Tuesday, May 26, 2020

The new Multiple File Attachments control

Orbeon Forms so far features two types of attachment controls:
  • File Attachment
  • Image Attachment
Recently, a customer kindly sponsored a new Multiple File Attachments control.

Until now, the only way to allow the user to attach an indeterminate number of files was to create a repeated grid and place the File Attachment control in it. This works, but it requires the form author to figure out how to do it, and it is not the most user-friendly user interface for the end-user.

The new Multiple File Attachments is much simpler: as a form author, you simply add the control to the form. It is also an improvement for the end-user: not only does it look better, but it is also much easier to use.

The new Multiple File Attachments control
You can reorder the files with drag and drop, remove one of the files with the "X" button, and download back the attachments (a function you can disable if you don't want it).

While we were at it, we also added a drag and drop area. Browsers have supported drag and drop of files for a long time and it was long due in Orbeon Forms. So when on a computer you can now simply drop one or more files directly to the attachment control. Alternatively, you can use the "Select Files" button and select one or more files at a time.

We also updated the existing single File Attachment control to have the same look and feel, as it badly needed a cosmetic refresh! In fact, it's now the exact same implementation. We are renaming it the Single File Attachment control.

The updated and renamed Single File Attachment control
When using the Multiple File Attachments control, the validation constraints that exist for the Single File Attachment control apply:
  • File type: You can filter the file types, for example images, PDF files, Excel files, etc.
  • Maximum file size: Here, the file size applies to each individual file. You can also set a maximum size for the entire form as was the case before.
We hope that you will like this improvement. It will be available in the upcoming Orbeon Forms 2020.1.

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