Forms Tab

Overview

The Forms Tab of the Configure [Node] Dialog Box allows you to associate an interface to your attended activity. It is accessed by right-clicking on a node and selecting Properties. The Forms tab appears on an node or smart service that is attended.

For more detailed information about how interfaces are created and their properties, see the Interfaces page.

For detailed information about how to design SAIL interfaces, including how to enable user interactions, how to save and validate user inputs, and how to submit user inputs to process, see the SAIL Design page.

Ways of Setting up Forms

There are three ways you can interact with interfaces from the Forms tab. Only one method can be used at one time.

Option 1: Select an Interface

Designers who create their User Interfaces (UI's) before building their process models can use the Select an Interface option on the Forms tab. Existing SAIL forms can be searched in the picker below the radio buttons or through the directory icon . Selecting an interface will generate a prompt to import rule inputs.

If you already have activity class parameters or process variables that you want to pass into the interface, select No. Otherwise, click Yes to have activity class parameters created automatically for you based on the rule inputs.

Any Type is not a supported data type in the process modeler. Rule inputs of data type No activity class parameters or process variables will be created for Any Type inputs, so you will have to manually map them.
Rule input names need to be at least three characters long in order to automatically associated with a new activity class parameter.

The values seen in the rule input table are activity class parameters of the same data type. Rule inputs can also be mapped via an expression by clicking on the expression editor icon .

Appian-Style-Note If you decide to use the expression editor instead of mapping to an activity class parameter, you will not be able to save that any data coming from that rule input.

Because forms generally have a mix of read only and editable fields, it's easier to simply allow the forms tab to import every rule input to an associated activity class parameter and set any default values within the activity class parameter's Value field.

Activity Class Parameters can also be configured directly from the Forms tab by clicking on the add icon in any rule input row. Besides the data type and multiple option being locked, Designers can perform the same functions within this modal as the data tab.

Option 2: Create Interface

Designers who wish to start with the process model can create an interface that uses existing activity class parameters, using the Create Interface feature.

Let's look at an example. Notice that several node inputs have been created on the data tab.

By clicking the Create Interface icon on the Forms tab a modal will appear. Notice that the node inputs mentioned above are shown here and will be created as rule inputs in the new interface.

In order to complete the interface creation, designers need to add a name, description, a rules folder to save into, as well as an Application to place the new interface. By default the Rule Input Name column will get the node input names, but these values can changed as desired.

Clicking OK will generate a blank interface with rule inputs added. Once this interface has been created, it can be modified through the interface designer.

To open the new interface, click the "Edit Interface" button on the forms tab. If you add or remove inputs from your interface, click the Refresh button on the forms tab to keep the mappings in sync.

Option 3: Write an Expression

The last option available to Designer is to write an expression. If you are opening an attended node that already has been configured prior to 17.1, the Process modeler will make an attempt to convert the original interface mapping configured via expression to the mapping grid shown above. If the process modeler cannot perform the conversion, for example if an expression was created passing arguments by position (e.g., rule!EXAM_uiFormNewResults(ac!cancel, ac!resultData, ac!resultViewers) ), then the form will appear in this expression editor.

This is the most labor intensive and error prone method for mapping interfaces to attended nodes. Appian recommends mapping interfaces using the first two options listed above, as it is easier to manage and configure.

Other Considerations

Allow Users to Save a Draft of In-Progress Tasks

The checkbox at the bottom of the forms tab creates a button on a user input form that will allow users to save a draft of their progress and come back to the form later. If a draft is saved, values will be stored in the activity class parameters. This allows users to save a draft of the data entered in a form, close their browsers, and come back to it later without losing information.

Clearing Interfaces

The Clear Icon next to the interface picker resets the interface rule invoked on the forms tab. While this will clear out the interface used, any node inputs created during the process of interface integration will remain.

If these node inputs are not desired anymore, they must manually be deleted from the data tab.

Updating Interfaces

If you add or remove inputs from your interface, click the "Refresh" button on the forms tab to keep the mappings in sync.

  • If you add a new rule input, you will be prompted to import it as a new input.
  • If you deleted an rule input, the mapping will be removed.
  • If you updated the data type of an existing mapping, the change will be indicated so you can make the appropriate changes.

Lets see what this looks like in the example below:

If a new data point is needed, designers can use the refresh icon above the rule input table to make these changes. If any rule inputs are added, modified, and/or deleted , the refresh button can be used to update the rule input table.

It's important to remember that this refresh is for Rule Input not node inputs. Any activity class parameters that can no longer be used with the updated rule inputs may be manually changed from the data tab. Similarly, if you create a new activity class parameter and want to use that on a form, the Refresh button won't create an new rule input for you. In that case, you would have to created that manually in the interface designer.

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