Monday, December 30, 2019

Orbeon Forms 2019.2

Today we released Orbeon Forms 2019.2 PE and Orbeon Forms 2019.2 CE, our second and final major release of 2019!

This release includes landscape PDF mode, fluid layout in the browser, and date/time support for the Excel import feature. We closed over 180 issues since Orbeon Forms 2019.1.

For details, see the complete release notes.

You can download the latest version of Orbeon Forms from the downloads page.

We hope you enjoy this release!

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Keeping our code current

Orbeon Forms works in part in the web browser (the "client") and in part on the server. Both sides communicate together via HTTP and what is known as "AJAX". Simply put, it's a way to exchange information between both parties.

Now it turns out that the client-side code related to this part of the product was still using fairly old support libraries. One of them, which was quite good in its time but is now outdated, is YUI.

So recently, as a maintenance step, we have replaced that code to use the modern Fetch API. This is now supported by all browsers except IE11, and for that browser we have what are called polyfills to keep things working. We have also rewritten the relevant code using Scala.js, which we use for all new client-side code. Things will be way more maintainable this way.

Some of the new code using the Fetch API
The good news is that as a user of Orbeon Forms, you don't need to know about this, except if you are curious to know about how things work under the hood, of course!

This change will be part of Orbeon Forms 2019.2.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Orbeon Forms 2018.2.4 PE

Today we released Orbeon Forms 2018.2.4 PE!

This update to Orbeon Forms 2018.2.3 PE contains bug-fixes and is recommended for all Orbeon Forms 2018.2.x PE users.

For details, see the complete release notes.

You can download the latest version of Orbeon Forms from the downloads page.

We hope you enjoy this release!

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

New layout choices for PDF and browser views

Form Runner produces automatic PDF files in US letter portrait format by default. It is possible, with custom CSS, to change that default, but this is not extremely convenient.

With the upcoming Orbeon Forms 2019.2, you can set the PDF page size and orientation directly with the Form Builder Form Settings, or with configuration properties.

PDF Options showing a landscape A4 PDF output format
Page sizes can be US letter, A4, and US legal. The page orientation can be portrait or landscape. The latter is particularly useful for forms that require a wider layout - which takes us to another new, related feature.

So far, the Form Runner form layout has been fixed. That is, the form takes a fixed width even if you have a wider browser window. This is true whether you use the wizard view or not. With this new setting, you can opt for a fluid form width, where the form takes all the width available in the browser window. This works with or without the wizard view, as well as in the view mode.

View Options showing the choice of a fluid width
When choosing the fluid width, Form Builder also shows the form being edited with a fluid width, which makes it easier to edit forms that require a wider view.

We hope you will like these new Orbeon Forms features!

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Orbeon Forms 2019.1

Today we released Orbeon Forms 2019.1 PE and Orbeon Forms 2019.1 CE!

This release is packed with new features and enhancements which should help form authors and form users be more productive, including non-repeated grid settings, renaming of control references in formulas, improved dropdowns, and much more. We closed over 180 issues since Orbeon Forms 2018.2.

For details, see the complete release notes.

You can download the latest version of Orbeon Forms from the downloads page.

We hope you enjoy this release!

Monday, October 14, 2019

Making authentication easier with a new built-in user menu, login and logout pages

In cases you need users accessing Orbeon Forms to be authenticated, if you decide to have that authentication done by your web container, the latter needs to be configured with:
  • A login page, where users enter their username and password, which is then checked by the web container before it lets users through to Orbeon Forms.
  • logout page, which, as you might expect, logs users out by invalidating their web container session, and tells users they have been successfully logged out.
You can create your own login and logout pages, but since version 2018.2, you can also use the built-in login and logout pages provided by Orbeon Forms, making the authentication setup with Orbeon Forms simpler.

Also since version 2018.2, Orbeon Forms provides a user menu you can show in the navigation bar, allowing users to login, logout, and register. The user menu is configurable:
  • You can decide whether you want the menu to show.
  • You can decide what entries are shown by the menu. For instance, you might want to have Login and Logout, but not Register.
  • For each menu entry, you can configure where users are taken when they select that entry. Out-of-the-box Login and Logout entries take users to the built-in pages discussed earlier, but you can configure the menu to take users to other pages should you already have your own login/logout pages.
For more on this, see Login & Logout.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Paging large repeated sections

Orbeon Forms 2018.2 introduced synchronized master-detail views. This is a powerful feature which helps form author and end-users alike deal with large forms. So far, however, all the repetitions of the details were presented on a single wizard page. If there is a lot of information to capture in each detail or a lot of items to repeat, the resulting page can still become very large.

Orbeon Forms 2019.1 introduces an improvement to this feature: it allows each individual detail to show on a separate wizard page. This makes it easier for the user as there is less information presented on each wizard page. In addition, you can configure a custom repetition label for use by the wizard's table of contents.

In the example below, you can see that the wizard's table of contents reflects the list of travelers. It does so automatically and updates as you add, remove, move, or update items in the master view.

Master View with Synchronized Table of Contents
You configure the repetition label direction in Form Builder, with a new "Repetition Label" section setting. The label can be dynamic and make use of fields within the given iteration. Here we include the traveler's name in the label.

Custom Repetition Label
As a user, you navigate to each detail separately. Here, you can start with Alice, but you can as well start with Bob since every detail is independent from the other.

Traveler Detail

When using strict validated navigation, all the details need to be filled before the user can navigate to the next section, here "Confirmation".

For more details, see the documentation:

We hope you will like this Orbeon Forms 2019.1 feature!