(Please note that older articles might not render correctly in mobile view.)
- What is a Data Source?
- Maintaining Data Source Data
- Using Data Sources in Multiple Forms
- Data Sources in the Forms Library
Data sources or "lookups" are external sources of data uploaded or connected to ProntoForms. This data is then referenced in a form. When mobile users access the form, they will have access to specific columns of data, such as a list of customers in their area. Data sources save typing, reduce errors, and make it easy to provide users with only the relevant, most up to date data when they are on the road. They also save administrative time; forms do not need to change, even though the data they use may be updated frequently.
- Data sources can provide a list of values for the mobile user in a radiobutton or dropdown question, making data entry into forms easier, faster, and more reliable; errors are easily avoided when the user selects their answer from a preset list of options.
- More advanced uses include auto-populating a series of questions in the form based on a single selection; the mobile user could select a customer name, and have fields for customer contact information pre-filled for them.
- Data sources can be filtered either in the form builder or at the data source level, making it easy to provide users with information most relevant to them, such as their personal list of customers
The data contained in data sources are stored in the ProntoForms system and synchronized to users for use on their forms. A number of options are available for maintaining data source data in ProntoForms.
- Manage data sources through manual uploads of CSV, XML, or JSON files in the web administration portal.
- Use the ProntoForms API from within a script or application to update data sources.
- Configure the ProntoForms system to dynamically retrieve data source data from a server through an HTTP GET request,
- Retrieve data dynamically from cloud-based services like Dropbox or Amazon S3, or from a Google Apps Spreadsheet.
- Use the ProntoForms Group Data Source to automatically compile information about users in a selected group, making it easy to create and maintain a list of users to select from within a form.
One of the key benefits of data sources is the ability to integrate data sets from business operations within forms. Data sources can be used in multiple questions within a single form, and across multiple forms within a ProntoForms FormSpace. This feature allows businesses to centralize their data within a few objects in ProntoForms.
Data sources are created within a FormSpace. Any forms within a FormSpace can be configured to use the data sources within it. The administration portal provides information on whether a data source is in use, and which forms are referencing it. Data sources which are referenced by forms cannot be deleted.
The Forms Library also contains Data Sources which users can import for use within forms. These data sources can be found by navigating to the ProntoForms portal, clicking on Forms Library in the main menu, and selecting the Data Sources tab. Or, follow this link: https://live.prontoforms.com/library/sources. View the Data Source by clicking on the "" icon, or import any Data Source from the list by clicking on the "" icon.
Some sample forms found in the ProntoForms Library also have data sources associated with them. When importing a form that has a data source, both the form and the data source are imported.