Grid (Table) Control

One of the most common things we have heard from our customers is the need for a data-entry Grid /Table. It’s possible to create this today using a repeat control and some fancy layouts but it’s cumbersome. We’ve been working on that and it’s close to complete.

Using it is simple: there’s a new control in the palette called Table. Drag and drop a Table into your form. By default, it has three columns. You can edit the table name, column names, drag and drop new controls from the palette, and set the widths of the columns. You can control the min/max number of rows in the table – Add/Remove icons will automatically appear to the left. You can also use business rules as usual for computed values, enabling/disabling fields, showing/hiding fields etc.

The image below shows an Expense Report created using the Table. Users pick the date and specify their expenses by category with a description. Additional rows can be easily added by clicking the + button. The form contains rules to compute the mileage expense based on the miles traveled and the Total expenses. In this example, the Table is placed in a Section which the user can digitally sign and lock so that it cannot be modified.

Expense Report using Table Control

Expense Report using Table Control

The Table control can also be used for static grids where the number of rows is fixed. The image below shows a time sheet with one row for each day of the week. Obviously, the user cannot add more rows or remove existing rows but simply fills in data into the grid according to the number of hours worked in a given week.

Time sheet using Table Control

Time sheet using Table Control

The Table control provides an easy way for customers to create data-entry grids that are common in forms. As with all frevvo controls, it is fully internationalized and supports input in all languages worldwide including right-to-left languages such as Hebrew and Arabic.

Development on the Table is almost complete and we expect to release it soon.

The simple stuff costs money too

Customers are always prioritizing where to put scarce investment capital. Should we invest in that new CRM system or should we create a new online portal or some other project. Most CIOs and IT department personnel are swamped with work and, therefore, tend to focus on the big stuff.

But … there’s a lot of money in the small stuff. We’ve been discovering this at many of our customers. For example, a major US University bought Live Forms for automating their student admissions process. Obviously, it’s a mission-critical thing for Universities – they had better be good at admitting students – and it’s a project slated to take many months.

Within 2 weeks of deploying Live Forms, one of their Departments wanted to create monthly surveys to collect student feedback. Now, normally this would mean either a paper-based survey or a programmer putting together each survey and providing a report of the results. They suddenly realized that they now had a new option. They created an account for the Department managers on the Live Forms server and pointed them to the tutorials. Within days, they were creating their own survey forms and exporting the results to Excel. It took less than five minutes of an expensive developer’s time. Less than a month after deploying Live Forms, they were already getting positive ROI from a simple application that they hadn’t even considered before.

It’s just one example out of many where customers are rapidly finding uses for frevvo and benefiting in days rather than months. Interested? Check out where you will find short videos demonstrating Live Forms or Contact Us for more details.

Leave Approval Workflow: Confluence + Google Apps

Our customers have been creating all kinds of interesting workflows and we’ve added new features to Live Forms to handle several of the scenarios we’ve seen. A common example is a Leave Approval (Vacation Request) workflow that goes from employee to her specific manager and then on to HR for approval. Every organization irrespective of size has to deal with Leave Approvals and, by and large, it’s a paper- or email-based process that is slow, costly and inefficient.

With Live Forms, you can easily automate this workflow. You can deploy it online, for example, in Confluence and you can save the results in your HR system, document management system or even online to Google Apps.

It’s very easy to do with Live Forms. Check out this 4 min video:

How to process form/workflow data

Now that you’ve created your form or workflow, what are the various things you can do when it is submitted? With frevvo, there are many many flexible options. You can simply view your submissions online or send them to your own web server for processing or use the frevvo API to perform detailed post-processing of submission data. We’ve documented this in this new Tutorial on processing form data.

We’ll keep updating this as required but if you want to see all the options available to you, check it out.

Reusable controls with the custom palette

With Live Forms, you can create complex reusable controls including sophisticated layouts, validation patterns, business rules etc. Once these controls have been created, you can publish them within the form designer. Other users can search for and find the published controls and re-use them in their own forms without having to re-create the layout, rules etc.

If you think you can use this, check out this 4.5 min video that shows all:

Form layouts using Panels, Sections, Tabs & Repeats

With Live Forms you can create forms with very sophisticated layouts that are similar to your most complex existing forms. The best part is there’s no programming or CSS or JavaScript involved. Just drag and drop.

  • Using Panels, you can easily create multi-column layouts with controls next to each other.
  • Sections allow you to create collapsible groupings of controls and place logically-related controls together.
  • Tabs are a great way to fit large forms into limited real estate.
  • Repeat controls are extremely powerful and can be used to create repeating individual controls (nick name, phone …) or repeating sections (address, incident …). frevvo will manage min and max occurrences automatically and ensure that invalid forms cannot be submitted.

This short (5 min) video introduces you to using these grouping controls for form layout.

There are many other cool things you can do with frevvo forms but that’s for another article and another video.

Collect data on a Confluence page

Our customers use Live Forms for Confluence for surveys, event registrations etc. where the result data is downloaded to MS Excel. But sometimes, people want to do more. They want to format the results as a table and add a graph, display the results in specific ways etc.

Confluence and its rich set of plugins is the ideal platform for this and with frevvo Live Forms you can now easily create forms [and even workflows] and collect submissions on a Confluence page. Then, use arbitrary macros to create tables, charts, Tab views etc.

Watch a 3.5 min video below.