Advanced Data Sources: Using Partitions

 

About

Partitions are a filtering mechanism applied to data sources to determine what rows of data are available to users or groups of users when filling out forms. Data source partitions make it easy to provide users with only the data they need.  Common uses include providing a field user with only the information for customers they are assigned to, or customers in regions they are assigned to.  

While filtering can alternatively be set up through the form builder, applying filtering at the data source level (rather than at the the form level) can be simpler to maintain; partitions can be added to the data source once, yet used in multiple forms.

Overrides 

Data source partitions have replaced overrides. Overrides previously required separate data files to be uploaded to a particular user or group in order to provide them with different data, and multiple files had to be uploaded every time the data needed to be updated.  With data source partitions, a single file can be used, making it much faster and easier to manage and update data sources, leaving less room for human error.

Sample Data Source

Below is a relatively simple data source as viewed in a spreadsheet program; this will be used for all examples in this article.

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Adding a Partition

 Note: A data source must already be created before a partition can be added to it.

  1. Mouse over the Manage Forms tab, confirm that you are in the desired FormSpace, and select Data Sources.  
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  2. Select the desired data source by clicking on its name..
  3. Mouse over the dropdown next to the data source name and select Create Partition.

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 There are two types of partitions;  view Dynamic Partitions and Regex Partitions below.

 

Edit or Delete an Existing Partition

To edit an existing partition, navigate to the desired data source, then mouse over the desired partition.  Select  edit.jpg  to edit or cross-circle_thumb.png to delete.  Note: Deleting a partition is permanent.

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Dynamic Partitions

Dynamic partitions can be set up to provide specific rows of data to select from on a mobile form,  based on the mobile user's username/User ID or the user's Group Name/Group ID. 

For example, using the data source sample above, a dynamic partition can be used to filter the data so that when "John Doe" is filling out a form on his mobile device and selects a "Customer" dropdown list, he only sees his customers.  With the same partition, "Jane Doe" can view only her customer.

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  • In the above screen, the column selected is "Rep"; this is where the value (Username) to sort by is listed.  
  • The field to match is "Username"; this tells the filtering mechanism to search for the mobile user's Username within the "Rep" column, and give the user access only to data in rows that contain their username in the "Rep" column.

For Field to Match, other options to select from are User ID, Group ID, and Group Name.  

Note: Remember to reference the data source in your forms.

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Regex Partitions

Regex partitions use Regular Expressions to match fields in a data source to determine how to filter the file. For example, using the data source above, a Regex partition can be used to filter the data so that when users in a particular group select a "Customer" dropdown list, they are shown only users in regions containing the word "Ontario."

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  • In the above screen, the column selected is "Region", as the regular expression will try to match data in this column.
  • In order to link the filter only to a particular group, select Group as the Link Type. Other options are User and Everyone.
  • Select the group to receive the filtered data.
  • Enter your regular expression.  Here we have entered   ^.*Ontario.*$  to match any field containing the word "Ontario."

Set up as above, the group "Demo Group" will see only customers located in Ontario (whether it be Western, Eastern or Central) in their customer list. Multiple partitions can be set for the same data source -- for example, a different partition can be made to show another group only customers located in "Western Canada." 

Note: Remember to reference the data source in your forms.

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