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Dr 401k
Currently Being Moderated

"Must Have" Enhancements

Nov 25, 2011 4:23 PM

Tags: #attachments #limitations #embed #validation #conditional #feature_completed #logic

I am reasonably pleased with the general capabilities of FormsCentral, but some relatively minor enhancements would go a long way to improving functionality and delivering greater end-user value.  Here are some suggestions:

 

1) Form Field Limitations - Simply providing data types (ex. text, numeric, date, drop-down, multi-list, etc.) is inadequate.  The system should be enhanced so a form author could restrict the range of possible responses.  Example: restrict text fields to X characters, restrict numeric to < or > values, restrict dates to < or > values, restrict the "other" option in multi-list options to numeric or text fields.

 

2) Logical Data Validation - The system should be enhanced so a form author could build conditions for logical data inacuracies to be flagged before the form is submitted. Examples: Field "A" must be less than field "B", Field "C" is required if Field "D" is not null, Field "D" must be null if Field "E" is not null.

 

3) Conditional Routing - The system should be enhanced to support conditional form routing.  Example: if the response to field 1 = YES, then display field 1.1, otherwise display 1.2.  This enhancement should also be supported through pagination routing. Example: if the responses to fields 3, 4, and 5 = X, then go to page 2, otherwise, go to page 3.

 

4) Alerts / Notifications - The system should be enhanced so alerts are sent to the form author or other identified individual when a form is submitted.  In addition, the system should be enhanced so the form author could provide automated confirmation to the form submitter.

 

5) Embedded URLs - The system should be capable of supporting embedded URLs within data fields so the form author could create off page references to additional information or data.

 

6) Upload Attachment Fields - The system should be capable of supporting a file upload field so the form author could enable the user to upload files of a certain type (ex. PDF scan)

 

I hope this is helpful and I would welcome an opportunity to share more ideas with the development team.

 

Best,

 

Dr. 401(k)

 
Replies
  • Randy Swineford
    2,340 posts
    Mar 7, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 16, 2011 3:36 PM   in reply to Dr 401k

    Thank you for the feedback. We are actively working on several of these and all of them have been voiced by other users. We will be adding features on a continous basis over the next few months and we'll alert users of new features added. Please keep the feedback coming...

     

    Randy

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 18, 2011 12:29 PM   in reply to Dr 401k

    Is there going to be the ability to set images as the entire background then construct the form on top of it? Having plain colours like its '99 isn't really useful for people like myself designing in fashion. The way it decides to shrink images and pixelate them is quite annoying. My company would take the yearly subscription out no problem if this issue is addressed along with notifications and uploading abilities.

     
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  • Randy Swineford
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    Mar 7, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 18, 2011 1:36 PM   in reply to james595832

    There is somewhat of a workaround for the background image. You can set the background color as none in the form and then embed the form on your website that has the background image. That may not meet your needs (and is a little "hacky") but I wanted to point that out.

     

    Thank you for the feedback

     

    Randy

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 5, 2011 7:10 AM   in reply to Dr 401k

    I endorse all of these requests. I'd add that it would be useful to have an option to allow a user to re-edit a form. Longer forms (more than one page) are sometimes partly completed or need revision by users. It would be useful to give the user a URL where she/he could revisit their entries at a later date.

     

    Best,

     

    Peter

     
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  • Randy Swineford
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    Mar 7, 2011
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    Jun 5, 2011 12:42 PM   in reply to pwgallagher

    Peter,

    Thank you for the feedback. Could you elaborate on your use case a little bit? What types of forms are you working with? It really helps us to understand what real people are doing when we design features otherwise we might miss the target.

    Thanks,

    Randy

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 5, 2011 2:34 PM   in reply to Randy Swineford

    Hi Randy,

     

    Sure. I'm testing the use of an Adobe on-line form as a means to guide clinical researchers though the drafting of a brief document (500-600 words, maximum) that explains the purpose of a research project to potential participants.

     

    Reseachers must provide this information when they are enrolling participants in clinical trials. But they often come up with very long, complicated explanations that the potential participants find hard to understand.

     

    The form I am testing requires a researcher to complete some dozen or so multi-line text fields (and provide some identifying information). The presentation of the form includes directions and suggestions beside each entry-field to help the researcher summarize her/his ideas and proposals in simple language.

     

    I will collect the form data at the back-end and create the actual document required by the Hospital/Institution where the research will be conducted. I will email this document back to the researcher to verify. But I'm sure, once they see it on the page, many of them will want to make changes to the information. The only way to do that, at present, is to start over again with an empty form.

     

    I'm happy to share the design with you in case that is of interest. I'll include the details in a private message.


    Best,

     

    Peter

     
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  • Randy Swineford
    2,340 posts
    Mar 7, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 28, 2011 6:59 AM   in reply to Dr 401k

     

    I wanted to give you an update of how we are proceeding with your list of enhancement.

     

    For #3, we just added question skip logic which allows you to show/hide one or more fields based on an answer to a previous question. We also added page skip logic (aka page branching) about a month ago. These features can be found on the property field UI associated with each field (select a field and you will see it)

     

    For #4, we now support email notifications. You or anyone the form file is shared with has the option to receive an email notification whenever a respondent fills out and submits a form. Optionally the email notification can include a summary of the response data. The notification option can be found on the “Distribute” tab.

     

     

    These features are available to Basic and Plus users.

     

    Please try them out and give us your feedback.

     

    Thanks,

    Randy

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 2, 2011 9:20 AM   in reply to Dr 401k

    We've requested the URL embed as well, but as we get further into the tool we have more requests that may actually become gating issues of using this tool--which we love, by the way, and hope to be able to implement.

     

    1. Cookie-based form bypass.  We use gating web forms to gate some content on our site, but don't want to be obtrusive to people who have already filled out that form to pass that gate.  Without cookie-based form bypass we would have to ask them to fill out a form every time they access this special content.

     

    2. Immediate redirect or the ability to embed analytics code in thank-you page.  It's imperitive we are able to track form conversion with analytics code.  Current state we can redirect to our own thank-you page but will likely lose that traffic during the minimum 5-second delay.  We're looking into the possibility of creating a workaround on this issue using embedded form and the help of our web team, but the glory of Adobe Forms is the UI allows a communications department take ownership over web forms without having to engage web teams.  The inability to handle analytics on our own negates that benefit.

     

    Still testing--again love Adobe Forms and hope Adobe puts more resources on development here because I think you're sitting on a goldmine, but at current it's not likely we can implement.

     

    Thanks,
    Mandy

     
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  • Randy Swineford
    2,340 posts
    Mar 7, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 27, 2011 9:41 PM   in reply to Randy Swineford

    Just to follow-up on #4 above. We now support sending an email receipt to the form filler after they submit the form. The e-mail receipt contains a customized message and all of the data the form filler submitted. They can print or archive the e-mail. I provided more detail here: http://forums.adobe.com/message/3994617

     

    Please tell us what you think of the new feature.

     

    Randy

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 2, 2011 4:57 PM   in reply to Dr 401k

    I'm in the middle of a website redesign and have just enrolled in FormsCentral to manage all the forms. I chose the biggest form to do first and, on the whole, it worked very well but there was one killer problem: applicants need to submit a photo (it's an audition form) and there's no way to upload one. I can imagine a 'Browse' function that only allows JPEGs to be attached - that would solve this problem. I may have to leave that one form as a print-out-and-post (ouch!) system.

    Other ideas:

    • Tables in formatted text - to help display helpful instructions with a bit of layout
    • Tables submission format - to allow form-fillers to 'fill in the blanks' in partially provided data tables - very flexible if you can choose each cell to be any of the other available data/label format
    • UK Date Format option - I cringe at the US format because the UK one is hoplessly imprinted in my brain, along with many fellow form-fillers over here. It's good that I can type 1/5/2011 rather than use the picker, but that's the first of May to me!
    • Ordinal tick boxes, as used by perferential voting systems - The original form had a 'tick or number in order of preference' question. I got around it, but my solution allowed nonsense answers that the paper form easily didn't
    • Before/After label/tick options - I sometimes find it more logical to put the tick box to the right of its label and right justify the whole thing

     

    The images one is defintely the big one.

    The UK date format is defintely the easy fix I'd wish for ASAP.

     

    Many thanks.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 2, 2011 5:04 PM   in reply to Pebblesculpt

    Oh I forgot...

     

    I'd really like to be able to e-mail resposes to 'Contributors' as well as 'Co-Authors' - the people dealing with the responses here are most defintely not the people who will be deploying the forms and linking/embedding them in the website.

    Thanks.

     
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  • Randy Swineford
    2,340 posts
    Mar 7, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 2, 2011 9:28 PM   in reply to Pebblesculpt

    We do have your top request covered. We are working on supporting file uploads/attachment for forms as we speak.... It should be available in early December.

     

    I'm not sure I understand the issue you are bringing up in your second post. Contributors can receive email notifications when a respondents fills out the form, just like a co-author.

     

    Thanks for your feedback on the other items!

     

    Randy

     
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  • Randy Swineford
    2,340 posts
    Mar 7, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 8, 2011 8:57 PM   in reply to Dr 401k

    We are making good progress on your list. We've just added support for attachments in our latest release (12/5/2011). You can read more about the feature here:

    http://forums.adobe.com/thread/934728

     

    We also now support field validation for text, multi-choice and date fields. You can set a minimum and maximum value for these field types.

     

    Please try them out and give us your feedback.

     

    Randy

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 3, 2012 11:06 AM   in reply to Dr 401k

    Logical Data Validation

    This is key for my application.  I have about 100 fields, spread over 12 pages.  The page logic is working for me. The field logic, in dividually, is working to hide/show fields based on other fields. (There are some limitations, such as needing something more than "Any" and "All" -- how about Boolean operators between conditions?)

     

    But what I really need is for the form to check itself for completeness and consistency before the user is allowed to Submit.

     

    Any progress on this?

    Any tool which can be used alongside FormsCentral to do this?

     

    Can I e-mail the 'completed' form to a mail server, and then post-process the form there? I would have to notify (Reply) to the sender that their form is incomplete. This is not an optimum solution, as it dirties the responses database with incomplete information.

     

    Thx for an otherwise very useful tool.

     
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  • Randy Swineford
    2,340 posts
    Mar 7, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 4, 2012 12:53 PM   in reply to RedBaron2012

    Could you describe in more detail what you mean by "completeness and consistency"? What kind of data validation would you want? Can you provide examples?

     

    Thanks,

    Randy

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 6, 2012 12:48 PM   in reply to Randy Swineford

    1. Completeness

    a. There are cases where some fields are required to be filled in, but only on the basis of other field values.

    b. Other than "required" for a field, there are fields such as phone numbers which need a specific format. If there is no specific field type for that, then the text beside the field will indicate "Use nnn-nnn-nnnn format", but then some piece of software needs to verify the field format. I don't want to do this on the server after the form is submitted.

    c. If I enter a number in one field, such as "Number of input ports on your device?", then I need to make the form provide entry data for that number of input ports. For a "one port" device, the user will enter one set of fields "Color, speed, etc". For a "three port" device, the user will enter one complete set for each port "Color, speed, etc". Even better if the answers to the first port replicated to the others as defaults. {I suppose this is a common request for online shopping forms: if I want to buy 5 T-shirts, one large black and four small white, then the form needs to accommodate this.}

     

    2. Consistency

    a. There are fields whose values depend on the value of other fields. For example, if the user answers "Does your device require 110V or 200V?", but then later answers "Name of your Country?" - and the answers are inconsistent, this should at least create a warning prompt. (This is a simplistic example -- there are other more complex inter-dependencies.)

     

    One tool for consistent form usage, at least by each user, is to have a "User Profile" which is loaded when the user opens the form. It remembers the user's address, country, voltage, preferred T-shirt size, etc. Can FormsCentral do this?

     

    Another tool which would simplify use would be to re-load a previously submitted form. Open an existing form to (a) continue editing before submitting, or (b) use as the starting point for the next Order. Can FormsCentral do this?

     
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  • Randy Swineford
    2,340 posts
    Mar 7, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 6, 2012 3:10 PM   in reply to RedBaron2012

    Thank you, this was extremely helpful. We do not support this level of control yet.

     

    Randy

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 9, 2012 4:45 PM   in reply to Randy Swineford

    After checking around for other methods of building forms (including Adobe Acrobat Professional X, and Microsoft Word forms), I much prefer FormsCentral.

    But there are two "show-stoppers":

    1. No default values can be assigned to fields when building the form. The user has to enter a value into EVERY field.

    2. The user cannot load values into a form's fields from an external file (wuch as a profile or previously-entered form), nor can I find a programmable way to do this.

     

    Please tell me if I've missed some way to to either of the above.

    I would like to use your tool for a 6-10 page, controlled-branching form, to send data to a database and acknowledge back to user (and administrator) by e-mail with data.

     

    Thank you.

     
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  • Randy Swineford
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    Mar 7, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 9, 2012 7:26 PM   in reply to RedBaron2012

    You didn't miss anything. We don't support those 2 features. Thanks for all of your feedback, it has been very helpful
    Randy

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 10, 2012 9:46 AM   in reply to Randy Swineford

    Thanks for the prompt reply.

    I suppose I can handle both requirements in the back end, when the form results arrive at the server.

    I'm no expert there, but I think it could:

    1. Allow many fields to be left blank; then fill in their values with 'defaults'.

    2. Key off of the value of one unique field (such as the user's Name) to complete other fields which would have come from their "profile".

     

    Is there a simple way I can direct the 'completed' form when the user clicks on ""SUBMIT" to the server, and then send the updated form back to the user?

    I suppose this is the same as filling in fields with defaults/profiles, but if I sent an e-mail back to the user with all fields and values displayed, and then asked the user in the e-mail to reply using one URL for "confirm" and another URL for "not correct", then it could work....

     

    This is something like the confirmation e-mail one gets when changing a password in an account. "Please click here to confirm that your password is changed by you."

     

    The e-mail confirmation could be formatted by FormsCentral and made to look professional, and serve as a "printable form", solving another limitation.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 12, 2012 8:49 PM   in reply to Dr 401k

    I'm new to Forms Central and pretty satisfied but my big request is allowing your redirect to open in a new window when embedded in your web site. We are having people use Form Central to make an entry but then they need to pay for the entry via Pay Pal. Pay Pal does not play nice with the embedded form and thus we have to create an added click for our users. Not a huge deal but really makes it seem less intuitive.

     
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  • Randy Swineford
    2,340 posts
    Mar 7, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 13, 2012 10:00 AM   in reply to Kwest1216

    Thanks. The redirect issues has been pointed it in other forums posts and we understand the issue. Just so you know we will be providing a direct integration with PayPal in the coming months also.

    Randy

     
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  • Randy Swineford
    2,340 posts
    Mar 7, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 13, 2012 10:18 PM   in reply to Kwest1216

    FormsCentral now provides the ability to integrate your forms directly with PayPal. In one seamless experience, respondents can fill out the form and pay using a credit card or PayPal account.

     

    You can read this tutorial on enabling Payment Processing to learn more.

     

    We also have created a dedicated community forum Payments to help better support you.

     

    Please tell us what you think.

     

    Randy

     
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  • Randy Swineford
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    Mar 7, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 13, 2012 10:27 PM   in reply to Pebblesculpt

    We just added support for locale specific date, time, number and currency formats. Go to the Options tab and select Locale Formatting. You'll see all of the options there. If something is still missing please tell us and we can try to add in a future release.

    Thanks,

    Randy

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 25, 2012 4:21 PM   in reply to RedBaron2012

    I have not heard back on the question of (1) accepting form input to the server, and then (2) sending a completed form back to the user for "confirmation".

    Thoughts?

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 25, 2012 5:30 PM   in reply to RedBaron2012

    Hi,

     

    By accepting form input to the server, and sending a completed form back to the user for confirmation, are you referring to the following that you wrote above - "Can I e-mail the 'completed' form to a mail server, and then post-process the form there? I would have to notify (Reply) to the sender that their form is incomplete. This is not an optimum solution, as it dirties the responses database with incomplete information."

     

    If so, then sorry, we don't have anything to report at this time.

    If that's not it, can you elaborate which part of the thread you are referring to?

     

    Thanks,

    Todd

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 22, 2012 1:23 PM   in reply to Todd Rein

    I am really disappointed, I purchased a year subscription without know all the facts!  Should have gone into the BLOG first.  Since the system can create a fill-able PDF form, I assumed that you could set default values?  Oh wow, can’t do that!   Couldn’t really do much with the FREE ONE FORM and YEAR Subscription seems reasonable, if it supported standard form requirements.  Doesn’t make me happy right now.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 27, 2012 2:51 PM   in reply to BLHeil

    Must agree with BLHeil. I typically expect the top-notch product from Adobe. Unfortunately, this service seems to be a premature release with a limited toolset. This thread was created over 10 month ago however the enhancements are still few and insignificant. I wish FormsCentral had the toolset similar to jotform dot com. Regretfully, the limitations will cause me to ask for the money-back. Sorry!

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 5, 2012 1:45 AM   in reply to RedBaron2012

    I would LOVE to see some better branching logic in these forms. Please put this on the top of your list, right up there with having more than one field on a row.

     
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