Amazon SNS Data Destination

 

About

The Amazon SNS data destination routes data from submitted forms and activates applicable notifications or processes configured in Amazon SNS.  This data destination is intended for use by enterprise customers and system integrators, and is typically used in conjunction with other Amazon web services (like AmazonS3, SQS or Amazon data pipeline).  For example, data collected by mobile forms could be stored in S3, and a separate system to process the data could be activated via an SNS message.  

Data destinations automatically back up data collected in the field.  They reduce the need to visit the web portal by making submitted forms available through the services you already use.  Different documents can also be sent to different services with a single form submission.  Read here for more information on data destinations.

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Amazon SNS (Simple Notification Service) is a flexible messaging service that allows messages to be transmitted to a variety of endpoints - whether the recipient is human or a distributed service.  A single SNS "topic" or access point can use multiple notification delivery methods.  

Several common cloud application design patterns can make use of the SNS service, and SNS can also be used for other advanced notification requirements (SMS, HTTP/HTTPS, Email/Email-JSON).

Review the following references for more information on Amazon SNS:

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Basic Set Up

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  1. Create the data destination following the instructions here.
  2. Destination Basics: Name the destination.  Optionally choose to auto-link forms and documents to this destination.
  3. Add Filtering:  With a filter set up, form submissions will only be sent through the destination if the filter is met.  Read more here.
  4. Set up the Connection tab as discussed below.

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Connection

SNS Topic ARN

When you create a Topic in SNS, the topic is used to create a unique identifier or Amazon Resource Name (ARN).  This identifier is is used to access the topic.  To find the ARN, simply view the topic in SNS.  Information about the topic (including the ARN) is displayed at the top of the page.

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Connection Configuration

Set up an Amazon Web Services Connection or use an existing connection. 

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Subject

Use Data Record Expression Language to build a subject that contains data from submitted forms.  

  • %f - to sort submissions into folders named after the form.
  • %u - to sort submissions into folders named after the user submitting the form.
  • %a[Question Label] - to sort submissions into folders named with the answer to a chosen question.
  • Optionally add static text for formatting - eg.  "%f -- %a[Customer Name]"

For example, entering "A %f has been completed for %a[CustomerName]." could send a notification with a subject like "A General Inspection Form has been completed for Company ABC."  Note that for some notification types (like SMS), the subject is all that will be sent.

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Message

Use Data Record Expression Language to build a message that contains data from submitted forms (see examples above).  Please note that some notification types (like SMS) will only include a subject, not the message, in the notification. 

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Link the Data Destination to Forms

In order for the destination to send any submitted form data, it must first be connected to the form.  This is done in the Data Destinations tab of the form builder.

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Testing and Troubleshooting Data Destinations

Data destinations should be configured and tested carefully before using them in production. This is key to ensuring that ProntoForms data is received correctly. Please consult the recommendations for testing and troubleshooting data destinations.

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