Comparing dynamic forms in Geocortex Workflow vs Essentials

Comparing dynamic forms in Geocortex Workflow vs Geocortex Essentials [Geocortex Tech Tip]

Ken Lyon
Ken Lyon
Software Developer
April 10, 2020

Comparing dynamic forms in Geocortex Workflow vs Geocortex Essentials [Geocortex Tech Tip]

 

We’ve had a lot of feedback from you all expressing an interest to learn more about how our standalone 5-Series products differentiate from their widget counterparts in Geocortex Essentials. Therefore, over the next few weeks, we have decided to dedicate our next few Geocortex Tech Tip videos on highlighting some of these key differences.

To start it off, this week’s Geocortex Tech Tip will analyze how to create dynamic forms and highlight functionality examples in the Workflow widget found in Geocortex Essentials versus Geocortex Workflow.

There are many more dynamic actions that can now be performed in Geocortex Workflow such as responding to form events, updating objects in memory or even showing another form from within a form. See more examples in the video below!

Watch on YouTube.

 Video Transcript

“Hi, I’m Ken. I’m on the products team here at Geocortex, and today I’m going to talk about how to compare dynamic form capabilities in the Workflow product with how it used to be done as an Essentials capability.

So, First I’d like to talk about dynamic forms in Essentials. There were some limitations to what you could do. An auto-complete could only query with an URL and a where clause, cascading dropdowns has to be ArcGIS queries, they had no custom decision making, and you could have conditional visibility, but it was pretty simple, things like checkbox state, that sort of thing. Also, whenever an object was sent via form, the server didn’t actually get the object, it was serialized then deserialized at the other end. What this meant was that you couldn’t modify an object via a form. So, that was a problem, and really there was only one place you could do any, kind of customization that was in the runtime modifications.

What we are looking at just now is a fairly straightforward form that shows two cascading dropdowns. I’ve got a state and a county and that is achieved through specifying the cascading ID here for the second one, which depends on the first.

Let’s just take a quick look at how that works in Geocortex Viewer for HTML5 (GVH). We’ve got the state, we’ve got the county. Let’s choose a different state, and the counties reload. I’ll choose another one, and you get the idea. So, that’s working, that’s all fine, but that is pretty limited.

Now, I want to talk about Geocortex Workflow.

Here, I will get many more options available to us. One big difference here is the form runs entirely on the client, and it can respond to events. One benefit of this is if anything is drawn from the browser, you don’t have to traffic back and forth to the server. Also, you have live objects, so that problem that I described earlier about serializing to deserializing, it does not exist here. You can actually modify any JavaScript object that’s in memory within the form.

Also for forms, you have events that you can respond to — there’s a load event, a change event, there’s click, validate, submit — all these different things. It can be helpful for several different cases.

You can also show another form from within in form (which I will show you in a moment), and we also have template workflows that make it much easier to populate things, so we can set you off in the right path, and then you can just tweak a few URLs and parameters in there to get you what you want.

So, here is the equivalent to what we were looking at there in Essentials Workflow. We can see we’ve got ‘Display Form’. So, I’m going to double click on this, and then we’ve got our form elements all defined in here. ‘Select a State’, it has got a sub-workflow, which this is from a template here, and all I really had to do what to charge the URL and a few different things like the fields that I wanted. After that is populated, we have the county, and this is where it’s cascading it depends on ‘StatesDropdownList’.

So, let’s take a look at that one in GVH.

Once again, we’ve got a list of states, I’ll chose one here, choose a county, choose a different state, we see a different set of counties. So, pretty similar, the appearance is slightly different, but the functionality is the same.

Now, with the more advanced functionality that we have such as the event handling, we can do more than just populate other drop-down lists. So, here is an example of a cascading drop downs, and it does a more advanced selection and functionality.

Let’s choose a state here, I’m going to go for Louisiana. We are going to zoom into the state on the map, and then it’s loading the counties. And then if I choose a particular county, it will zoom in on that. In this particular case, we are then going on to show information to a census block.

So, this is an item picker we are using here, that’s showing the area of all these, and you select them and submit the form.

This is just an example of some of the more sophisticated things, you may want to do using dynamic forms.

I mentioned earlier that you can also have one form show another form. I just want to quickly give you an example of that here. This is a pretty simple example here, but it shows the point quite well. You can see that this is the first form, click the button to show the second form, enter my name. It says, ‘You entered Ken’. So, the first form knows the result of the second form, and then as many times as I want to, I can go in the second form, and go back to the first one. And click ‘Cancel’, if I don’t want to change it. I can have validation on there, and so on.

So, those are just some examples of the differences between Essentials Workflow and Geocortex Workflow. I hope it’s been helpful. Thanks for your time.”

Not a Geocortex Workflow user and want to give it a try? See all it has to offer below!

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Categories:
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