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What's new in OpenForms

Next up

Sync your user management with Azure AD

We've started work on bringing an Azure AD connector to OpenForms and making it easier to login whether you're a local admin account, synced from an OpenCities install, or synced across from Azure AD. More details to come soon, reach out if you want to get involved.

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.

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.

Resident experience

Matrix fields

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.

Screenshot example of a radio button matrix field

Form buttons

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

Theme versioning

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.

Screenshot example of the theme admin screen for a theme that needs to be updated from version 1 to version 2

 

Creating forms

Form listing

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.

Form building

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

Response Workflow

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

Custom Documents

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.

Three samples of custom documents with Point Russell branding

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.

Some types of files are best used upon form submission while others are better suited during workflow

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.

responsePDFteaser.png

 

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.

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.

 
workflow.gif

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

Group 232.png

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

take action.png

 

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.

Bug Fixes

Accessibility improvements

  • 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

Administration

  • 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.

Form builder

  • 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

Other

  • 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.
  • Security around unsafe Javascript injection in the confirmation message has been improved.
  • 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.
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