Basic Forms

It’s really easy to create simple forms with the Forms Application.

At The Lunar Resort, it’s important to capture guest’s feelings about their stay at the resort. After a (hopefully) safe journey home, guests should receive an email with a link to a page in The Lunar Resort site with a brief survey that prompts them to rate their stay from a list of selections, and add any additional comments they’d like in an optional field.

You can develop a form like this before lunch time, even if that’s in 5 minutes.

Building a Form

Whether you’re creating a simple or complex form, it all starts in the same place: the Forms Application in your site’s Content section. You access this in the Menu by using the site selector to choose the site you want to work in (The Lunar Resort in this case) and clicking Content → Forms.

  • Once you’re in the Forms App, click the Add button (Add). You’re taken to a form that you’ll fill out to create a form. If you’re thinking, “Wait, did they just tell me to fill out a form to create a form?” Yes, we did.

  • The first step is to give the form a name. For this example, enter Guest Survey.

  • For Help Text enter Tell us how your stay was!

  • We need two simple fields, so click the (large) button at the bottom aptly labeled Add Field.

    Figure 1: You can choose from six field types when creating forms.

    Figure 1: You can choose from six field types when creating forms.

  • Choose a Select field.

    Figure 2: Fill out a select field with as many options as you need.

    Figure 2: Fill out a select field with as many options as you need.

  • Here’s how to configure your select field:

    • Label: Rate your visit to The Lunar Resort.
    • Help Text: Leave this blank for our purposes. If you want a subheading for your field to provide additional guidance, this would be useful.
    • Make sure you turn on the Required Field selector. You want to make sure that, at a minimum, you capture whether the guests had a favorable stay or not.
    • Leave the manual option checked for creating the list of selections. If you’re interested in populating the field from a data provider, read the next article in this section.
    • Add these options: It was out of this world!, I had a good time., I’d rather go to the beach, and I’ll never come back. You’ll notice that typing in one of the fields automatically adds another blank selection line. Just leave the last one blank when you’re done.
  • When you’re finished configuring the field’s basic options, click Save. If you want to see additional options, click Show More Options.

  • Now you need a text field, so add one using the same procedure you used for the select field.

  • Configure the field as follows:

    • Label: Want to tell us more?
    • Help Text: Leave this blank again so the form has a consistent look.
    • My text field has: Choose Multiple Lines. Let guests prattle on about their stay if they want to.
    • Required Field: Leave this unselected. Only require guests to fill out the select field and leave this one as optional.

    Figure 3: Add a text field for guests to provide a longer comment.

    Figure 3: Add a text field for guests to provide a longer comment.

  • Click Save when you’re finished configuring the text field.

  • Back on the form builder page, you can see the way the fields will be laid out. This view shows the first (and only in this case) page of the form.

    Figure 4: The form builder page lets you preview your form layout, add a page to the form, or add some more fields.

    Figure 4: The form builder page lets you preview your form layout, add a page to the form, or add some more fields.

  • This form is finished, so click Save.

Now your form can be added to a page, and Lunar Resort guests can be emailed and provided with a link to the page where the form is displayed.

Displaying Forms

The form is developed. Now you just need to display it in The Lunar Resort site.

  • Create a new page in The Lunar Resort site called Guest Survey Page. Hide it from the navigation, and give it a 1 Column layout.

    Figure 5: Add a page for guests to view and fill out your new form.

    Figure 5: Add a page for guests to view and fill out your new form.

  • Navigate to the Guest Survey Page and add a Form application to the page.

  • Click Select Form. When the configuration window opens, click your Guest Survey form and then Save.

    Figure 6: Select the form you want to display.

    Figure 6: Select the form you want to display.

  • Your form is now added to the page.

    Figure 7: Lunar Resort Guests can access a simple form to record their feelings about the resort.

    Figure 7: Lunar Resort Guests can access a simple form to record their feelings about the resort.

Next learn how to view the form entries. Since there aren’t any yet, fill out and submit the form a few times.

Viewing Form Entries

When users fill out your forms, they’re generating data. If you’re collecting data, you’re going to want to see it at some point.

  • From the Menu, navigate back to the ContentForms section of The Lunar Resort site.

  • Click the Actions (Actions) button and select View Entries.

    Figure 8: You can view the entries right in the Forms application.

    Figure 8: You can view the entries right in the Forms application.

  • What if you have a lot of form fields and you can’t see all of the data for each entry in the search container? Just click the Actions (Actions) button for the entry and select View. You’ll be able to see all the specifics for that form entry.

    Figure 9: You can view a single entry right in the Forms application.

    Figure 9: You can view a single entry right in the Forms application.

Viewing entries is great, but this is serious data we’re talking about. You might need to get all the entries into a spreadsheet so you can work with them, for example.

Exporting Form Entries

So, you need to put your form entries in a spreadsheet to do spreadhseet things with them? No problem.

  • Navigate to the Forms application in The Lunar Resort site’s Content section again.

  • Click the Actions (Actions) button and select Export.

  • Choose a File Extension. You can get entries in CSV or XML. For this example, pick CSV.

  • Click Okay, and open the file or save it locally. Open it with your favorite spreadsheet program and confirm that your form entries are entered into a spreadsheet for you.

Figure 10: You can export entries as CSV or XML files.

Figure 10: You can export entries as CSV or XML files.

Once you export a batch of form entries, it can make sense to delete them from the database.

Deleting Form Entries

What if you export a form’s entries and now you want them to be removed from the Liferay database? It’s easy to delete all of a form’s entries at once.

Navigate back to the Forms application In The Lunar Resort Content section. Click the Actions (Actions) button next to the Guest Survey form and select View Entries again. Select all of the entries by checking the box next to All. A trash can icon (Trash) appears in the top right corner of the Form Entries screen. Click it.

Figure 12: Delete all form entries in one fell swoop.

Figure 12: Delete all form entries in one fell swoop.

If you just wanted to delete a single entry, you’d just select that entry by checking its box, then click the trash can.

If you’re worried about deleting everything irrecoverably by accident, don’t worry. You’ll have to confirm the deletion in a dialog box that pops up after clicking the trash can.

Now you know the basics of creating and managing forms in Liferay. But this presentation didn’t do the Forms application justice. It’s much more powerful than hinted at here. Read the next article to see what the Forms app can do for your more advanced form buiding needs.

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