Thursday, September 15, 2022

Improved simple data migration

What is simple data migration

Orbeon Forms 2018.2 introduced Simple Data Migration (see also the original blog post). This feature allows the form author to make changes to a published form, including adding and removing form fields, grids, and sections, without creating a new form version.

New enhancements

While Simple Data Migration is very useful, we realized that it needed improvement. Specifically, there is no reason that you shouldn’t be able to also move form controls in a form and still preserve data compatibility.

So we have done just that, and with Orbeon Forms 2022.1, you can move form controls within the form as long as they remain within the same nesting of repeated content, republish the form over the existing version, and things will just work. For example:

  • Move controls at the top-level of a form, even across grids and sections.
  • Move controls within a given level of repeated grids or repeated sections, even across nested grids.

Simply moving a form control this way allows you to reorganize your form while keeping access to existing data.

Moving a control across section boundaries
Moving a control across section boundaries

For more information, see also the documentation.

We hope you will find this Orbeon Forms 2022.1 feature useful.

Monday, August 1, 2022

Orbeon Forms 2021.1.4 PE

We just published the Orbeon Forms 2021.1.4 PE maintenance release!

For details, see the release notes.

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

We hope you enjoy this release!

Monday, June 6, 2022

Quickly navigate to fields in large forms

When editing a form in Form Builder, you might want to make a change to a certain field, but, with large forms, just locating the field in the form might turn out to be more time consuming than you'd like it to be. If you know the label for the field you're looking for, and all the sections are opened in Form Builder, you can use your browser's search feature (ctrl-f or cmd-f). But if you only know the field's name, for instance because you saw it referenced in a formula, or you keep many sections closed, the browser's search won't help.

For this, Orbeon Forms 2021.1 introduces a new feature: Search Controls, which you access with keyboard the shortcut ctrl-j on Windows, Linux, or ChromeOS, and cmd-j on macOS or iPadOS. After you select a field from the dropdown, the dialog will close, the browser will scroll up or down to the field you selected, and if the field was in a closed section, then Form Builder will open that section.

You can also check the Open Settings Dialog checkbox if in addition to navigating to the field you'd like Form Builder to directly open the Control Settings dialog for that field. If opening the Control Settings dialog is what you do every time you navigate to a field, you can check that box, it will stay checked, and will save you from having to do an additional click every time you navigate to a field.

For more on this feature, see Quick control search in the documentation.

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Orbeon Forms 2021.1.3 PE

We just released the Orbeon Forms 2021.1.3 PE maintenance release!

For details, see the release notes.

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

We hope you enjoy this release!

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Improvements to variables in formulas

An important feature of Orbeon Forms are formulas. They allow you, as if the case in spreadsheets, to perform calculations of values and much more.

Some formulas can refer to the current value of form controls using a variable notation, with a dollar sign followed by the name of the control. So if you have a form control called price, you can refer to its value in a formula with $price.

However, until Orbeon Forms 2021.1 included, this variable notation didn’t work everywhere. You could use it for:

  • Validation Constraints
  • Visibility, Read-Only, Initial Values, and Calculated Values

The good news is that Orbeon Forms 2022.1 will feature enhanced support for variables in formulas. Specifically, variables will be supported in the following places:

  • Repeated Sections and Grids
    • Minimum Number of Repetitions
    • Maximum Number of Repetitions
    • Freeze Repetitions
  • Control Settings Templates
    • Label
    • Hint
    • Help Message
    • Explanatory Text
  • Number
    • Prefix
    • Suffix
  • Service Response
    • Source of control value
    • Source of choices, including label, value, and hint
  • Dynamic Dropdown and Dynamic Dropdown with Search
    • Resource URL

For example, assuming controls named state and city, a zip Dynamic Dropdown Resource URL might be expressed as:

/service/zips?state-abbreviation={$state}&city={$city}

This, in fact, was a top request for enhancement from Orbeon Forms users!

Variables in the Resource URL
Variables in the Resource URL

Note that, as with other uses of variables, if you rename a form control, dependent formulas are automatically updated as well. For example rename state to us-state and the expression is automatically updated to:

/service/zips?state-abbreviation={$us-state}&city={$city}

We hope you will enjoy this improvement to Orbeon Forms in Orbeon Forms 2022.1!

Thursday, March 3, 2022

Orbeon Forms 2021.1.2 PE

We just released the Orbeon Forms 2021.1.2 PE maintenance release!

For details, see the release notes.

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

We hope you enjoy this release!

Friday, January 14, 2022

Orbeon Forms 2021.1.1 PE

We just released the Orbeon Forms 2021.1.1 PE maintenance release!

For details, see the release notes.

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

We hope you enjoy this release!