Thursday, March 24, 2016

Flexible custom control settings

With Orbeon Forms, all form controls share certain properties, like the control name. However, some controls take additional properties which are specific to them and which you set at design time in Form Builder. For instance the Dynamic Data Dropdown and Autocomplete controls take:
  • a resource URL
  • XPath expressions to retrieve items, labels, and values from a service response
Controls like the Dynamic Data Dropdown are not set in stone: they are built on top of the Orbeon component framework, which allows you to create your own custom controls. And this is where the component author defines, when needed, which custom properties Form Builder must expose in the metadata of such components.

Until recently, you could only use plain text fields for custom properties. We have now made them much more flexible and you can use any form controls and layouts you want: dropdown menus, radio buttons, grids, and so on.

This opens the door to more and more flexible custom components. And the beauty of it is that it's entirely customizable. For example, the Dynamic Data Dropdown and Autocomplete controls now lay out the fields in a grid.

See also the Control Settings documentation, as well as the Control metadata documentation. We hope you'll like this feature, which will be available in Orbeon Forms 4.11.

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