Understand Forms | Zoho Creator Help

Understand Forms

1. What Does This Page Cover?

Learn about forms and how they are used to collect and store data in Creator.

2. Availability

  1. Forms built from scratch, by importing data, and from a template can be created in all plans of Creator, while integration forms can only be created in the paid plans.
  2. Only the super admin, admins, and developers can create and manage forms.

3. Overview

Forms provide a user interface through which end users can provide information that an organization wants to collect. It also collects this data in a structured and orderly manner and stores it securely. Information such as service requests, placement of orders, opinion-based views, and much more can be collected through forms.

4. Forms in Creator

A form is the component of your Zoho Creator application that enables you to collect and store data. In other words, it enables end-users to enter data into your application. This makes forms one of the main points of interaction between your users and your application. If you relate your Zoho Creator application with a database, then a form corresponds to a table in the database. If you relate your Zoho Creator application with a spreadsheet, then a form corresponds to a sheet in the spreadsheet.

Forms can be considered the most integral component of your application, around which all other actions revolve. They are made up of different fields that help collect unique types of information. This data gets stored as records in a report upon form submission. The form builder is the place where different properties, both common to the form as a whole and specific field properties, can be customized.

In Creator, only when you create a form can you create a report (that lets you view the data in different formats) or a workflow (that lets you trigger specific actions at specific instances) in your application.

4.1. See How It Works

4.2. Use Case

  1. Create form from scratch - Say you want to create a customized Support Ticket Entry form for your Order Management application. This form needs the following fields:
    1. Name
    2. Email
    3. Drop Down (order type)
    4. Drop Down (support ticket type)
    5. Image (for issue-related pictures)
    6. Multi Line (description)

    In this case, you can create your form from scratch and include all the aspects that you want to build a fully independent and intricately designed form.
  1. Create form by importing data - Say you already have an .xls file containing records about an fraud insurance claim, and you want to create a form which has all the fields that are covered in your file. You can use this file to create a form that collects further incoming requests. The columns will be displayed as fields in the form while the rows of data will be entered as records in the report.

4.3. Navigation Guide for Creation of Forms

In the edit mode of the application:
  1. If you are creating a form for the first time, when the Create new form button is clicked, the screen displays all the different types of form creation that Creator offers.
  1. After you've created components , when the + button is clicked, the screen shows the different components that can be created in the application. Here, when forms is clicked, the screen displays all the different types of form creation that Creator offers.

4.4. Components of a Form

In the live mode of the application, forms majorly consist of:
  1. Fields - The fields serve as an input area through which you can collect specific information that your form intends to derive from the end-user. Creator offers different types of fields — each meant to capture a specific kind of data—that you can add to your form. Each field's properties can be customized from the form builder as per your specific needs.
Note: Ensure to not enter sensitive terms while naming your fields or collect confidential information in them. 
  1. Buttons - Buttons present in a form initiate certain actions, such as submitting, updating, or resetting the entered data. You can also create workflows that are triggered on the click of these buttons.
Note: To ensure that your users don't accidentally submit forms upon clicking Enter/Return button on their devices, you (super-admin/admin) can enable the Confirm form submission form property. This opens a popup requesting users to acknowledge their confirmation to submit the form, before actually proceeding to form submission.

4.5. Types of Forms in Creator

Zoho Creator enables you to create forms in the following ways:

Types of Form Creation
On my own - From scratch
Create a form afresh and customize the fields, structure, and appearance.

Create a form with data that you already possess in the form of a file. This file can be uploaded to Creator in the following formats:
  1. Local storage - .xls, .xlsx, .xlsm, .csv, .tsv, .ods, .accdb, .mdb, .json, .numbers
  2. URL - .xls, .xlsx, .xlsm, .csv, .tsv, .ods, .accdb, .mdb, .json, .numbers
  3. Cloud service - .xls, .xlsx, .xlsm, .csv, .tsv, .ods, .json, .numbers
Create a form from a predefined template that Creator offers to suit your business needs.The library of these form templates covers various fields of work like education, business, construction, sales, and the IT industry.
Create a form that integrates Creator with another service, thereby enabling data transfer from the submitted form to a module in the target service.

4.6. Stateless Forms

Stateless forms allow you to use the forms component in such a way that they do not store the data submitted through them, in Creator. Therefore, they come in useful when the data may be too trivial or unnecessary to be stored in your application.

When you create a form by duplicating an existing one, Creator provides you with an option of storing or not storing this duplicated form's data in the application. If you create a form while it's unselected, a stateless form is created. By default, this checkbox will be unselected.

You cannot create a report based on this type of form, as its data will not be saved in the application.

Button in Stateless Forms - These forms have a Submit and Reset button by default, which can be removed if unnecessary. Additionally, you can add custom (scriptable) buttons which trigger workflows when clicked on. By default, the Submit button does not have any action attributed to it, while the Reset button removes the entered data. Workflows can be associated with the Submit button for it to execute an action on command. 

Example - Let's say you have built a Hospital Management application. You create a form with a dropdown that consists of all the different types of specialists who work in your hospital. When people who visit the hospital choose a type of specialist from this dropdown, such as an anesthesiologist, and click the Search button, the list of the relevant doctors will be displayed. Since this is just an informative and quick way for your patients to know about the specialists, you wouldn't want a report that records the list of who chooses to see what specialist. In a case like this, you can choose to create a stateless form by choosing not to store its data in Creator.

4.7. Customize the Appearance of Form

A form can be structured and customized according to your business needs. You can set a theme for your application including all your forms, set a specific icons for it, and decide the alignment of your fields and input boxes in the live mode of the application.

Icon Name

Setting a theme for your application applies the chosen theme to all the components of your application including your forms. This includes choosing a layout, setting a color, choosing a font, and more.

Manage the sections of your forms, set icons that make them look distinct, and much more.
For browser:

For phone/tablet:

Label Placement
This defines the alignment of field names (or labels), as well as whether they appear next to or above the field input areas. You can choose a suitable layout for your browser, phone, and tablet.

5. Points to Note

  1. Users with Read, Write, or Custom permissions can view/edit all the records of a form according to the permissions granted to them.
  2. In addition to the data that's submitted through the form, Creator captures few details, such as which user added a record, the date and time when the record was added, and which user was the last one to update it. These details are stored in the system fields.
  3. Upon form submission, a record is created in a list report that gets created by default when the form is created. You can further create different types of reports for the same form such as kanban, calendar, and spreadsheet reports.
  4. There are three types of form events that can happen, for which workflows can be associated:
    1. Before form submission: Events that occur on the load of a form, when a user enters an input, etc.
    2. On form submission: Events that happen on validating the data that is entered in a input area.
    3. After form submission: Events that occur when a form is successfully submitted or when a field is updated.
  1. All types of forms (except integration forms) support workflows such as form workflows, payment workflows, blueprints, etc.

6. Limitations

  1. Integration forms do not support any workflows such as form workflows, payment workflows, blueprints, etc. Refer to the limitations section of integration forms for a detailed list.
  2. The following fields will not be available for stateless forms - SubForm, Signature, File upload, Audio, Video, Auto Number, Formula, Prediction, Keyword Extraction, Sentiment Analysis, OCR, and Object Detection.
  1. Understand Form Builder
  2. Understand Integration Forms
  3. Create by Duplicating an Existing Form

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