noticed that some of our customers prefer to use box.com for their enterprise grade data and information security (HIPAA, PCI compliance etc.). Naturally they want to save documents (Student Registrations, Purchase Orders, W-4, Patient Referrals etc.) generated by automated frevvo forms and workflows to their secure box storage. We’re getting ready to release a box connector in V7.1 to enable this.

The steps are straightforward. Obviously, you must have a box account and will need the connector installed and configured (it’s already done for you if you’re using frevvo Cloud). Once that’s all setup:

box-1

Connect a frevvo form or workflow to your box account

  1. Login to your box account and create a folder for this workflow.
  2. Create your form or flow as usual. Generate a frevvo-PDF, map to your custom PDFs, upload attachments etc. Then, open the box wizard.
  3. Enter your box account.
  4. You’ll be redirected to login to box if necessary.
  5. Select the folder you just created in Step 1, setup a submission folder name (typically, this is set dynamically using form fields) and select the documents you want to upload (Snapshot PDF, XML data, uploaded files and generated PDFs).
  6. Use the form/flow normally, fill in data, sign the form etc. and submit it.
box-2

Files for each workflow submission are uploaded automatically in the proper subfolder

Now, login to your box account and navigate to the folder you created earlier in Step 1 above. See that it now contains a subfolder. The subfolder is dynamically named based on form data e.g. FirstName Initial_LastName. Every time a workflow is submitted a new subfolder will be created in this parent folder.

box-8-w-4

Generated W-4

Inside the subfolder, you’ll see the uploaded files e.g. the frevvo generated PDF and a Federal W-4. You can click on the PDF to preview it directly in the box UI.

That’s all there is to it. Interested in learning more? Visit our website to view examples, watch videos, sign up for a free 30-day trial or contact us anytime for more details.