Monday, January 23, 2023

Orbeon Forms 2021.1.7 PE

We just published the Orbeon Forms 2021.1.7 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 20, 2023

Time form control improvements

With Orbeon Forms 2022.1, we shipped a Time form control that had unintentionally lost its “smart input” capability. Luckily, we are fixing it with Orbeon Forms 2022.1.1. The good part is that this also gives us the opportunity to improve the Time control, as well as to write a little refresher about its capabilities!

Since the beginning, the Orbeon Forms Time control has supported “smart input”. Say you’d like to enter “1:00 pm”, well, just type “1p” and then press the Tab key. The control will automatically complete the input to “1:00 pm”, “1:00:00 pm”, or even “13:00:00” depending on the time format applicable to the control (you can also enter the full format if you wish so).

This is user-friendly, as it doesn’t require the user to enter the exact format. In addition, Orbeon Forms doesn’t try to guess beyond the obvious, so that you don’t have to worry about the control trying to be too smart and modifying your input too much.

With 2022.1.1, we are restoring and improving this function of the Time control. But we are also adding more. In particular, we have been unhappy with the way time formats were specified in Orbeon Forms. The format was specified globally in your configuration properties file, which is not flexible.

Instead, we have now made this a configuration of the Time control. This means that you can specify the time format for each Time control individually, at the form level, or in configuration properties, as is the case for all other form control configurations in Orbeon Forms. This also means that you can have different time formats within the same form.

Time control settings
Example of Time controls

We added a user interface to the Time control settings that looks like this:

Time control settings
Time control settings

The format allows you to control the following:

  • use the 12-hour or the 24-hour format
  • show or hide seconds
  • show or hide am/pm and if shown, in what format
  • pad the hours with zeros or not

This is done in the UI, so you don’t have to figure out a textual syntax (but you still use such a syntax in Orbeon Forms configuration properties).

Finally, we are also making a change to the time output in readonly modes (view and PDF, in particular). Previously, the output format in readonly modes was determined completely separately from the format used by the editable control. This was confusing. Now, the output format is the same as the format used by the editable control.

Time control settings
Example of Time controls in readonly modes

We hope you’ll like these improvements to the Time control!

For more, see the documentation on the Time component.

Thursday, January 5, 2023

Improved selection of multiple items

Now that Orbeon Forms 2022.1 is released, let’s cover some of the new features of the release, starting in this post with a couple of simple but useful enhancements.

The Orbeon Form Runner Summary page and Forms/Admin pages (previously known as the Home page) list and link to form data or published form definitions, respectively. Each allows you to perform operations on one or more rows, such as deleting, publishing, etc. In both cases, you select one or more rows of data using checkboxes. When performing an operation on multiple rows, it is useful to be able to quickly select a series of rows. Until now, this required you to click each checkbox individually.

To help with this, we have implemented two new features:

  1. Summary page: we added a new quick selection menu.
  2. Across the board: you can “shift-click” checkboxes.

The Admin page already had a menu to select items in some categories. The Summary page now has a similar menu:

Selection menu
Selection menu

If you are familiar with for example Gmail, you might know that you can select a checkbox, and then shift-click another one, and all the checkboxes in the interval will be selected. Similarly, you can deselect a series of checkboxes. The exact logic is a little subtle, but we implemented something very similar in Form Runner.

Shift-clicking on checkboxes
Shift-clicking on checkboxes

The good news is that the ability to shift-click doesn’t only apply to the Form Runner Summary and Forms/Admin pages: it applies to any repeated checkboxes, as well as to the Checkboxes form control.

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

Saturday, December 31, 2022

Orbeon Forms 2022.1

Today we released Orbeon Forms 2022.1 PE and Orbeon Forms 2022.1 CE!

This release is packed with new features and bug-fixes. 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, November 7, 2022

Orbeon Forms 2021.1.6 PE

 We just published the Orbeon Forms 2021.1.6 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!

Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Improving the send action with multipart support

Sending data with Orbeon Forms

Orbeon Forms features simple processes, which combine actions and conditions, and which are usually associated with buttons at the bottom of a form. One of these actions is the send action, which allows sending form data in XML and PDF formats, in particular, using HTTP, to a service endpoint.

However, each send action can only send a single file. This is limiting especially because form data can come with attachments, added to a form through the use of one of the Attachment controls, and it would be useful to be able to send out those attachments alongside the data.

Adding multipart support

So with Orbeon Forms 2022.1, we are enhancing the send action with the ability to send multiple items to a service endpoint in a single HTTP request using a so-called multipart request format. This allows sending XML data with its attachment, and even to add a PDF file or an Excel export to that. You select the content to send using tokens. For example the following sends the XML data, its attachments if any, and the dynamically-generated PDF file:

send(
    uri     = "https://httpbin.org/anything",
    method  = "POST",
    content = "xml attachments pdf"
)

The request body might look like this:

--CHZ6Pogx-A1VVuDgU22pcJASumg8S0CrOZhooqlw
Content-Disposition: form-data
Content-Type: application/xml; charset=UTF-8
Content-Transfer-Encoding: binary

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<form xmlns:fr="http://orbeon.org/oxf/xml/form-runner" fr:data-format-version="4.0.0">
    <my-main-section>
        <first-name>Bob</first-name>
        <pet-picture filename="cat.jpg" mediatype="image/jpeg" size="56803">cid:94b0e57e87fa8f42cb494fdc2808f58c5b31be41</pet-picture>
    </my-main-section>
</form>
--CHZ6Pogx-A1VVuDgU22pcJASumg8S0CrOZhooqlw
Content-ID: <94b0e57e87fa8f42cb494fdc2808f58c5b31be41>
Content-Disposition: attachment; filename*=UTF-8''cat.jpg
Content-Type: image/jpeg
Content-Transfer-Encoding: binary

...binary image content here...
--CHZ6Pogx-A1VVuDgU22pcJASumg8S0CrOZhooqlw
Content-ID: <7a361b305064d3a95511da35a8c53edbabe3af8b>
Content-Disposition: attachment; filename*=UTF-8''My%20demo%20multipart%20form%20-%20ce85cc4b7be9975d.pdf
Content-Type: application/pdf
Content-Transfer-Encoding: binary

...binary PDF content here...

--CHZ6Pogx-A1VVuDgU22pcJASumg8S0CrOZhooqlw--

The multipart format is automatically selected on the wire if more than one item needs to be sent. On the receiving side, a lot of software can decode a multipart request and extract the individual parts.

For more details, see the documentation.

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

Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Orbeon Forms 2021.1.5 PE

We just published the Orbeon Forms 2021.1.5 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!