MAY, 18 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.
- 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.
Post submission process improvements
We're actively investigating how to make our post-submission features like response workflow and custom documents even better. Some of the features we're looking at right now are office-use only notes and fields, ways to request information from respondents, and integrating data connections into workflows.
If you're interested in getting involved or telling us how to best serve your needs, reach out. We're always excited to develop features in consultation with our customers.
MARCH 23, 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.
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.
17 FEBRUARY, 2022
As we put the finishing touches on our Microsoft Azure AD connector - due for release this quarter - we’re bringing you some of the little improvements and updates you’ve been calling out for in OpenForms.
Here’s what's new in our 17 February 2022 update:
- An improvement to the accessibility and readability of error messages in your forms. We're making it easier for respondents to distinguish between error, warning, and confirmation messages by adding an icon to error messages.
- We've built prototypes for Esri and Sharepoint integrations and we’d love your feedback! Check out the links below to learn more:
- The date and time in submission details should now match the selected timezone for your organization. Previously, a small handful of locations were still using the system timezone, causing particular confusion in emails.
- The button to generate a link for printable PDFs of a form now works properly.
We've also continued to put work into improving the security, performance and usability of OpenForms along with many other minor fixes and improvements to keep everything running smoothly.
6 DECEMBER, 2021
We've been hard at work rebuilding the connectors area to make it easier to do more with OpenForms. Say hello to the integrations area.
Here you'll find our new connectors library: a searchable, filterable gallery of ready-made connectors that we'll be continually adding to in upcoming releases.
Each connector in the library now includes a list of features and a setup guide so you know exactly how they extend OpenForms.
This release we've added a new payment gateway for all clients - Authorize.net.
As always, we've included continuous improvements across the board. Check out the list below.
- round() A new function for the Calculation field to help round values up or down depending on the number of decimal places you need. We still have the roundup() and rounddown() functions available too
- Performance improvements when respondents are filling out large forms that use smart logic
- Security enhancements for Location fields and the antivirus scanner used for checking files uploaded by respondents
- The verification process for email addresses used to send mail from OpenForms to staff an respondents has been revised with a two-step process to improve the security of email use.
You'll also notice when setting up a new form that you can select from a drop-down of pre-approved addresses within your organization that already in use in other forms, ensuring spelling mistakes are a thing of the past.
- Custom Documents now handle SVG files properly, Signature fields no work correctly again and text styles applied to fields in templates are now kept when generating files
- When submitting a form in Test mode, the redirection on form submit will now work correctly instead of resulting in a blank iframe
- Data Connections triggered on drop-down and radio button fields using the "Other" option will now correctly re-trigger when the respondent interacts with the textbox to type their 'other' option, similar to triggering on any other textbox field
18 AUGUST, 2021
Over the past couple of months, we've been working to bring you a range of improvements across the display and building experience of OpenForms.
Checkbox and radio-button matrix fields now have flexible column widths so that content isn't squashed into narrow spaces and words don't break in the middle. Learn more about how you can then create graphs and analyse form responses using Microsoft Excel, even for complex fields such as checkbox, rank and matrix fields.
The Save, Back and Continue/Submit buttons are much more responsive to empty space when the Save option isn't enabled on your forms and have a few accessibility bonuses built in as well
The buttons are now much more accessible to users, especially on mobile devices which have smaller screens.
- The tabbing order has been updated to focus on the Continue/Submit button first as this is the most common action
- When the Save button isn't showing on your form there won't be a gap left behind between the Continue/Submit and Back buttons
The matrix fields and button changes described above mightn't work with custom CSS if you’ve been adjusting the appearance of matrix fields or buttons yourself, so to reduce the risk of unexpected styling changes, we’re introducing these changes in a new version of the base OpenForms theme that custom themes are built on.
Any of your themes that utilize CSS or an external CSS stylesheet will be kept on the previous base theme for now, while all other themes will be updated to receive our latest style and accessibility improvements.
When you're ready, you can update your themes to use the latest base theme after you've tested out your CSS and defused any style conflicts. We'll highlight the themes in your account that need your attention.
We’ve introduced a view toggle to the dashboard forms listing. Now you can toggle between the current full detail view of your forms, and a slimmed-down view displaying only the most important information.
We’ve gone over the form builder, admin, and connectors areas to tighten up their styling and make it easier for users to interact with certain components.
- Adding sections to a form is now even easier - simply drag and drop sections to your desired position instead of adding to the bottom of a form.
- We’ve improved the behaviour of collapsed sections (useful when navigating very long forms). Now they stay collapsed when you click save, but re-open automatically if you leave the form and come back.
- As of this update, you can quickly assign bold, italic and underline styles or add/edit a link in the WYSIWYG editor (as seen in content fields and elsewhere) by using the standard Windows or Mac keyboard shortcuts.
- The save and publish process for complex, long forms has been improved to ensure form version issues don't occur
- Saving form settings is now much faster as you edit and save each section as you go instead of saving the full form on every click
Building workflows and custom documents
Submission date and time information, and when a form entered a workflow step can now be piped into reminder notifications
The date and time a form response was submitted is now available in all email templates, including those in form settings. Check out more details on piping
Location fields can now be mapped to custom document templates. Learn more about mapping your templates
We've fixed an issue with payment and calculation fields that are set to output as currency - they will now output with the correct (two) decimal places. You'll see $10.50 instead of $10.5
For developers building integrations
A new version of Data Connections is now available, bringing the JSON format more in line with our Web API output, keeping everything consistent
The Web API has a small enhancement to now include the external ID that is configured on form fields when retrieving form response data
2 MAY, 2021
We're working hard to help you go beyond our default response PDF and present form data the way you need it. With custom documents you can generate official records and other documents automatically from OpenForms responses.
Use this feature to pipe data straight into documents like tax receipts, permit certificates, and standardized letters – or match the layout of paper forms to file away paper and online submissions together.
Custom documents are generated automatically when they're attached to response and workflow emails, so the people that need these official records get them when they need them.
Ready to start creating custom documents? Watch our training webinar to get started.
30 MARCH, 2021
We're rolling out some improvements to help you keep track of how you are utilizing the value of your plan. You can can see how many forms you can publish and drill down to other inclusions and features of your plan.
We're also rolling out more optimized and flexible plan options. If you're interested in getting more value from your OpenForms plan, have a chat to us.
25 FEBRUARY, 2021
We're starting the year by bringing you performance improvements, optimizations and bug fixes. Expect snappier form loading and faster submission times to help respondents jump in and out of forms in no time at all.
8 DECEMBER, 2020
Take advantage of new PDF capabilities in OpenForms
Help your respondents and team move faster than ever with brand-able, clear, and configurable outbound PDFs.
All PDFs sent from OpenForms now benefit from a new look.
This doesn't affect your current forms if you’re happy with your PDFs already, but the update allows you to further control the information included in exported response PDFs, as well as their look and feel for both your staff and respondents.
Brand your form and PDF headers.
Select from new header options when creating form themes. These apply to both forms and response PDFs for consistent branding.
Configure which content is included in each form's response PDF
Choose which fields to include and which to exclude in response PDFs so your submission confirmation and archival documents are as comprehensive as you need them to be. Head over to your Form Document settings to start choosing your options.
Add workflow steps and comments
Need a record of your workflow for archival purposes? Form authors can now configure response PDFs to include review histories and comments. Everything is secure and safe and we'll keep these details internal so they're not visible in response PDFs sent to respondents.
14 OCTOBER, 2020
Extending our Workflow beta with analytics and insights
Get a birds-eye view of Response Workflow with Form Insights
Head to the Analytics tab of a form for a deep dive on the number of responses currently in each step of Workflow and the average time responses spend in each stage
Export insights and integrate with our API to report and track responses on a continuous basis
Survey reporting tools
Want to chart and graph the results of a survey? We’ve made it possible to aggregate and summarize answers across Checkbox, Radio, and Matrix fields using Excel charts and tables. We’ve written up some instructions to help you do this.
Redirect your respondent after they submit their form.
Now you can choose whether you want the redirect to happen inside the iFrame when embedding your form into a webpage (this is what happens now) or if you want the page holding the iFrame to be redirected instead.
Performance improvements for everyone.
We’ve made the user experience of predictive lists on textboxes faster. And made it smoother to review insights and analytics if you have a form with thousands of submissions.
Introducing surcharge calculations for the BPoint payment gateway
Using the Bpoint Payment gateway in OpenForms? You can now pass through a dynamic surcharge amount to help reconcile fees and charges.
Style your forms with externally hosted CSS
You can now link to an externally hosted CSS file in your theme so you can bring in styles from your website without needing to re-write them in OpenForms.
List field improvements
As part of performance improvement work, we’ve updated Lists so you can choose whether you’re building a large list for a predictive search textbox or a smaller list for a checkbox, dropdown or radio button field. If you are already using lists, we’ve applied this setting for you based on how each list is currently being used.
Know which forms are taking up your storage space.
We’ve made it easier to account for which forms are taking up the most storage. There is now an in-app list for Account Owners that shows which forms are using up your storage and how many MB/GB it’s taking up
Additional security measures
We're further extending the security behind how you log into OpenForms, with additional smarts that are designed to identify malicious bots and other unauthorized attempts to log in as you.
General maintenance fixes and improvements
We have made several other minor fixes and improvements as part of our commitment to an always improving product
25 AUGUST, 2020
Introducing our Forms library
To help you find and share best practice forms we are introducing the OpenForms Form Template Library.
Additional security features
To help you meet compliance requirements for security standards such as the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS), we're:
Limiting your forms to specific domains.
By default, your forms can be embedded in any website, no matter the domain. We are introducing a feature to help you restrict the use of your forms to only websites you approve. It’s particularly useful as extra security for your forms by preventing clickjacking attacks.
Restricting more risky file extensions such as executables.
Limiting the number of scripts that OpenForms relies on from external domains
Extending our Workflow beta
Making it easier to add reviewers to a stage.
Improving the first time workflow experience.
Extending our review center to include previously actioned submissions.
Re-use the same smart logic in multiple places
Set up and maintain complex smart logic quickly and easily by creating conditions and scenarios to re-use across multiple fields.
Include date logic within your smart logic rules
Date logic rules can be used to inform respondents about date constraints like permit requests needing at least two weeks to process.Introducing text snippets.
When building a collection of forms and pages it's only a matter of time before you start repeating the same information across multiple forms, confirmation pages and email notifications. We've made text snippets so that you can store and update key pieces of information such phone numbers, addresses, privacy policies or basic confirmation email details in one click.
12 MAY, 2020
Workflow for Responses - Beta
Process form submissions from start to finish
Extend your digital services to handle everything behind the scenes after a form is submitted.
We've been helping you transform how you capture customer requests with beautiful, easy-to-use forms since we first released OpenForms. Now we’re ready to help you process those requests with Response Workflow.
Build processes that keep everyone in the loop
Streamline what happens after someone hits submit without having to leave OpenForms. Use the new Workflow tab in the form builder to map out approval logic and assign reviewers. Easily set up notifications so respondents and staff are kept in the loop as submissions progress or they need to take action.
Take action with our review center
As new responses come in, reviewers can use the Review Center to approve, deny or move responses further along a path as straightforward, or complex, as you need it to be.
Why we made workflow
We're committed to helping you build efficient digital services that help your customers while also streamlining your team's processes.
Response workflow delivers further on this by helping residents stay up-to-date with the status of their requests and reducing the need for your team to handle submissions manually - all in one powerful tool.
Use workflows to automate the review and authorization processes that occurs once someone's submitted a form. Workflows can automate processes that are simple and easy, or complex and robust. Use it to streamline:
- Customer requests
- Information requests
- Registration forms
- Internal requests
And so much more.
Get the lowdown with our release webinar.
But that's not all. We've also added new features and made a number of improvements across the board including:
Access files that are too big to email without logging in
We've introduced a new option that allows you and your team to download linked files without always having to log in. This makes the experience of working with emails and files a whole lot easier.
You can now configure forms to allow access to files without a login
Administrators can now configure links to uploaded files and PDF summaries in emails to work in two different ways:
- Allow these links to be accessible to any person without the need to log in
- Enforce logins for forms that carry confidential data that require stricter access rules
No permissions will change automatically and this feature will need to be configured by your Account Owner if desired. A new setting has been added so that you can lock things down instantly and enforce logins across your whole organisation if you change your mind.
What happens when a respondent uploads files bigger than 10MB?
- For those forms configured to attach uploaded files and to allow downloads without logging in, OpenForms will automatically include links to the downloadable files in emails making file access only a click away.
- For forms configured to leave out uploaded files out of emails, OpenForms will never automatically add a link to downloadable files. If needed, you can manually insert downloadable links within the email template.
Give your confirmation messages and emails a human touch with more answer piping
Last release we added the ability to pipe answers across a number of areas of your forms, confirmation messages and emails. By automatically using respondents names in emails, for example, you can make the experience of filling in a form more conversational and contextual.
This release, we've extended the fields you can pipe answers from so that more answers can be piped in when you need them.
Do note that email subjects are designed to be short, snappy and plain text. We have designed them to support short answer fields such as textbox, number, radio button and dropdown fields, excluding support for fields such as checkboxes, signatures and radio matrixes.
Theming and accessibility improvements
We've updated our default theme to make it more accessible. And be more complimentary to a wider range of brand colors from custom themes. As of this release OpenForms further adheres out of the box with more with more of the latest Web Content Accessibility Guidelines - WCAG 2.1.
Here are the changes we have made to our default theme:
- New colors and interaction states for hover and focus across many elements for improved contrast and keyboard navigation.
- The color of a number of elements more subtle - complementing a wider range of brand colors.
- Altered semantics of HTML behind the scenes to adhere to WCAG 2.1 AA needs
If you have custom theming applied to your forms we recommend a quick review to make sure everything is working as it should.
Help users submit forms faster by using autofill
As part making sure we adhere to the latest Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, we've included some new options to help people autofill details such as their name that they have stored in their browsers. Here's how it works:
- For text, dropdown, date and email fields you can now select from helpful autofill options such as First Name, Surname and Address.
Should you need, you can turn off autofill entirely for individual fields. This will stop the browser from attempting to automatically enable autofill where it thinks it would be helpful.
Changes for developers
Payment gateway transaction IDs are now passed through on form submit
We've added the transaction ID received from payment gateways to be part of the data sent through from data connections on form submit. This will allow you to get this ID along with all the other information about the form response instead of needing to do another request back to OpenForms to gather that information.
You can now fetch individual responses with ResponseID
Our API has been extended with methods to get, patch and delete responses using the responseReferenceId field. This makes it that much easier to fetch individual responses programatically after receiving calls from OpenForms data connections.
- Radio and checkbox matrix fields are now easier to view on mobile devices, and are more compatible with screen readers.
- Links in paragraph text are now underlined as well as coloured differently from other text.
- Default form colours now have increased colour contrast (this may affect custom CSS used to modify some elements of forms - we’ll be in touch if this is the case for you).
- The borders on input fields such as text boxes now have contrast with their backgrounds.
- Checkbox and radio buttons are now easier to see.
- Keyboard accessibility for radio and checkbox fields has been improved.
- Display focus is now available for each item in radio and checkbox fields.
- Previously, navigating the location field with a keyboard could ‘trap’ the cursor. This has been fixed.
- Fixed accessibility issues around dynamic page refreshes.
- Fixed accessibility issue identified with embedded forms.
- The file upload field is now easier to use with a screen reader (this may impact custom CSS used to modify some elements of forms - we’ll be in touch if this affects you).
- Previously, autocomplete for text and location fields was unavailable when accessed through iOS accessibility features. This has been fixed.
- Textbox fields now use the 'input type' property in HTML to better represent them to the browser and screen readers
- The button to create users becomes available again after deactivating a user and the number of active user accounts is under the limit again.
- When navigating to a page within the admin or connectors area and needing to log in, users are directed straight to the page they requested once logged in instead of being shown the forms listing page.
- When swapping between workspaces on the forms listing, the keyword filter is now cleared to show the full listing of forms in the workspace.
- Previously, it was possible to move a date field below a field that was referencing it. This is no longer possible.
- Image elements on a form will no longer allow duplicate external IDs within the same form.
- Previously, when deleting a field that had previously been referenced in display logic - but no longer was - users would see a warning dialogue that their actions could break display logic. This is no longer the case
- Fix default date for date field on form build not being retained when setting the date by using the input field triggered picker
- Previously, when selecting a default value for a date field using the calendar date picker it would not store the selected value, now it does.
- Predictive search fields for users will now match when searching for both their first and last name
- Previously, users receiving an email from OpenForms would encounter rendering errors if the header image was blocked or not loaded. This has been fixed.
- Previously, if the account owner changed their email address immediately after registration, alerts would still be sent to the previous email address. This has been fixed.
- When editing form permissions, admins will now see an error message if their changes mean no-one can access the form.
- Added a character limit to credit card expiry dates and CVV fields to allow Google Chrome's autofill feature to populate credit card details correctly.
- The confirmation message editor in form settings has been improved to display more clearly in Internet Explorer
- When scrolling up and down the form builder using IE11 the toolbox would sometimes be disaligned with the page, this has been addressed.
- Improved performance of forms containing significant amounts of answer piping
- When saving changes on a field set that is being used by many forms it would sometimes time out, causing an error to be displayed. This has been improved.
- Previously when selecting the a calculator field as the reference value for a payment field authors could select a calculator positioned after the payment field in the form. Now they can only select previous fields in the form.
- Previously, when deleting a large number of form responses in bulk it would sometimes show a timeout error. The processing of this action has been improved to make this run more smoothly.
- Previously, forms using field sets in a particular way would not be displayed correctly, this has been fixed.
- The links to the help centre in the themes and lists pages now link to the correct articles.
- Previously, it was possible to make concurrent submissions of saved responses from multiple browser tabs, leading to duplicate payments on forms with payment fields. This has been fixed.
- Long labels in Rank fields will now display correctly.
- Fixed a formatting issue for deleted signature files in the response details page.
- The "Required error message" that can be set by authors for file upload field was not being used when showing the error on the form, instead it was using default OpenForms message. This has been fixed to use the custom one written by authors.