patrickabel

Conquer Your Bracket with Summit 7 Systems & Nintex

Blog Post created by patrickabel Champion on Mar 13, 2017

Whenever you hear the great Dick Vitale say “it's awesome baby!" you know it's that time of year. We get to spring forward (for those states that recognize DLST), begin to break out the shorts, plan spring breaks, and like a springtime version of the holiday season, we get to fulfill the annual dream of trying to fill out the perfect March Madness bracket (never mind the 1 in 9.2 quintillion chance of that actually happening).

 

Last year the Summit 7 Systems team had a lot of fun building a Bracketology Solution powered by Nintex Forms and Workflow, and this year, we’d like to invite the Nintex Community to join us in competing for prizes and glory!

Here's How to Play

Using our tabbed Nintex Live Form, provide your user information, and then fill out your bracket – it's that simple.  We'll take care of the rest.

NOTE : Make sure to use a valid email address & create a unique username. 

After submitting your bracket, you'll receive a printable copy of your bracket via email courtesy a Nintex workflow.

As the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament gets underway, we'll share a Microsoft Power BI scoreboard. This will allow you to track your picks and see how close you are to some prizes!

The Spoils

Did someone say prizes? The three top scoring brackets will win:

  • 1st Prize: Nintendo Switch Gaming System
  • 2nd Prize: $100.00 Amazon Gift Card
  • 3rd Prize: $50.00 Amazon Gift Card

 

Thanks to Frank Field, we've got some bonus prizes for our Nintex Community Members who participate:

  • All participants will receive 50 points and a "Conquer Your Bracket" badge.
  • 2 randomly selected community members will also win a pair of Bluetooth headphones!

CLICK HERE TO FILL OUT YOUR BRACKET

March Madness has begun! Unfortunately this also means that we are no longer accepting new contest submissions. Following the completion of the contest, the form will be re-enabled for those that didn't get to participate but would like to check out the solution.

 

*Additional contest rules and regulations can be found here.

The Build

Curious about the solution itself? Here's a quick rundown on our solution's overall design and a few "gotchas" we encountered along the way.

 

Key Solution Components:

  • Nintex Forms with Nintex Live were used for the initial bracket submission.
    • Nintex Forms for SP2013 on-prem was used for it's Anonymous Forms Capability.
  • Custom jQuery code was implemented in the form to handle some of the form complexities – such as cascading drop-down form controls.
  • Nintex Workflows were used to handle all emails, communications, and document generation activities to create and share a printable (.PDF) bracket.
  • Nintex Workflows were also used to handle all scoring, tabulations, calculations, etc.
  • Microsoft PowerBI was used to produce all of our reporting and metrics.

 

Solution Challenges & Lessons Learned

The first challenge encountered with a solution like this was designing a form to handle the sheer volume of controls (accommodating a 64 team tournament). In order to improve readability and not require a lot of scrolling, we opted to use a little CSS magic to turn a Choice Control into tabs (showing and hiding each regions game selections).

 

If you like our approach, you can find that tabs solution on the Xchange : Tab-based Layout Solution 

 

Another "gotcha" we discovered was that Nintex form control properties accept rich text. Because of this bug feature, CSS classes, JavaScript client IDs, and embedded code can fail when not manually typed (i.e. copy/pasted from an IDE). With the amount of form-controls in play here, this was just a landmine we had to sidestep.

Here's some additonal details : https://community.nintex.com/thread/10541

 

Perhaps the most interesting challenge was extending drop-down form controls with JavaScript to cascade from round to round of the tournament. What we discovered in the process was that dynamically altering choice-control options with JavaScript (i.e. our cascading drop-downs) invalidates the view-state when the form is submitted causing an error.

 

For more info on this "gotcha," as well as a sample so you can create your own bracketology challenge next year, check out this Xchange asset: How to Create Cascading Choice Controls – Nintex Forms  

 

I hope you all can join us in our bracketology challenge this year – may the odds be ever in your favor! 

 

*Edit – Now that the contest is underway, you can check-out the contest leaderboard here (powered by Power BI).

 

*A note from your community manager: Many thanks to Patrick for making this available to the community! Without being a downer, I should add that it's not a Nintex-sponsored contest, and that the company isn't taking any liability regarding it. But it sounds fun, so good luck everyone! How's that for a non-boring legal disclaimer? :-)

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