Process Steps – Approving Forms

Do you have a form which is filled out by one person and then approved or rejected by another person?  Then you need Process Steps.

Basic workflows in Form screens have always been possible through our Form Task field type.  Over time though, it became clear that Form Tasks were simply too limited for many scenarios.

So we went back to the drawing board and built a more powerful replacement – the Process Step field type.

The concept with a Process Step is that it is just like the name says – it’s a field that represents a step in a process that is playing out within the Form.

So normally we’d expect you to use 2 or more of these in your Form design.

Another way to think of a Process Step is that it is a “decision point” in your process.

Unlike the old Form Task, the Process Step allows you to present the app user with up to 3 options to decide what happens next to the Form entry that’s in progress.

So for example, imagine you have a simple approval process:

Step 1: An assessor in the field conducts an assessment of some kind, and then needs to send this off to a supervisor for approval.

Step 2: The supervisor will review the assessment, and he or she will either accept or reject the assessment.

If it’s accepted, then the entry is complete.

If it’s rejected, then the entry needs to go back to the original assessor for rectification – i.e. it goes back to Step 1.

Previously with the Form Task, this kind of process – particularly the need to loop the process back to Step 1 – was difficult to implement, since there were a number of things missing:

– The ability to tell which step in the process one was at

– The ability to resend through a previous step (since these tended to become “locked” after first use)

– Access to information about the steps that had occurred in the Form already

The fix for this was to add a number of new STEP-() formula functions that are specifically for use with Process Steps.

These functions are incredibly useful for situations where you may want to toggle fields visible or read only, based on whether a specific Step has occurred, or even whether a specific Step option was chosen.

To help you understand how the Process Step works, we added a new example to the App Examples page in the FormsFly website platform. Log into the FormsFly website and got to App > Examples Catalog, then look under “General” for the example called “Asset Check process”. Click and install it to give it a try.

We’re confident that once you see it in action and check out the design behind the Asset Check Form, you’ll see the possibilities.

The Process Step is a significant upgrade on the Form Task and we recommend using it for your process driven Form screens going forward.