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V8 -- Using Simple Forms

Simple forms provide a way to collect and display information. As the name implies, the features and options provided are simple, which makes it easier to learn, but does not provide the advanced capabilities of a full application programming environment.

You will need to create two pages, one for data entry and one for display.

We have not yet documented here the methods to use to collect information that is not intended to be immediately available to the general public. (Restricting access to the data results display page is a likely approach.)

  1. Choose an existing page or create a new page for data entry, and set its layout as you wish.

  2. Click on "click to insert new element" and expand the "Form & Data Sheet Elements" section of the Element Gallery.

  3. Select "Simple Form".

  4. Click on "Click here to define the Simple Form element".

  5. Select "Create new simple form" and click the "Next" button.

  6. Enter a name for the form, which should start with your subsite name. 

    Later, when you have your results page created, you will come back and select "submit to page," but for now choose "Display message on submission."

    Click the "Specify Message..." button to provide initial text; when finished, click on the "Save" button at the lower-right. That text will replace the form itself when the page reloads following submission of the form.

    Click for now in the check-box to select "Send email notification upon submission."

    Be sure that the sender's E-mail is selected to be the E-mail address of the user submitting the form, if known, and provide a valid e-mail address for use otherwise.

    You can just have the form information E-mailed to an address or addresses of your choice. E-mail submission of form information is also supported in two other ways, as described at http://www.ohio.edu/oit/webservices/static/append5.cfm.

  7. Click on the "Save" button; the page will re-display with a yellow work-in-progress icon ("+") for the simple form element's properties.

  8. Click that icon and select "Edit Fields."

  9. Click the "Add New Field" link.

  10. Choose a Type, enter a Field Name, and enter a Label (other aspects are optional).

  11. Click on the "Add Field" button; the list of form fields will now include the new field.

  12. Repeat steps 9 - 11 to create additional fields as needed.

  13. Click on the "Close" button.

  14. Choose an existing page or create a new page for data display, and set its layout as you wish.

  15. Click on "click to insert new element" and expand the "Form & Data Sheet Elements" section of the Element Gallery.

  16. Select "Data Sheet".

  17. Click on "Click here to define the Data Sheet element".

  18. Click on "Add data sheet view" in the lower-left.

  19. Enter a name and description -- name sure the name starts with your subsite.

  20. Check the "Private" or "Default" check-boxes; select the data source to be "Form Result/Custom Element Sheet."

  21. Click the "Next" button.

  22. Choose the simple form that you created in steps 1 - 13. This may be easier if you first select a Source Type of "Simple Forms" and then click on "Filter" at the upper-right. When you have selected the simple form, click on the "Next" button.

  23. Select and sequence the columns as you prefer for display.

  24. Click on the "Save" button.

  25. Click on the "Close" button.

  26. Build a link, either as a direct link element, or within a Formatted Text Block, that will take your reader to the data entry page that you created in steps 1 - 13.

  27. Click on the yellow work-in-progress icon and submit the entire page for publication.

  28. Change to read mode and click on the "Return to data entry page" link.

  29. Select "Author" mode if not still in that mode.

  30. Click on the form's element properties tool (element properties tool icon) and select "form" to bring up the "Create/Select Simple Form" lightbox; select the "Select SImple Form/Custom Element" choice; and click on the "Next" button.

  31. Select a Source Type of "Simple Forms" and then click on "Filter" at the upper-right. When you have selected the simple form, click on the "Next" button.

  32. Change the form action to "Submit to a specified page" and click on the "Choose..." button to bring up a list of your pages. Choose the display page that you created in steps 14 - 27, and then click on "Use Highlighted Page."

    Observe the path and filename specification for the page you have selected.

    You could also at this time turn off sending of the e-mail, but we suggest you make that a separate revision cycle, after confirming experimentally that the submission to the page is working as expected.

  33. Click on the "Save" button in the Simple Form Action lightbox.

  34. Click on the yellow work-in-progress icon and submit the entire page for publication.

  35. Return to "Read" mode and experiment!