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blalocb

Nintex Forms Edit Mode

Posted by blalocb Employee Oct 25, 2017

Question

 

Can I use “Is Edit Mode” to lock a form during editing?

 

For example – someone submits the form and the workflow sends it to a group for review – group is Reviewer A, Reviewer B, Reviewer C. If Reviewer A opens the form can it be locked so Reviewers B and C cannot not edit it simultaneously.

 

Answer

 

Because there is no Check In / Check Out functionality on SharePoint lists, this one would need to get a bit creative.

 

There are a couple of ways you can go about it, but this is the way I would set it up:

 

  1. Create two additional columns in the list “Check Out” (with option for Checked-In or Checked-Out) and “Checked Out To” (people or group)
  2. Create a calculated value control on the form and connect it to the “Checked Out To” control, and set the formula to “Current User”
  3. Add a save and continue button (can be renamed check in /check out)
  4. Create a Disable rule and apply it to the Save and Continue button and the “Check Out” control. The formula will be targeting If the control is ‘Checked Out’ and the Current User is not equal to the ‘Checked Out To’ item property (this one may take some tweaking if the postback doesn’t refresh the item property in the form designer).
  5. They can throw the rest of the controls in a panel and put a rule on there that disables the controls if the status is Checked out and the current user is not equal to the checked out user.

 

This is going to be the conceptual way to throw it together, from there are a few different ways they can stylize it to make it fit their needs (IE not using a choice control and just doing JavaScript for the button). 

What steps can be taken to improve accessible experience on Nintex Forms?

 

An example of making Nintex Forms elements focus-able with tab-index and JavaScript?

 

    Manage focus on a form using keyboard commands or key handlers?

     

    How can we add WAI-ARIA authoring practices (roles or states) to Nintex Forms HTML markup for screen readers?

     

    Best practices to manage keyboard focus when using dialog boxes within Nintex Forms?

     

    Horizontal fields vs. Vertical fields how will tab order behave?

    • The form CSS / JS are highly customize-able, depending on what the accessibility standards are requiring for this question, they should be able to update and modify accordingly.

     

    Repeating section how will tab order behave?

    • All controls should function the same with tabbing behavior.  After doing some testing, it doesn’t look like the ‘Add New Row’ is part of the tab index.  This would likely require adding a JavaScript button to click the ‘Add New Row ‘ button.

     

    How will all the controls like check boxes, radio buttons, and other controls behave?

    • These can be edited by tabbing through the choices.  You can select the option by hitting the space bar.

    Overall Compatibility with Jaws reader

    • Haven’t tested with that one in particular, but you can use explicit labels to provide the functionality needed for other screen readers.
    • Added Value of Label Associations

    Question:

    I absolutely love the option of creating ‘pages’ in a form, which is an option in InfoPath. I start with the first page to ask the user a question. Depending on the selection they make, it will flip to a new page to ask additional questions or asks the user to fill in information. Once complete, they click submit and it flips to the final page saying thank you and provides any additional information.


    I also like the ability to create new pages based on what the user is doing, i.e. new item or edit item. If it is a new item, I start with Page 1. If I am editing an item, it starts with Page 8, which has all the information in read only format. Simple and easy to work with.


    However, the concept of ‘pages’ in Forms does not exist. It looks like I have to add ‘sections’, and then determine which one should be active based on a ‘value’. That does not make any sense to me. Why is such a simple concept so difficult to implement in Forms?

     

    Answer

     

    There are a few ways that this can be implemented. First option is to use tab functionality like was mentioned.  The second option would be to use JavaScript to switch the views.  I can follow up with the product team to see if there has been any movement on implementing this functionality natively, but the blog posts below can provide some options:

     

    https://community.nintex.com/docs/DOC-1361

    https://community.nintex.com/docs/DOC-1198

    http://www.slfiene.com/blog/2015/10/19/a-new-fantastic-point-of-view-slide-ux-for-nintex-forms

     

    Question:

    I have some ability to adjust the width of the ‘table’ in InfoPath. So if I want to show that form in a web part that is only 33% of the page, I can make the table 150px wide, which will fit into that web part. The problem is that it isn’t responsive, so the smaller I make the screen, the more it will bleed into the web part next to it.
    In Forms, I so far have no seen a way to create a form that is responsive, so putting it in a web part that is 33% and then making that form responsive based on how big or small the screen is just does not work. It seems no matter what I do, the ‘window’ of the web part is a certain size, so it always seems to expand beyond the 33% that I have designated as the web part size. Am I missing something here?

     

    Answer: 

    We should be rolling out responsive forms later this year.  This release should address the needs described above.  The one caveat here, is that the responsive forms will not support custom JavaScript.  We will still have the Pixel Perfect forms (current product) available if there is a more complex design requirement, and the user designing the form will have the option on which form type to deploy.

     

    Question

    In InfoPath, when I want to setup a conditional rule, it is simple – If x is No, do this. If x is Yes, do that. It is a simple selection of which item I want to be x, select the conditional item (equals, greater than, less than, etc.), and select the result. Again, I like seeing the options and knowing in plain language what it will do.

     

    Forms however does not take that approach. It seems even the simplest of needs requires knowing the JavaScript language to accomplish the need. To do a conditional rule in Forms, you have to write it up in a JS format. I do not know what that format is, so I now have to research how to do it, which takes it more time. This is not making the best use of my time, especially if I am just trying to put together a simple form.

     

    Answer:

    The help files have some pretty good information on how to configure rules and the operators: http://help.nintex.com/en-US/nintex2013/help/#Forms/RootCategory/Designer/Nintex.Forms.Rules.htmhttp://help.nintex.com/en-US/nintex2013/help/#Forms/RootCategory/Designer/Nintex.Forms.Rules.htm

     

    If the JavaScript operators are not ideal, there is also the capability to configure runtime functions, which may make more sense coming from the InfoPath world.

    http://help.nintex.com/en-US/nintex2013/help/#Forms/RootCategory/Designer/Nintex.Forms.RuntimeFunctions.htm

    This topic describes the concept of assigned use in the context of workflow-based subscription licensing.

     

    If your tenant uses a workflow-based subscription license, then you must specify assigned use when publishing workflows and forms in accordance with subscription licensing terms.

     

    Examples of assigned use options presented when publishing workflows and forms: 

     

     

    Assigned use options are as follows.

    • Development: Intended for the development phase; the workflow or form does not operate on or affect any business outcome or data outside testing and development. Watermarks appear on development workflows and forms as well as on email messages sent by workflows. (Form preview omits the watermark.)

      Example: Running an expenditure approval workflow generates a request for purchase of a notebook computer and that request is approved, but no purchase occurs because the workflow is being tested.

    • Production: Intended for the production phase; the workflow or form operates on or affects live business data.

      Example: Running an expenditure approval workflow generates a request for purchase of a notebook computer and that request is approved such that the notebook computer can be purchased.

    For information on how to track your Workflows please see: How to Track Your Workflows in O365 For Consumption and User Based Subscriptions 

    What is a Subscription Workflow?

    • Subscription provides our entire suite of software, and is only limited by the number of Workflows you create, not the SharePoint version you are running, or the number of WFE's you have. The Workflows you purchase can be used wherever you need them, on premises (2007, 2010, 2013, or 2016), in SP Online, or Nintex Workflow Cloud. The idea behind our subscription model, is to provide our customers with flexibility, and use Workflows only where you need them.

    Types of Workflow's

    • Simple Workflow = 5 actions or less
    • Standard Workflow = 6 +
      • 75 actions = 1 Workflow
      • 120 actions = 1 Workflow

    How are Workflows under 5 actions counted?

    • Simple Workflows are not counted as a workflow.

    What constitutes as a development workflow?

    • When you begin to build your Workflow, you designate whether or not the workflow is a production or development workflow.
    • Standard Development Workflows = 2 x purchased number of Workflows
      • 5 Workflows = 10 Development Workflows
    • Enterprise Development Workflows = 4 x purchased number of Workflows
      • 5 Workflows = 20 Development Workflows   

    How/when does the "true up" process happen if you are over your limit?

    • The end of your contract during your renewal process.

     

     

    LET'S GET TECHNICAL!

     

    What is a Production Workflow?

    • A Nintex Workflow that is designed and published into a production environment.

     

    Simple Workflow or Limited Action Workflow

    • A Production Workflow which is comprised of not more than five (5) Nintex Design Actions and does not initiate a separate Nintex Workflow.
    • A Limited Action Workflow will not count towards the applicable Subscription Workflow Limit. 

     

    A Nintex Form

    • A form designed and published by use of the Nintex Form designer.


    A Production Form

    • A Nintex Form designed and published into a production environment.


    Nintex Design Action

    • A workflow action used by a workflow designer to construct a Nintex Workflow.
      • The following Nintex Design Actions will not count as an action during the contruct of your workflow:
        • Log to history, Beacon(Hawkeye), Beginning Beacon (Hawkeye), Ending Beacon(Hawkeye), Set Workflow Status, Commit Pending Changes

     

    User Defined Action

    • A set of Nintex Design Actions configured to perform a function and incorporated in a Nintex Workflow as a single Nintex Design Action.
    • A User Defined Action will not be included in the applicable Subscription Action Limit. Nor will, the number of Nintex Actions within the User Defined Action count towards the applicable Subscription Action Limit. 

     

    Test Data

    • Production data or other data utilized for the sole purpose of testing and evaluating workflow and/or forms designs.


    Nintex Enterprise Edition Subscription Support includes:

    • Software Upgrade & Maintenance, Self Help Access, Customer Support Portal Access, Sandbox Availability and Inbound Phone Support (24x5)


    Nintex Workflow is defined as:

    • A set of Nintex Design Actions which include a manual or automated start and a termination or end.

     

    Development Workflow:

    • A Nintex Workflow which runs on Test Data solely for the purpose of developing and testing a Nintex
      Workflow design.

     

    Subscription Workflow Limit

    • The maximum number of Nintex Workflows available to be published during the subscription term based on the End User’s Workflow Plan.

     

    Stand-Alone Form

    • A Nintex Form that is not included within a Nintex Workflow or Limited Action Workflow.

     

    Start/Task Forms

    •   A Start/Task form will not count towards the total allotted number of Forms. 

     

    Development Form

    • A Nintex Form designed to run on Test Data solely for the purpose of developing and testing the Nintex Form design.

     

    Subscription Forms Limit

    • The maximum number of Stand-Alone Forms available to be published during the subscription term based on the End User’s Workflow Plan. The number of available Stand-Alone Forms shall be equal to the applicable Subscription Workflow Limit multiplied by five (5).

    A customer came to me with the question below, after trying to create a POC with our Forms Enterprise product. I was able to help them out, and thought it could be useful to others as well. 

     

    Question: When a form contains repeating tables it adds all of this white space after it, how do I fix it?

     

    Answer:

     

    The white space usually occurs when the control within the panel (where the hide rule is located), is not extended all the way out.

     

    In order to fix this issue you need to do two things.

     

    One: Have the customer extend the left and right side of the control to the edges of the panel. 

     

    Two: Recreate the Hide Rule that is associated to the Panel, and extend the controls.

     

    This will keep the repeating table from adding additional white space to your Form, and keep your Forms looking crisp.

     

    Hope that helps! 

    Over the last couple weeks, a few customers have asked how to access the Nintex Live actions for O365. Here is a short tutorial on how to do so. 

     

    What is Nintex Live?

     

    Workflow action that uses the Nintex Live service. Connects to an internet-based application exposing web service APIs for public or contracted consumption. Examples: Google Drive download file, Dropbox query files.

     

    How do you access Live actions on O365?

    To add actions to your toolbox from the Nintex Store

    1. In the Nintex Workflow designer, click Store in the ribbon.

    2.  

      For instructions on accessing Nintex Workflow designer, see Accessing the Nintex Workflow designer.

    3. http://help.nintex.com/en-US/O365/Default.htm#O365WorkFlow/Creating%20workflows/Accessing the Nintex Workflow designer.htmThe Nintex Store dialog box appears.

    4. Search and browse: 
      • To search for an action or pack, type in the search box and then press ENTER.
      • To browse packs, click the categories under the search box. Clicking a category filters the display.
      • To display the actions in a pack, click the pack.
    5. On the action or pack of interest, click Add or Try (for information on trialing an action, see the following section).

      The added actions are now available in the Actions toolbox of the Nintex Workflow designer for use in your workflows. 

     

     

     

     

    In my dealing with customers, there are some questions and confusions that keep coming up. I thought I'd share them to help others who may have the same query's.

     

    Why is Nintex Different?

    Fully Leverage SP

    Nintex Workflow is built natively on SharePoint using pre-existing SharePoint infrastructure and the Windows Workflow Foundation. The benefit is that you leverage your existing architecture and infrastructure and avoid incurring the costs of implementing, serving, and supporting additional platforms.

     

    Install in minutes

    Nintex Workflow installs in minutes. No need to install clunky or outdated add-ons to client machines as required by some other workflow solutions.

     

    Design and deploy quickly

    Workflows are designed with no down time. When you create and publish your workflow, Nintex simply picks up the new design when the next instance runs. Unlike options from other vendors who require that every designed workflow must be compiled, packaged, deployed, and activated before they can be used.

     

    No code required

    Nintex is designed for value and easy adoption by business users. Our renowned industry-leading interface allows immediate creation of workflows for new users while rich and deep functionality extends value for power users. Because developer skills are not required to create Nintex workflows, you have faster deployment, easier updates and modifications, and lower total costs.

     

    No additional software or hardware required

    There are no requirements for Kerberos installation to work with SharePoint, no additional hardware resources needed, no Silverlight requirements, and no client-side software installation.  

     

    Connect and extend with Nintex in the cloud    

    Nintex provides a robust set of workflow actions for the applications and tools that can make your workflows drive incredibly enhanced productivity. From updating social sites like Yammer and Twitter, leveraging Dropbox or Box.net, geolocation services, and more, Nintex’s cloud services let you get more work done in the way your teams work.

     

    Get mobile

     

    Use Nintex forms, tasks, approvals, and more to enable your organization to get more done and keep work flowing on any device, anywhere. The benefit is a more productive organization that can act in real time with the devices they use every day.

     

    Take it to the cloud        

    Cloud, On Premise, Hybrid – we’ve got that. Nintex has you covered with the most flexible choices for deployment and licensing of your SharePoint and Office 365 environments. The real benefit is that we adapt your choices today for the future.

     

    Nintex Misperceptions

    Misperception - Integrating with other systems:

    Nintex is unable to connect to other systems. For example, SAP.

     

    Answer

    Nintex supports multiple integration points including web service requests, web requests, multiple queries (SQL, Oracle, XML, OLAP, OLEDB, LDAP, BCS, etc.), CRM integration and BizTalk, and even your own custom solutions. According to our over 5,000 customers and 1,000 partners, the integration found in our products is comparable, in terms of development effort, if not easier to integrate in most cases than alternative workflow solutions.

     

    Misperception - Rewinding a Workflow

    Nintex is unable to rewind a workflow or retract a workflow action that has already occurred due to error.

     

    Answer

    Changes mid-workflow are very rare. In the case that there might be a need to ‘re-route’ a workflow due to an error or other concern, Nintex provides powerful error-trapping capabilities within its actions, which you can leverage and build additional workflow logic around to address workflow rewinds and re-routing. This gives you powerful flexibility in managing your workflows.

     

    Misperception – Running Long Workflows

    As we know, workflows can last years, if Nintex is tied to SharePoint, what are the guarantees that the engine will allow you to run workflows for many years?

     

    Answer

    Using multiple master workflows and sub-workflows, it’s technically simple to create business process tracking functionality with our start workflow action, and scheduled workflows task. These allow you  to set specific time frames to start or resume your workflow, automatically picking up with the newest design.

     

    Misperception – Changing a Workflow as it’s Running

    Nintex supports version control, however you can’t change something in a workflow, and have all of the existing running workflows complete with the new version. Instead you would need to terminate the workflow and start it again if you wanted it to use the newest version. Other workflow solutions allow you to pause and change the workflow as it is running.

     

    Answer

    Changes mid-workflow are very rare. And from an auditing and reporting perspective, if you change the workflow midway through, you’d lose the ability track and baseline results. If, for some reason you are changing workflows continuously in a production environment, Nintex gives you the ability to develop simple business logic where ‘master’ workflows are able to execute other sub-workflows to manage these cases of changing workflow versions mid-workflow.

     

    Misperception – Handling Complex Workflows

    Nintex uses the SharePoint workflow engine, which is a weak engine and can’t handle complex workflows or heavy loads.

     

    Answer

    Nintex is an enterprise grade workflow tool. We have nearly 300 of the Fortune 500, and over half the Fortune 50 using Nintex to automate their business processes. Some of our largest customers run upwards of hundreds of thousands of workflows a week. Microsoft has developed a very robust and powerful workflow engine; Nintex enables this workflow for everyone.

     

    Nintex utilizes the Windows Workflow Foundation 3.5. As Nintex is a custom solution we expand the capabilities found in the normal workflow engine in SharePoint on-prem so it is not a 1:1 comparison between how Nintex workflow jobs are processed and SharePoint Designer / OOTB workflows. As a provider hosted app in Office 365, all Nintex workflows are processed through the Windows Workflow Manager farm where advanced execution occurs securely between the Workflow Manager farm and Nintex's cloud services in Microsoft Azure.

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