Archiving Form Instance Data

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This topic contains 22 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Dennis @ PerfectForms 5 years, 2 months ago.

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  • #773

    We have an off-premise license of perfectforms and we are using the product for a proposal approval processes. When the process is complete and everyone approves, I would like to archive the form data and file attachments to a local database. I am familiar with software development and API’s. With that in mind, what is the best strategy to do this? I understand the API xml process but haven’t found a lot of information on the GetAsset function and how to download instance file attachments. Thank you.

    #5746

    The only way to access or delete a file attachment is in the instance to which it was attached. PerfectForms does not support migrating or moving attachments. You can use the Connection Agent to programatically write all of the instance data to an outside data source (depending on the type). Here is a link to the page in our help documentation regarding the Connection Agent: http://www.perfectforms.com/Documentation/manual/html/?lookup_agent.htm

    #5747

    Just to clarify, by “all of the instance data” you are referring to all of the data except that of the file attachments associate with the instance, correct?

    If that is the case, I would like to ask Perfectforms to add this feature to their product. Having a way to programmatically save all instance data (files included) is a very important and, what I would consider, basic feature.

    Again, is there ANY strategy or workaround to this issue?

    #5748

    Yes, I was referring to all form data except attachments. Attachments CAN be transferred but the filename will not transfer with it. You will see that there is an attachment, but not what it is.

    What type of database are you populating?

    #5749

    Dennis,

    Thank you. I was going to use MySQL but MSSQL is also an option. To be honest, it could be a flat file as we don’t have many proposal submissions a year. The idea is that we want a complete local copy of the form instances with all of the field data and the files that were attached to it. The actual file is the proposal submission and is the most important piece. The form is simply the metadata surrounding the workflow (i.e. updates and comments from the different decision makers and their approval, disapproval of the proposal). Again, is there not a way to get the complete form instance information?

    Thanks,

    Mike

    #5750

    On a related note, how can you see that there is an attachment? I’m able to go through the Visual Studio’s demo and see field data in a table but when I try to show an attachment field, no column shows up. Regular data fields do but not attachment fields.

    Also, I got a form to output to PDF using the GetFormInstancePDF (very cool!). The name of the file is on that PDF form. I also noticed that there is a GetAsset method available but it doesn’t say what the assetID is supposed to be or how to retrieve it. I used the GetFormInstanceData method and got some xml that had weird ID strings and no values associated with the file attachments. Is there a way to use the methods to return the right assetID so I can use the GetAsset method to download the files I need?

    #5751

    Using the Connection Agent you can programmatically write all instance data to a SQL DB table.

    #5752

    When making database connections using the connection agent, can you pass file attachment values in the send parameters section of the action so that I can store the files in the database?

    And from my previous post: Is there a way to use the methods to return the right assetID so I can use the GetAsset method to download the files I need? What are get and set asset methods supposed to be used for?

    #5753

    There is no way to transfer the name of an attachment file with the attachment unless you force the user to put in a separate field.

    Workflow software, Process software, Procedure software

    #6111

    robert.taylor
    Participant

    So, how is GetFormInstancePDF called? I have set up a new action under the Server API connection, but I only get back GetFormInstancePDFResult (which is always 7) and tokenOut, but never a pdf element.

    If I auto-complete the return parameters, the base64Binary pdf element is not added.

    I am elated that the call to the web service is working, but I can make use of it.

    #6112

    robert.taylor
    Participant

    Hmmm, perhaps I need to use my key to get a token first?

    #6114

    Please see our help guide regarding API security. http://www.perfectforms.com/Documentation/manual/html/?security_tokens.htm. You are correct, you must first obtain a token.

    Workflow software, Process software, Procedure software

    #6117

    robert.taylor
    Participant

    Thanks. So, I have this working and generating subsequent tokenOut’s as it should, but I am still getting a 7 return code, meaning “invalid parameters”.

    What are legal values for section, appendixWidthInches and appendixHeightInches?

    #6118

    This is the relevant section of the help guide: http://www.perfectforms.com/Documentation/manual/html/?fg_getforminstancepdf.htm

    • appendixWidthInches – This is the width of a PDF page, in inches. This can be whatever value to which the form has been created.

    • appendixHeightInches – This is the height of a PDF page, in inches. This can be whatever value to which the form has been created.

    • section – This allows for generating different parts of form. Possible values:

    o complete – (default value), generates form pages along with appendix pages

    o form – generates only form pages

    o appendix – generates only appendix pages

    o separate – generates two separate files, one for form pages and one form appendix pages

    Workflow software, Process software, Procedure software

    #6119

    robert.taylor
    Participant
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