Posted in Google Apps for Business, Google Apps for Education, Google for Work, Google Spreadsheets

frevvo + Google Apps: Part 4. Updating a Google Sheet

Does your organization uses Google Apps? You can combine frevvo + Google Apps to create some really cool and useful solutions. In Part 1 of this series, we saw how you can save (write) submissions to a Google Sheet. In Part 2, we saw how you can use the Google Distance Matrix API to automatically calculate mileage and reimbursement amounts. Part 3 showed you how to create dynamic pick lists from a Google Sheet (read).

google-ss-loc-ext
Google Sheet: Employee Location and Extension

Today, we’ll take a look at how you can update existing values in a sheet. It’s another common scenario that can be used for a variety of tasks (e.g. limiting the number of submissions for a particular form or creating a sequentially increasing counter). We’ll use this sample Google Sheet to discuss. It has a row for each employee: Employee Id, Location and Extension.

First, it’s important to note that Google Sheets is not a transactional system like a database and results can be unpredictable if multiple users update the same Sheet at the same time.

As before, you have to first 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.

We’ve created a simple example form. Select the employee, a location and a new extension number. Click the Update Google Sheet button, wait a few seconds and see that the sheet was successfully updated. We did this using this rule:

if (UpdateGoogleSheet.clicked) {
var eid = EId.value; // Unique key in the Google Sheet row
var headers = ‘{“user”:”<google id>”,”password”:”<access token>”}’;
var updatequery = ‘/google/spreadsheets/update/key/<spreadsheetkey>?wsname=Locations&query=employeeid=”‘ + eid + ‘”‘;
var updateparams = ‘&updates=location=’ + Location.value + ‘,extension=’ + Extension.value;

eval(‘x=’ + http.put(updatequery + updateparams, null, headers, false));
}

  1. It’s triggered by clicking on the Update Google Sheet button.
  2. We setup headers and an update query using your access token and spreadsheet key (the long ID in the URL of the Google Sheet).
  3. Add updateparams: we’re updating location and extension with new values.
  4. Run the update – perform an http.put() and eval the results.

Try it yourself using the sample form.

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 5 which shows you how you can save documents generated by your frevvo form to Google Drive.

 

Posted in Google Apps for Business, Google Apps for Education, Google for Work, Google Spreadsheets

frevvo + Google Apps: Part 3. Dynamic Pick lists.

Does your organization uses Google Apps? You can combine frevvo + Google Apps to create some really cool and useful solutions. In Part 1 of this series, we saw how you can save submissions to a Google Sheet and in Part 2, we saw how you can use the Google Distance Matrix API to automatically calculate mileage and reimbursement amounts.

employees-sheetToday, we’ll take a look at dynamic pick lists (drop downs). It’s a very common scenario and, with frevvo, you can use business rules to dynamically initialize the options (choices) in a pick list from a Google Sheet. We’ll use this sample Google Sheet to discuss. It has a row for each employee: First Name, Last Name, Employee Id.

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.

We use a rule to read information from the Sheet and populate the employee pick list. Here’s the relevant business rule:

var x;

if (Connect.clicked) {
var headers = ‘{“user”:”sales@frevvo.com”,”password”:”<access token>”}’;
var readquery = ‘/google/spreadsheets/query/key/<spreadsheetkey>/w/Employees’;
eval(‘x=’ +http.get(readquery,headers));

var opts = [”];
for (var i = 0; i < x.results.length; i++) {
opts[i + 1] = x.results[i].employeeid + ‘=’ + x.results[i].firstname + ‘ ‘ + x.results[i].lastname;
}
EId.options = opts;
}

  1. It’s triggered by clicking on the Connect button.
  2. We setup headers and a query using your access token and spreadsheet key (the long ID in the URL of the Google Sheet).
  3. Run the query – perform an http.get() and eval the results.
  4. Parse the results into an array. The array elements are “hagen=Walter Hagen” etc.
  5. Set the options to the array.
googleapps-picklist
Dynamic pick list from a Google Sheet. Click the image to try it.

The pick list will display the actual names (Walter Hagen, Alexa Stirling etc.) whereas the values returned upon selection will be the ids (hagen, stirling etc.) so it’s easy to perform further lookups.

You can try it yourself by clicking this link or on the image.

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 4 which shows you how you can update a Google Sheet with values from a form.

Posted in Google Apps for Business, Google Apps for Education, Google for Work, Google Spreadsheets, HR Process Automation

frevvo + Google Apps: Part 2. Mileage Reimbursement

Does your organization uses Google Apps? You can combine frevvo + Google Apps to create some really cool and useful solutions. In Part 1 of this series, I showed you how to save submissions from a frevvo form into a Google Sheet.

Today, we’ll take a look at another common example. A workflow for mileage reimbursement is a routine business approval workflow used in many organizations. Unfortunately, it’s usually a PDF form (for example, see here and here).  It’s tedious and mistake-prone. Calculate miles manually from odometer readings, figure out the total mileage and reimbursement amount.

What a complete wasteMileage Reimbursement form of time!! With frevvo, everything is automated. Enter your origin and destination and the system will calculate the travel distance using the cloud-based Google Distance Matrix API. Of course, it’ll automatically add all the mileage and calculate the total amount. Try it yourself by clicking the image or this link.

Scarcity of talent is the #1 challenge most organizations face today. Why are your talented people wasting valuable time on unproductive things?

Digitize your approval workflows with frevvo. Your employees will be happier and you’ll be amazed at how much time & money you save. Doesn’t get any better than that. Interested? Contact frevvo today.

Like what you see? Check out Part 3 which shows you how you can create dynamic drop down controls where the choices come form a Google Sheet.

Posted in Google Apps for Business, Google Apps for Education, Google for Work, Google Spreadsheets

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.

Posted in Approval Process, Google Apps for Business, Google for Work, Workflows

Using frevvo + Google Drive for Document/File Management

It goes without saying that there are big advantages to having your files in the Cloud. They’re automatically backed up, secure, can be accessed from anywhere etc. You can use Google Drive as a simplified document/file management system with folders/sub-folders, sharing and permissions.
frevvo + Google AppsIf your organization uses Google Apps, you can combine frevvo + Google Drive in interesting ways to create some cool solutions. For example, you can create an electronic approval workflow for a Purchase Order, and send it to your customer for signature (electronic, of course). Once signed, the customer gets a receipt (PDF) by email. But, the PDF can also be saved to Google Drive in the proper folder/sub-folder e.g. Purchase Orders/Acme Inc 2015_04_09 or Purchase Orders/Order 1234 or whatever makes sense for you. Check out this 90 sec video to see how it works. As POs flow through frevvo and are approved by customers, they’ll automatically be filed away in the correct place.

What about finding POs? As you might expect, Google Drive has great Search. When a file of a common type is uploaded to Google Drive, it is automatically indexed so users can easily search for it in their Drive files. Google Drive also goes much further. For example, it’s capable of recognizing objects and landmarks in images uploaded to Drive. Searching for a PO is just like doing a regular Google search. Just type in some text (a name, an address, an amount, anything …) and Drive will find files containing that text.

Now, obviously, Drive isn’t a full-fledged document management system and there are pitfalls to using folder structures for document management. But, the price is hard to beat and there are many situations where it’s genuinely useful. Especially, when combined with an automated approval workflow from frevvo 🙂 Check out our Google Apps Solutions and contact us for more information.

Posted in Approval Process, Forms, Google Apps for Education, Green Schools, k-12, Paperless Schools, Usability, Workflows

Are teachers dealing with too much paperwork?

School and college teachers, principals and administrators are extremely busy people. They’re dedicated to their students and would love to simply focus on teaching and helping students. Yet, they must deal with unnecessary paperwork for things like mileage reimbursements, conference travel expenses, leave approvals etc.

There’s a better way with Electronic Approval Workflows from frevvo. You can dramatically reduce this paperwork, free up time & resources to focus on students and help the environment. Watch this short video (less than 100 sec) to see how.

If you want to save money, help the environment and make life easier for everyone, visit our web site to learn more and get started for free.

Posted in Approval Process, Forms, Google Apps for Education, Google for Work, Green Schools, k-12, Paperless Schools, Workflows

Paperless Field Trips – Infographic

Paperless Field Trips
Click the image to enlarge

Field trips are an invaluable learning tool. But a positive learning experience takes significant planning and execution. One of the painful and expensive aspects is getting the necessary signatures from parents, collecting emergency information, medications and figuring out who can be chaperones.

This wastes paper, time & ultimately money. After getting the necessary approval from the principal/superintendent, teachers must hand out paper documents and forms to students (e.g. here’s Miami-Dade County’s packet of forms) and hope that students will take them home to parents, get them signed and bring them back. Of course, many students forget or they lose the form and teachers must follow up with students and parents.

Automating these parental permissions is easy with frevvo + Google Apps. It boils down to a few simple steps.

Teacher:

  1. Create a folder in Google Drive and a spreadsheet with student info.
  2. In the frevvo form, enter field trip details. frevvo will retrieve the list of students and automatically send an email to each parent with field trip details and a link to a permission form.

Parents:

  1. Click the link, review information, sign electronically and submit.
  2. If you would like to chaperone, check the box and verify information.

Teacher:

  1. The list of students and chaperones is in the spreadsheet. View it anytime!
  2. frevvo will send reminders to parents who have not yet signed. No need to chase students down.

It’s fast, easy & affordable. Check out the infographic at right and if you like what you see, visit our web site or contact us for more information.

Posted in Approval Process, Forms, Google Apps for Education, Google for Work, Green Schools, k-12, Mobile, Paperless Schools, Workflows

Green Schools – what YOU can do today!!

There’s no doubt that green schools save taxpayers money. But green buildings and iPads are expensive, multi-year efforts.

Reducing paper use is one of the quickest and most budget-friendly paths to a green school. Electronic textbooks and assignments are important but schools also use mountains of paper for simple, day-to-day activities like parental consent, field trip chaperone lists and various staff approvals (conference, leave etc.). For example, Miami-Dade County has 2350 (!!) active forms. The majority of these need to be signed and will end up being printed on paper and stashed in filing cabinets for years. And, they’re not alone! The California Integrated Waste Management Board estimates that 47% of school waste is paper.

General Permission (Spanish)
General permissions form in Spanish – generates PDFs in English & Spanish and uploads them to Google Drive.

With frevvo, replacing these paper/PDF forms and workflows with fully electronic versions is fast, easy and affordable. We’ve already built many of these and they’re super easy to customize to fit your unique needs. They can be signed electronically, routed to the proper person(s) and used on mobile. When completed, they can generate documents that can be saved to Google Drive or to a document management system.

Reduce paper and save the trees – one form at a time. YOUR school can do it too. Contact us to learn how.

Posted in Approval Process, Forms, Google Apps for Business, Google Apps for Education, Google for Work, Mobile, Usability, Workflows

Run YOUR business from your phone

Salesforce.com’s CEO claims that he runs his entire business from his phone. We all have smart phones and use cloud services extensively yet how many of us can run even part of our business from a phone?

The problem is that every organization still has those pesky enterprise workflows. The things we must do day in and day out – sign sales orders, approve purchase requisitions, refer patients, on-board employee and so on. Usually, this means printing, signing and scanning – a long, long way from running your business on your phone.

With frevvo, you can take a big step in this direction easily. Everything just works automatically on mobile. Check out the short video below.

Of course, your organization is unique so we’ve made it super easy to customize the forms and workflows to suit your needs. It’s all in the cloud and frevvo is affordable, pay-as-you-go with no long-term commitments.

Give it a shot to see how easy it is. You really could be running YOUR business on your smart phone sooner than you think.