Smartform

Smartform basics

Smartforms are HTML forms and contain all required data for processing the process. These forms are attached to a process definition. In a started instance a smartform can be viewed at any time and data can be entered and changed. 





HTML

HTML stands for Hyper Text Markup Language and is the standard markup language for creating websites. In combination with other languages like Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) and JavaScript HTML is the basis of web-development. Therfor HTML is used to determine the structure of websites. HTML is therefor not a programming but a markup language and is thus easy to learn. 

In the following some useful HTML elements for smartform building are presented. A detailed documentation as well as various tutorials ca be found under w3schools.

Please find here a detailed description about how to implement a Smartform with HTML.




CSS

CSS or Cascading Style Sheets are used to affect the design or presentation of websites created with HTML. CSS is designed to separate structure and presentation of a website. Normally the styles are defined in separate .css files. 

The user experience besides the functionality heavily influenced by a appealing design. The visual editing with CSS is an important part of the smartform design. 

A detailed documentation as well as various tutorials can be found under w3schools.

Please find here a detailed description about how to add style attributes to a Smartform with CSS.




Section Handling

Which user may see specific parts (so called sections) within the smartform is determined by the Section Handling. These restrictions can either apply in a whole process or at a certain level in the course of the process. The following permissions can be granted or revoked:

  • write permission

  • read permission

Please find here a detailed description about how to implement a Section Handling.




JavaScript

JavaScript is a client-side programming language, which is executed in the browser. While HTML and CSS represent the website's static content, user interaction can be reacted th with JavaScript. Furthermore functionalities like calculation or auto completes can be implemented. 

A detailed documentation as well as various tutorials can be found under w3schools.

Please find here a detailed description about how to integrate JavaScript in a Smartform.




Planning 

Before implementing a smartform, its structure, design and functionalities should be planned carefully. Smartforms provide a process with necessary information. A good starting point for planning is which information is needed at which point in the process sequence. These are functional requirements. 

When the functional requirements are clear, they have to be implemented in a user friendly design. It should be noted which users have to work with the smartform. An appealing user interface really makes working with the smartform easier. However the functionalities should always come before the aesthetics. 

When planning a smartfrom using a paper prototype or mockups can be useful. Drafts can be discussed with end users and can also be modified. For creating a mockup or a prototype there are many different helpful tools like balsamiq or Sketch.




Using Frameworks 

To make web development more comfortable, various HTML, CSS and JavaScript frameworks have been developed. We regularly use Bootstrap or Kube. Both frameworks offer predefined CSS classes, that enable the development of an appealing and responsive smartform design. Besides Bootstrap and Kube libraries like Polymer gain in popularity.

Additional the JavaScript library jQuery is an important component of smartform development. The extensive API offers various functions, like to catch user input. 

For very complex smartform with complicated calculations or requests the framework AngularJS, developed by Google is very useful. 

Of course, it is possible to integrate own frameworks within the HTML code of the smartform as well as within the custom.js file.




Editor

A smartform can be created in a simple text editor. However, editors for programmers have a lot of advantages, like line indentation, code highlighting or autocompletes.

Popular editors are e.g. Notepad++Visual Studio CodeBrackets or Sublime Text.




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