Monday, June 16, 2014

The Form Builder summary page and Form Runner home page

We often get questions that result from a confusion between the roles of the Form Builder Summary page, and the Form Runner Home page. The confusion comes from both pages listing forms you've created with Form Builder. To put it simply:
  • The Form Builder Summary page shows form you can edit.
    • This page is for form authors. It is the place to go to if you want to see what forms you can currently edit, or want to create a new form.
  • The Form Runner Home page shows form that have been published.
    • It can be useful to end users who want to see which forms they have access to. From there, they could fill out a new form (e.g. fill out a new "Child registration" form), and see what forms they have filled out in the past (e.g. all the previously filed out "Child registration" forms). Of course, whether end users can access that page is subject to how you configured the system.
    • It can be useful to administrators who want to perform management tasks on published forms. For instance, they can set whether a form is available to end users, or move published forms between servers, for instance push published forms from an integration server to a production server.
Finally, keep in mind that both pages don't necessary display the same set of forms:
  • Obviously, forms a form author is currently working on, but that haven't been published yet will show on the Form Builder Summary page, but not the Form Runner Home page.
  • Maybe more surprisingly, the opposite is also possible: you can have, on a given Orbeon Forms server, published forms that are not available on the Form Builder Summary page. This can happen in a number of situations, for instance when you have multiple environments, say a development and test server. If form authors always edit forms on the development server, publish them locally, and then publish them to the test server for testing, on the test server, those forms will only be available in the "published state", and won't be available for editing. Thus, on the test server, they will show on the Form Runner Home page, but not the Form Builder Summary page.

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