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What's new in OpenForms


Current focus

We will soon be revealing a new template library feature in OpenForms, which gives authors a quick and easy way to create new forms based on our templates provided. 

Another new payment gateway for the US is on its way - Paymentus. This has been delayed, but we're actively working with the Paymentus team on building out this gateway. 

Sunsetting older integrations

Since June 2023, we began sunsetting versions 1, 2 and 3 data connections or OpenForms API keys in OpenForms so developers can no longer create them. Existing data connections and API keys using these older versions will keep working for now, but we have ended support for them in December 2023.

We anticipate fully disabling those integration versions towards the end of June 2024, at which point they'll stop working entirely. 

If you're using older versions now, you'll need to update your data connections, API keys, and middleware to version 4 (or later) by June 2024 to avoid interruptions.

For those affected, we have reached out to key contacts in your organization but if you want to talk further, get in touch with our support staff.  

Connecting more of the Granicus platform

In 2024 we'll be integrating OpenForms with govDelivery, Granicus' communications product. If you already have govDelivery and OpenForms you'll be able to collect new subscribers to your mailing lists directly in your forms. Get in touch if you're interested in learning more about govDelivery.

Reach out, get involved

If you're interested in getting involved in any of the above or telling us how to best serve your needs, reach out. We're always excited to develop features in consultation with our customers.


30 APRIL, 2024

This release contains several long-awaited upgrades to OpenForms, providing better user experience and security for our customers. Included are upgrades to form builder capability and email size limit, a new payment integration for Stripe as well as multiple bug fixes and feature improvements.

Easily build calculation formula, smart logic rules and date field based on today's date

Form authors can now reference "today" in Form Builder when:

  • Using date functions within Calculation fields e.g. dateDiff ('31 Dec 2024', today)
  • Showing or hiding fields with Smart Logic by comparing today with other dates using the "is before", "is after" or "=" operator
  • Setting a date or date range for a Date field

This new capability will both simplify and expand a form author's ability to build forms that require today's date to be captured dynamically when a respondent loads the form, which is then used to drive logic and behavior within the form.

For consistency, OpenForms recognizes today's date based on the organization's time zone, instead of the respondent's browser/device time zone.

Increased email sending size

The size limit for email notifications sent from OpenForms (to respondents or staff) has been upgraded from 10MB to 40MB. This limit applies to the email content plus any attached files.

The new 40MB limit will benefit customers who use OpenForms to send email notifications with larger attachments, making it easier for recipients to access attachments directly within the email instead of needing to click a link to another page to view the attachment.

New Stripe payment gateway connector

A new Stripe payment gateway connector is now available for use within OpenForms, and is recommended for all customers who process payments on their forms using Stripe.

This replaces the legacy Stripe connector that used older version of Stripe APIs and required customers to adjust their Stripe account settings to enable encrypted card numbers to pass through OpenForms.

The new Stripe connector now redirects users to a Stripe-hosted page that securely collects payment information, ensuring that sensitive card numbers do not pass through OpenForms server. This brings OpenForms in line with Stripe's latest APIs, providing improved security and fraud protection for our customers.

Stripe tiles icon.png

To upgrade the Stripe payment connector on your form, see how you can set up a new Stripe connector and update the connector on your existing forms.

Continuous improvements and fixes 

Form builder

  • When there is a hidden repeatable group in form, respondent can now submit (or progress to next section) without any issue.
  • Support form accessibility by ensuring fields are highlighted and focused correctly when respondent tabs through using keyboard.
  • Picking a form's deactivation date using calendar widget in Form General settings now populates the Date field correctly.
  • Custom CSS class added to Standard Group or Repeatable Group fields are now placed in the form's HTML.
  • Email notification when respondent saves a response now shows the verified sender details as configured in the Form Response settings.
  • Save Progress link now works for forms containing Content field that displays piping from a group.
  • Timeout issue when deleting some forms is now resolved.


  • When adding email notification for the final transition, additional emails must not be blank (since there are no further reviewers to notify).


  • Sharepoint Connector settings: Dropdown list for Sharepoint sites, lists and document libraries are now sorted in alphabetical order.

Admin function

  • Some customers had trouble updating their organization timezone setting in OpenForms, this is now working.
  • When Admin saves a User account without any changes, success message no longer indicates email was sent to the User.
  • Improved error message when Admin tries to update or deactivate OpenForms user synched from OpenCities.


27 FEBRUARY, 2024

We couldn't wait any longer to get yet another feature release into OpenForms, even though we had one just go out in January. This time we turned our attention to a solution that gives administrators the ability to guide the governance of content and configuration of any new forms that are created in their organization. That's not all though, we've also squashed some more bugs and implemented further enhancements to existing features. Read on to learn more about all the inclusions in this release.

Introducing Organization Defaults

Available on current (non-legacy) Enterprise subscriptions. Not sure what subscription you're on? Reach out today.

If you could create a central mind for your authors so that each and every form created by any one of them uses a consistent theme, tone of voice, and content for emails and messages, we're sure you would have done that already...

However, a hive mind is something us humans haven't quite got the hang of yet. Not to worry, we've created the next best thing with our new Organization Defaults feature.

Screenshot showing the list of sections in the new Organization Defaults area of OpenForms Admin interface  

How it works

Use these settings to define many of the form settings so that your authors don't have to. Remove the repetitive tasks from authors while gaining consistency across your forms. Admin staff can configure many of the fields that you typically find in the form Settings tab, such as the written language selection, theme selection, staff email notification and respondent email notification, just to name a few.

When an author goes to create a new form from scratch it will use whatever the latest settings are.

While we were creating this new area of the Admin settings we moved the "Buttons, text & messages" page in here as well. This page works a little differently to the rest of the Organization Defaults. Any changes to the buttons, text and messages will filter down to all forms, while the rest of the default settings will only affect newly created forms.

Continuous improvements and fixes


  • Previously, smart logic transitions that link to final steps and triggered email notifications were limited to being sent to Respondents plus additional email addresses. Now you will be able to write emails that only go to Respondents and/or only go to additional email addresses. The radio button option for sending to reviewers has been enabled so that you can select it when required.
  • The above change has also been updated for standard transitions.
  • We've refined the performance of the Workflow builder when loading, saving and publishing from the Workflow tab.


  • A new v4 API endpoint has been introduced that allows the developer to choose the file type from a set list of options when retrieving the image file of a signature field. Originally this was limited to the SVG file type.
  • The Microsoft SharePoint Connector was previously not loading all sites from the linked SharePoint instance. This has been updated to load the file list now. Customers with a large number of sites may need to wait longer for the list to load as we are limited by the speed at which the Microsoft API gives us the list each time.


  • The architecture of the Admin area has been split into two categories for ease of readability and navigation. All the pages are still there, just reorganised into a more logical order.
  • The email address used to send saved response reminders will always use the latest configured email address from the form. Previously it was not using the latest address if the response was saved prior to the address being changed by an author.
  • The performance of saving changes to a List that has an extremely large number of items has been improved.
  • When viewing the list of user accounts in the Admin area, the last login date of each user is now visible on the listing. This will make it easier to know if there are old user accounts that can be deactivated if no longer being used by staff.
  • The date range filter on form analytics, form responses and organization insights pages was previously limited to going back only 5 years. This has been updated to now go back to the year 2014 instead.


16 JANUARY, 2024

We've packed a lot into this release so read on to learn all about these fantastic new additions and improvements

  • New Connector: Microsoft SharePoint Lists
  • New Connector: Certified Payments payment gateway (US region only)
  • Workflow: Request Changes from the Respondent - now more configurable
  • Security enhancements: PCI-DSS & Microsoft Azure AD
  • Choose which credit card logos display in your Payment field based on the chosen payment gateway
  • Plus lots more bug fixes and enhancements across both the admin and resident experiences

Get response data to the teams that need it with our new Microsoft SharePoint Connector

Available on current (non-legacy) Enterprise subscriptions. Not sure what subscription you're on? Reach out today.

Graphic illustration of a person putting data into a SharePoint list table

We know your response data doesn’t end its journey in OpenForms. Pothole reports go to maintenance teams, survey results are viewed by managers outside OpenForms, and permits are filed in document storage.

If your organization is one of many that use the Microsoft cloud, OpenForms’ new SharePoint Connector makes it easy to automatically distribute response data to these people and systems.

This means your staff spend more time doing meaningful work, and less time copying, pasting and forwarding data.

How it works

Forms using the SharePoint connector automatically push response data - including file uploads and custom documents - to designated SharePoint lists and document libraries in your organization’s Microsoft cloud. This article will step you through the setup process for configuring the lists, document libraries and your forms.

Once configured, each of your chosen forms sends response data to a SharePoint list as soon as a submission is received or finalized at the end of a workflow.

Leverage Microsoft's tools

SharePoint lists feed data to Microsoft’s extensive library of integrations. Using low-code tools like PowerAutomate, your IT team can automate the distribution of that data throughout your organization.

It's not just about access. Using Microsoft's automation tools, OpenForms responses can do these and so much more:

  • Trigger Teams notifications
  • Generate Salesforce tickets
  • Update management-facing graphs

Recent Workflow release now more configurable

In early October 2023 we released a new feature as part of Workflow for our non-legacy Enterprise subscriptions that allows you to request changes from a respondent after they've submitted their form, keeping all their original data and new changes all together in the one form response.

Now that you've had a chance to start using this ability, we've made it more flexible and configurable so that it can fit even better into your business processes. You'll be able to:

  • Enable/Disable this feature per form that is using Workflow
  • Edit the templates for emails that are sent to the Respondent for their initial notification and information about recalling their response
  • Create new reminder emails for the Respondent to make sure they don't forget to open their form and make the changes you've requested of them.
  • Get updated response data via the API and Data Connections
  • Pipe office-use-only fields into the form display in case you want to show information to the Respondent that was filled in during the Workflow steps their response already moved through before being sent back for changes.

New US Payment Gateway - Certified Payments

This new gateway will be available for you to use in your forms across the US. If you already have a Certified Payments account you can easily get set up to start taking payments on your forms. Check out the articles for taking payments on your forms and setting up gateways or look for the logos in the Integrations > Connectors Library in OpenForms.

We are supporting the use of the Convenience Fee feature from Certified Payments so that any fees you configure in your account will flow through to the payment field automatically in OpenForms. On the form we will display a confirmation popup to Respondents prior to form submission to inform them of the fee amount and total charge.

Continuous improvements

In addition to general maintenance of our code to keep OpenForms running smoothly and efficiently, we've included these notable fixes for bugs you've found and improvements for existing features and functionality. Here's some you may be interested in:

Security & PCI-DSS compliance updates

  • Following recommendations from Microsoft, we've updated the logout process for staff who use their Azure AD account to access OpenForms. Now you can select which AD account you're logging out of when logging out of OpenForms.
  • When a respondent goes to submit a form we will check if any of the regular fields in the form have collected data that is formatted like a credit/debit card number. If we find any we will stop the submission from happening to reduce the chance that card data is stored in OpenForms. An appropriate message is displayed to the respondent informing them of this and that they should contact the City about this form.

General improvements

  • Esri GIS connector now supports more coordinate systems. If you were having trouble with the Location field always showing a red error when dropping a pin inside a visual boundary instead of showing a successful address entry, this should now be fixed. The supported coordinate systems have the following IDs: 4326, 6576, 26717, 28356.
  • The content of the error message that is displayed to Respondents when we are not able to access their GPS coordinates for our Location field are easier to comprehend and fall more in line with messages they may already see when using websites such as Google Maps.
  • The API key listing page now shows the date that a key was last used to access the API, allowing you to regularly check on which keys are being used and which can safely be deactivated to keep you data secure.
  • Admin staff can now choose which card logos are displayed in the payment field of your form based on the credit card payment gateway being used. By default we'll turn on VISA and MasterCard to be consistent with the existing form display, however now you can choose any of the following simply by updating the settings of your gateway: VISA, MasterCard, Amex, Diners Club, Discover, and JCB.

Bug fixes

  • The list of Reminder emails configured in a Workflow step are now sorted in the correct order in the step builder popup.
  • Editing a form using the Duplicate Section functionality multiple times on sections that have fields which have "daisy-chained" smart logic to control their display was sometimes causing errors when trying to save your changes. This will now save correctly.
  • Using a Data Connection to send data to a field within a Repeatable Group will no longer clear out values from all other fields within that same group.

4 DECEMBER, 2023

An end of year gift from us to you, full of enhancements and fixes throughout OpenForms

In this release will be fixes for bugs you've found and improvements for existing features and functionality. Here's a list of what's included:

Security updates

  • If a staff member has not logged into OpenForms in over 12 months and they are not synced from Azure AD or OpenCities we will send them an email reminding them to set a new password as theirs has been deemed out of date.
  • Javascript entered into text fields by the Respondent that is subsequently piped into the post-submission success message will no longer run. We will continue to run any javascript entered into the success message by the author. However, care should always be taken when doing so.

General improvements

  • Editing variables in Calculation formulas now opens in a pop-up modal instead of an accordion, making it easier to view and edit each variable individually.
  • Admin users can now re-send verification emails to new staff who haven't set up their password yet.

Bug fixes

  • Logo images uploaded in Themes now display with the correct height when the image is larger than 80px tall. No need for additional CSS in your theme to fix this issue.
  • Forms no longer auto-scroll to the top of the form when a website visitor loads a page that has the form embedded.
  • Staff who have their user account swapped from syncing from a connected OpenCities installation to an Azure AD SSO connection should now be able to log in smoothly with their Azure AD account directly in OpenForms. No need to get in touch with the support team to have their user accounts updated by us.

11 OCTOBER, 2023

Get it right the second time with returnable forms

We know that many of you would love to return submitted forms back to respondents so they can clarify or update answers.

But asking your residents to fill out a whole form again to fix a minor error is tiresome for them and you. Meanwhile, the workaround you've told us about shift the burden onto your staff, who need to keep track of updates they've made via phone or email.

OpenForms can save both your residents and staff that time, and help you keep all your response data in one place.

How it all works

Illustration of an example process of returning a form to the respondent for editing and resubmission

If your organization uses Workflows in a current (non-legacy) OpenForms Enterprise subscription, while Reviewers are working through their list in the Review Center they'll be able to ask Respondents to resubmit any responses that need clarification or additional detail, including file upload fields.

Those respondents will be able to re-open their completed form just like a saved response, make the necessary changes and then re-submit the form, all without needing to start from scratch.

If a Reviewer has requested changes from the Respondent but finds that changes are no longer needed, they can recall the response before the Respondent re-submits the form. The response will return straight back to the step in Workflow it was sent from instead of starting from the beginning of the workflow process. We'll also notify the Respondent that their form has been recalled.

We'll be following up before the end of the year with another Workflow update to further enhance this feature, bringing authors the ability to edit the templates for the emails that are sent to the Respondent in each form using Workflow.

If you use Data Connections, we've now introduced a property that will tell you if it is being triggered from a resubmitted form response rather than an original submission.

If you use a Payment field on your forms, a new total may be calculated but transactions will not be performed on resubmission by the Respondent. Any additional charges or refunds will need to be finalised and transacted outside of OpenForms. Reviewers can add internal notes to help log this information with the form response in the Review Center once completed before transitioning the response to a final step.

Not sure what subscription you're on? Reach out today.

That's not all folks

As always we don't just bring you new features in our updates, there's lots of great improvements and bug fixing happening as well. Here's our top picks that have been improved:

  • Filtering the list of responses in your form has been tidied up for Reporters so that searching for responses is a bit easier for text, submission date and receipt number filters. We've also introduced a new filter for Workflow step which will show on forms that have a published Workflow.
  • Version 4 of the WebAPI was missing the buttons, text and messages content from the form details.

  • When creating email snapshots there would occasionally be a javascript error triggered, not any more.

  • When using a wide logo in your form theme it was having some display issues on smaller screen sizes. We've tidied this up to be more readable.
  • Using hidden calculation fields within a repeatable group would sometimes not result in a correct calculation answer. The workaround was to change the calculation field to be visible rather than hidden. This has now been fixed so hidden calculations work correctly again in repeatable groups.
  • Office-use-only groups couldn't be moved up/down the form after they were published. We've updated this so you can move these groups of fields up or down when editing your form again.
  • When using our new Esri ArcGIS connector on a form that was using an old theme version the map would continuously grow in height on the form display. We've stopped this from happening now for those older themes.

6 JUNE, 2023

Validate location answers with Esri ArcGIS


We've improve the experience of location-specific forms with the new Esri ArcGIS connector.

Choose your location data

The Esri ArcGIS connector adds new functionality to the location field, by checking location answers against data in your organisation's Esri ArcGIS account. 

This data can include:

  • Council or city boundaries
  • Service areas
  • Smaller, bespoke lists like recreation areas

How residents benefit

Form authors using the Esri ArcGIS connector can opt to restrict answers to locations in their Esri datasets only.

This means residents from outside your city don't waste their time - and yours - requesting services you can't provide (like bin collection). 


Local residents, meanwhile, can quickly find specific places - like camp sites - by seeing only validated locations when they search.


The connector can even pull visual data like boundaries and points of interest from your Esri ArcGIS account, to help guide respondents. 


What you need to know

As the Esri ArcGIS connector leverages the location field, using it doesn't require extensive changes to existing forms. Once an admin has configured the connector, form authors can select it in their location field to start validating answers.

Admins can configure as many Esri ArcGIS connectors as form authors need, so your forms can cater to a variety of location specific scenarios.

This connector is a powerful enhancement to location-specific forms, available to all organisations on current (non-legacy) OpenForms Enterprise and Teams subscriptions. 

Not sure what subscription you're on? Reach out today.

That's not all

We haven't neglected continuous improvement while working on our headline feature. In addition to building the Esri ArcGIS connector, we've also improved the session timeout experience for all OpenForms users. 

Previously anyone using OpenForms was automatically logged out after 90 minutes of inactivity, without warning. Now, after 75 minutes, users are presented with a warning that they'll be logged out soon and an opportunity to extend their session. If they don't extend, they'll be logged out after 90 minutes as usual. 

As always, we've also been squashing all manner of bugs. Here's a few that some of you previously reached out about:

  • Previously, exported emails (such as .msg files) submitted using the file upload field could not be read by reviewers or reporters. This has been fixed now.

  • Previously, if respondents removed every instance of a repeatable group in a form, that form would crash. This has been fixed.

  • Previously, bulk exports of responses to forms containing snippets were prone to failure. They export successfully now. 

  • Answers to email fields piped into notifications, reminders, and other automated emails could previously contain random, unexplained spaces. No longer. Phew! 

Sunsetting older version of do it yourself integrations

One final update of note, regarding older versions of do-it-yourself integrations:

From December 2023, we will only support version 4 (or later) data connections and OpenForms API keys. 

As of this release, your developers are no longer be able to create version 1, 2, or 3 data connections or OpenForms API keys. 

Existing data connections and API keys using these older versions will keep working for now, but we'll be ending support for them in December 2023.

We anticipate fully phasing those integration versions out in June 2024, at which point they'll stop working entirely. 

If you're using older versions now, you'll need to update your data connections, API keys, and middleware by June 2024 to avoid interruptions.

We will reach out multiple times before then, but if you want to talk further now, get in touch with our support staff. 

20 MAY, 2023

As part of our commitment to continuous improvement, we’ve made updates to OpenForms across the board.

  • We’ve updated how number field values are displayed. In our last major release, we introduced commas to long number values (like 1,234,000) to make them easier to read. Many of you reached out to tell us you're using number fields to collect data like phone numbers and postcodes, so we’ve made that function optional. If you’d like to add commas to number values, you can do so in the field settings for number fields. (It’s on by default for calculations and payment fields).
  • We've improved the answer piping experience when piping content from standard, repeatable, and office use only groups. Those fields are now easier to identify in answer piping dropdowns. We've also made it easier to pipe form content into email subject lines by displaying a dropdown menu as soon as you initiate piping by typing "{{".
  • Repeatable groups that respondents have left unanswered are now piped into custom documents as blank values (previously, placeholder text was piped into these fields).
  • We’ve updated the styling for the default response PDF to make fields like standard and repeatable groups, checkboxes, and matrices easier to read.
  • We’ve tightened up how printable forms work, too. Now if you use lists to populate fields like dropdown, checkboxes or ranks, these will be displayed properly.
  • We’ve changed the styling on text field character limits so if you’re using these, they no longer appear as red text to respondents (which might read as an error on their part). Character limits are now displayed in a more neutral black font.

6 MARCH, 2023

Sign on the dotted line (and more) with office use only groups



At OpenForms, we've always worked hard to move paper-based processes online and bring disparate online processes together.

Now we're taking another major step with office use only groups.

Fully integrated into workflows 

Office use only groups let reviewers complete their own dedicated form fields as responses move through a workflow. 

Reviewer's answers to those fields become part of the responses they've actioned. 

Like all response data, office use only information is:

  • Visible to subsequent reviewers
  • Exportable
  • Ready to pipe into custom documents

Export and archive

To help you archive the data you collect from residents and reviewers, we've also overhauled our bulk export tools.


Now response records - complete with office use only data and custom documents  - are easier than ever to export and archive using the new exports area.

Making sense of numbers

While we've been working on this major feature, we've also made a small adjustment to how OpenForms displays answers to number, payment, and calculation fields.

This numeric data now uses commas to make big numbers like 1,234,567 easier to read when viewing responses (though still hard to count on your fingers).

This is a quality of life visual-only change. Your numeric data is still stored without commas in response data, so calculations and third party connections can work with it just like they always did. 
As always, if you're collecting data like postcodes or phone numbers, it's best to use a text field. This will retain zeros at the start of data like Australian phone numbers, and besides, commas can look a little strange in phone numbers. 

Ready to go?

Office use only groups are a powerful new feature that makes OpenForms even more of a one-stop-shop for managing interactions with your residents and staff.

If you need to:

  • Add a signature to a permit approval
  • Upload additional files to a submitted response
  • Add receipt numbers from other internal systems

Then office use only groups are for you.

Best of all, if your organization is on an up to date Enterprise plan, office use only groups are included in your at no extra cost.

Thinking of upgrading your plan or moving up from a Legacy subscription? Chat with us now about this and other great features in the pipeline for OpenForms Enterprise.

30 JANUARY, 2023

Quality-of-life improvements to OpenForms, focussing on repeatable groups and security. 

Repeatable groups

A highlight of our last major release, repeatable groups are a huge time saver for form authors looking to collect repetitive data. We've made a couple of small improvements to this big new feature.

  • You can now pipe fields from repeatable groups into custom documents just like any other supported field. This means your organization can create branded records of itemized receipts, multiple contact details, and more. 
  • We’ve also increased the character limit for repeatable group labels. We’d previously capped this at 15 characters to keep labels on one line in mobile view. We’ve seen that that’s a bit too short for many scenarios. Now you’ve got 35 characters and two lines in mobile view to play with.


As always, security is front of mind at OpenForms. In addition to our constant back-end improvements and bug-fixes, here's a couple of changes you'll be able to see in-product:

  • We’ve increased the minimum acceptable complexity of new or updated OpenForms passwords.
  • We've given account owners the option to allow OpenForms support staff to access your organisation's responses.

    Access to responses can be useful in a variety of help scenarios, and previously our superstar customer success staff could see these by default. We've now given you the option to allow this as needed. (We'll let you know if we need access).
  • While adding the support access feature, we've taken the opportunity to spruce up the Account > Security page to make other settings easier to understand. 

Bug fixes

We've been squashing bugs with our usual fervour. Here's some of the juicier ones:

  • A change in how Google implemented analytics tags was preventing users from accessing analytics data. You can now access that data again. 
  • Oganizations with lots of workflow data couldn't access the Insights page because of a timeout. They can now view it normally. 
  • Previously, bulk exports of form responses packaged with respondent uploads could result in a database timeout error. This has been fixed. 
  • Occasionally, text in section descriptions would be reformatted as links when form authors saved their work. Section descriptions (accessible in the section field settings) work normally now. 

23 NOVEMBER, 2022

This month, we're introducing a feature that improves the OpenForms author and respondent experience. Say hello to groups


standard (1).png


Groups - available as standard or repeatable types - are a way of collecting fields together. Using groups, form authors can:

  • Apply settings like display logic to all the fields in a group as a whole
  • Move, copy, and delete collections of fields quickly and easily

Think of these as smaller, more flexible sections. (You can nest groups in sections, too).

Groups for all occasions

Standard groups

Standard groups give form authors all the content-organization benefits of sections, in a smaller, more flexible package. Authors can use these to more quickly create great forms by applying detailed settings to multiple fields at a time, and move content around in a flash.

Repeatable groups

Repeatable groups are a game changer for form authors working with repetitive data. When fields are collected together in a repeatable group, OpenForms automatically generates additional copies of that group as the respondent requires.

repeatable (1).png


For form authors, this saves a huge amount of time laying out the individual fields needed to collect repetitive data.

Respondents, meanwhile, get the benefit of forms that are broken up into easier to understand chunks, so long forms are less overwhelming. 

Where groups shine

Standard groups are applicable to any kind of form that your form authors might want to organize more effectively. 

We've designed repeatable groups to make collecting particular types of data so much easier. 

If your forms need to collect these sort of data, repeatable groups are a must have:

  • Multiple contact details (like referees)
  • Itemized expenses
  • Time sheets

What you need to know

Being a change to how fields are organised, groups can have some significant flow-on effects to how forms work. Don't worry - the presence of groups in your OpenForms toolkit doesn't affect how current forms work. But before your organization starts adding groups to forms, it's worth getting across how these interact with features like:

Follow any of the links above to learn how standard and repeatable groups work with these advanced OpenForms features.

11 JULY, 2022

Keeping OpenForms secure and performant with improvements and bug fixes.

Piped content from hidden fields now displays properly 

Previously, data piped from fields set to "always hidden" into other areas of a form - like field labels and content fields - would not be visible to residents in the PDF they can receive after submission. This useful functionality for behind-the-scenes date and numerical calculations (among other things) has now been fixed. Piped data from hidden fields is still visible to respondents as they answer forms, and is now showing in their default response PDF. 

We've clarified what happens when you update a form

Sometimes, a respondent answers a form right at the moment that a form author updates it. This normally results in the respondent being prompted to save their progress and reload the form, so they are answering the most current version of the form without losing their progress. If the form author has disabled the ability for respondents to save their progress, we've removed reference to saving their work. They'll have to reload and start from scratch. 

Security and performance improvements

As always, we've been performing regular security checkups of OpenForms. Our most recent penetration test uncovered some minor areas for improvement around inactivity logouts. In response, we've reduced the window for login expirations when a user is inactive from 3 hours to 1.5. We've also tidied up a couple of cookies and database queries to speed up the admin experience. 

18 MAY, 2022

We’re keeping the OpenForms house in order with some improvements and bug fixes. Some of these are long awaited feature improvements that we’re excited to bring you at last, to help you succeed and serve your residents and staff better.

Feature updates:

  • Ask respondents to confirm their email address to ensure they’ve spelt it correctly. This setting will be available in the settings for the Email field.
  • We’ve tweaked the appearance of Text field settings. It’s been possible for form authors to configure Text fields to appear to respondents as multi-line inputs for a while. This is a great way of suggest an appropriate response length. We’ve noticed not many of you were using this, so we’ve made this setting easier to understand. 

  • Dynamically calculate dates based on information respondents have previously provided. With this enhancement to the Date field, you’ll be able to use a respondent’s answer to a previous date field to dynamically generate additional dates. For example - the date that they’ll be eligible for a booster shot based on when they received their last covid vaccine. Find this feature in the settings for Date fields.

Important bug fixes

  • Previously, paragraph breaks were ignored when piping Text fields into custom documents. (So long responses would be displayed as one long paragraph, even if respondents had broken them up when entering information). This has been fixed now, and text will be piped into documents the way respondents entered it. 
  • The “test” mode for the SecurePay payment gateway works properly now, and we’ve added a “test” mode for eWAY too.

23 MARCH, 2022

We’re rolling out a major improvement to help you integrate OpenForms with the rest of your IT systems. Say hello to the Azure AD connector. 

Azure AD data flow

If your organisation is one of many that uses Microsoft Azure AD to manage staff access to systems like Office365, you'll soon be able to take advantage of Microsoft’s user management and login tools to centralize and streamline the management of OpenForms users. 

Use this premium connector to:

  • Speed up onboarding by automatically creating OpenForms accounts and assigning roles like account owner, admin, and reviewer to any staff members in particular Azure AD user groups.
  • Centralize and automate staff management. As your staff move between positions in your organization, simply move users between Azure AD user groups to seamlessly give them all the OpenForms permissions they need for their job (and none that they don’t). This can even include workspace assignments. When staff move on from your organization, deactivating their profile in Azure AD will automatically deactivate their OpenForms account.
  • Take advantage of Microsoft’s login processes. Once managed through the connector, users login to OpenForms with the same the Microsoft SSO credentials they use for other Azure AD-managed systems in your organization, like Office365. Managed through Azure AD, these credentials support two factor authentication, login auditing, password cycling and more. 

Who this connector is for

If you already use Azure AD to manage an OpenCities site, this connector is included in your Enterprise plan. (You’ll just need to configure it for OpenForms).

For all other organizations, including those on legacy Enterprise plans, contact our customer success team to discuss how this connector can extend and streamline your OpenForms experience.

This is a two-stage release

To lay the groundwork for this connector, we’ve made a few changes to the way OpenForms works. 

The following updates are live as of March 23, 2022.

  • Organizations can now have multiple account owners. These high-level users will retain their previous permissions, and gain the ability to assign OpenForms roles to Azure AD user groups through the connector. We'll also be updating how billing notifications work: invoices and receipts will be sent to all of your organization's account owners, but in the event of any issues, we'll reach out to a primary billing contact.
  • We’ve improved workspace administration. We’ve tightened up workspace settings to be easier to use and more consistent with the rest of OpenForms. Workspace admins will automatically gain author and reporter access to forms in their workspaces, just like they do elsewhere in OpenForms. (Don’t worry, you can still fine-tune access to sensitive responses with form-level permissions). Once the Azure AD connector goes live, you’ll be able to add Azure AD user groups to workspaces as well.
  • We’ve updated how user quotas work. Just a heads up - it will be possible to exceed your user quota with external user management systems like Azure AD. We’ve made sure you can still access mission-critical tools like response exports and review workflows in the event that this happens. 
  • Character limits are communicated to respondents. If you've set a character limit for a text field, OpenForms will now show and dynamically update that limit as respondents fill out your form, so they always know how many characters they have to work with. 
  • Duplicate individual fields. Previously, when using the form builder, you could only duplicate whole sections of your form. Now you can duplicate individual fields, too. 
  • Filter users by role and status. We've updated the user listing to make it easier to search large organizations. 

Shortly after release, once we've ticked off a final checklist with Microsoft, the Azure AD connector itself will go live.

We’ll let you know when you can start taking advantage of this powerful new feature, but in the meantime, why not familiarize yourself with how the Azure AD connector works so you can plan your implementation with your IT team and hit the ground running.

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