Version Control Made Easy For Forms and Reports

Thursday, August 11th, 2016 by titanseo

Hello PerfectForms Community,
Have you ever needed to make a change to a form after it was published? With PerfectForms, you have the ability to make changes without affecting the live version and publish new versions without invalidating previously published versions. Today we will be discussing utilizing the Version interface within PerfectForms to continuously edit and publish your workflow application.
Before getting started we will explain the Version interface. To access these features click on any form or report from the dashboard, you will then see the following:
version 1
Within the Version section will be a set of options; Latest, Published, and Draft.
          • Latest – Used to access the last published or saved form design
          • Published – Used indicate you would like to select a previously published form design
          • Draft – Used to indicate you would like to select a saved form design that was not published
The ability to use a published or draft version is only made available after the form has been published and/or saved more than once. By selecting Published or Draft a corresponding drop down will become available. This dropdown is used to select the version numbers that are created while designing and publishing your form. Published versions will be indicated by whole numbers while Draft versions use fractions. To open a previously published version of the form simply perform the following steps:
          • Click Published
          • Select a version number
          • Select Design
The steps to open a Draft are mostly similar:
          • Click Draft
          • Select a version number
          • Select Design
If you would like to revert to a previous version you simply need to select the version you desire, click Design, then click Save As a New Version. At this point, you will either be able to make changes or publish the copy. When reverting back to a previous version it is important to keep in mind that any changes made after the selected version number will be lost.
As with any technology thorough testing is key to a successful launch. Testing your form holistically becomes easy by creating an alternate form from your completed work and publishing it. This will allow you to run through your process as your end user would without negatively affecting the active form. In order to test a published copy without affecting the live version please follow the next steps:
          1. Open your unpublished copy to the Designer
          2. Click File
          3. Click Save As New Form
          4. From here you can point all the notifications to your email of choice
          5. Save the design
          6. Click Publish
Once you have completed the steps you can run through a battery of tests without fear of impacting the active version.
Tip: While editing a form you must refrain from deleting fields you no longer need. This will cause data loss or other data related issues. If there is a field you are done with simply set the field to Hidden and move them out of the way.
Now that you know how to use versions you should be able to successfully and safely test your forms. By using versions you are easily able to test and improve the overall quality of your forms. If you have any additional questions feel free to post them in the comments below and I will try to answer as soon as possible.
Thanks for reading, and happy form building.

Dashboards: Easy to build, easier to use.

Friday, May 13th, 2016 by titanseo

Hello PerfectForms Community,
Today I would like to share with you the benefits of a custom-built dashboard. By using ‘Reports’, PerfectForms provides the ability to build a functional and informative dashboard that will make your day much easier. ‘Reports’ provide real-time data feedback along with the ability to filter, search, and access form instances. By utilizing a ‘Report’ as a dashboard you can increase efficiency by allowing your users to easily find data and actionable items.
For example, below is a dashboard that could be used to process and view vacation requests:
report as a dashboard
The dashboard above provides a few key elements that can speed up your process such as sorting. By using a ‘Report’ as a dashboard you can organize data by any column. I prefer to sort data by oldest request date to ensure the oldest requests receive the highest priority.
Hint: Applying filters does not affect sort.

We will next discuss the filters used in the dashboard.

          · Approval Dynamic – Will only show the selected approval status.
          · Name Search – Allows the user to isolate a specific requestor by name.
          · Show Only Needs Approval – Isolates only items that still require action.
          · Remove Past Vacations – Eliminates any dates requested that are older than the current date.
          · Clear Filter – Will remove the data to an unfiltered state.
Another element to this dashboard is the ‘Open’ button within the ‘Link’ column. The open button will provide access to the form. This will enable the user to take action or view additional details. If the Workflow of the form is in the approval stage the user of the dashboard can quickly gain access to approve the form and complete the request. Using a dashboard can also benefit workflows that have been completed. Searching for a closed instance to reference is much easier to find with the sort, filter, and search functionality.
By combining these key elements you will be able to empower your users by providing quick access to important data, filtered data feedback, and direct access to your workflow. I hope this information has provided you with some build ideas, thank you for reading and happy form building!