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How to Get the Most Out of Dynamic and Advanced Form Features

April 14, 2020

When choosing business process management software, many organizations look for a solution that is easy to use. They want an application that gives their end users a no-code interface to make creating automated workflows easy. However, just because some of these solutions are easy to use doesn’t mean they are not powerful. Although some organizations rely solely on the basics of creating workflows, building rules, and automating processes, the real power users of these solutions know that they can add much more functionality by creating advanced forms with their business process management software.

Think about this: businesses waste, on average, two hours a week searching for hard copies of documents that were not stored or organized properly. . This study from Xerox also shows that as the size of a business increases, the amount of time workers spend manually searching for hard copies of documents also increases. This is wasted time that could otherwise be spent processing the information contained in that document.

Some workers deal with hundreds of documents every day. With a business process management solution that allows you to build advanced forms, you can collect information through forms and automate the workflow that the information needs to travel along.

Users can also build advanced forms that allow you to collect information and have users attach other documents if necessary. The key point is that all of the information stays in one place and no time is wasted looking for the information because it is right there, ready to move on to the next person in the process. A business process management solution with an advanced form designer gives you the power to create forms that do just that.

Features of Dynamic and Advanced Forms

Saving time may be a big selling point when it comes to creating advanced forms, but it is not the only feature worth looking at. Some of the things you can create with dynamic forms include:

Data Flows
These are events triggered by form components. For example, selecting or changing a date may trigger an event. Perhaps a calendar showing available times appears when a day is selected. When a user engages with an event button, it may also trigger a data flow. Clicking “send” or “submit” transmits the data in the form to the next person.

In addition to checking for rates on an insurance policy or a loan the application process may also be triggered by a data flow initiated by an event button. When a button is clicked, multiple options based on the data entered into the form may appear for the user to select to submit their application

Visibility Rules
With advanced forms, you have the capability to hide or show information on a form. You can also enable or disable controls on a form when a statement rule is run on your form, triggering a visibility rule. For instance, if your end user needs to be older than 18 and their birthdate shows they are younger, you can hide the rest of the form or even disable the submit button.

Validation Rules
One of the problems with manual data entry is human error. Even people who are not entering data into forms all day make mistakes when filling out a form. To prevent this, you have the ability to add validation rules to your forms.

For instance, if you need an address, you can check to see if a legitimate zip code or state has been entered. Phone number lengths can be validated, as can just about anything that requires a constant to check against.

Outcome Rules
Just as the name says, these rules dictate the outcome of data entered into a form. A common outcome rule is to close a form and move it along the workflow path based on data entered or an action taken.

Advanced forms include the ability to create data definitions based on fetch criteria. With these capabilities, you not only have the ability to call on specific data from different forms and inputs, but you can also rely on the definitions for better analysis.

Other features of advanced forms that users often find helpful are data reconciliation and the ability to integrate with other systems through data mapping. Reconciling data allows you to move, manipulate, and transform data for better management oversight. Through data mapping, you have the ability to link data between different systems, and, using your rules engine, you can transform mapped data for easier analysis and reporting.

See How Advanced Forms Are Put to Use

The capabilities of advanced forms are limited only by the scope of your creativity. Although they may seem complex at first, seeing how others use them to reduce human error from manual, repetitive data entry tasks or how process automation helps reduce time wasted will inspire you to leverage advanced forms.

Take the example of a form-based invoice. Using the right data flow and form builder, you can create an invoice that dynamically updates the total amount due based on changes to the items added to the document. To achieve this, you would typically need a programmer to write the code. But a solution with advanced forms allows you to build these on your own without needing to know how to write code.

There is much more you can learn about advanced and dynamic forms. Check out the webinars hosted by Decisions to see how dynamic and advanced forms are used. These webinar demonstrations provide you with actual use cases that you can apply immediately to your forms to make your business run more smoothly. You can also read some of our blog posts to see how to build forms and work with data.

Gordon Jones
Gordon Jones has founded and sold three companies with the last built using Decisions technology. He has also led factories and large IT implementations both in the US and in Asia, where he lived for over seven years.

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