Dispatch Data Destination

Contents

Supported on the Advanced and Enterprise tiers:

Essentials
Advanced
Enterprise

About

The DispatchClosed The term "dispatch" refers to the act of sending a form to a mobile user or customer. Typically, a dispatched form includes some information pre-filled to give the recipient context for the work to be done. Dispatch can be manual or automated (using a Dispatch Data Destination or the ProntoForms REST API). Data DestinationClosed A Data Destination specifies where to send data from a submitted form. You can use Data Destinations to automate data sharing and storage, routing data to a specific service (such as email or cloud storage) in several different formats. takes selected data from one form and automatically dispatches it to a target form and target users. This process is useful for a number of business functions, but is most commonly used for manager approvals of forms that users have submitted.

This destination streamlines workflows by allowing forms to be dispatched to users on-the-go from a mobile device. While saving administrators time by minimizing the need to access the web administration portal on a frequent basis, this data destination is also incredibly user-friendly, with no CSV files to download and upload.

The Dispatch Data Destination is best paired with a User Data Source. This data source provides a list of users to choose from; no maintenance of the list is required, as it updates immediately and automatically when any changes are made in the web portal. To learn more about what data types are supported for dispatch, please look at this help article: Supported Question and Data Types for Dispatching.

Basic Set Up

Create the Data Destination, selecting Dispatch Data Destination as the type.

  1. Name the destination.
  2. Optionally configure Filtering.
  3. Configure Dispatch Data, save the destination, and then , in the Form BuilderClosed The Form Builder is the tool that form designers use to create forms. In the Form Builder, accessed from the ProntoForms Web Portal, form designers can add and edit pages, sections, and questions, as well as attach data destinations and configure the form's settings., link forms to the destination.

Dispatch Data

Target Form

When the data destination executes, the Target Form will be dispatched to the selected user. Ensure the target form is set up to allow dispatching in the Form Properties tab of the form builder.

Target User's Username

Select a user to receive the target form with dispatched data.

Note:If using DREL, keep in mind that this field is looking for the username. Consequently, the answer to the "Dispatch To" field must exactly match a username -- not their user ID, Display Name, etc. If the value does not match the username of an existing user, then the dispatch destination fails to execute. When referencing the User Data Source in the form, be sure to either:
    • Choose "Username" as the Display Column, and leave the Data Column empty.
    • Choose any other column as the Display Column and choose "Username" as the Data Column.

You can use %u[username] to specify the Target User, which sends the dispatched form back to the user who submitted the form.

Dispatch Metadata

Dispatch metadata gives your users key information about their assigned jobs, including notes, priority, due dates, and locations. If a submitted form was initially dispatched with metadata, the Dispatch Destination can forward that metadata to the target form.

For information on what dispatch metadata is and how to use it, please read: Dispatch Metadata and Inbox Views

Options:

Dispatch Destination metadata settings

Dispatch Data

Choose which data to send through the target form.

  • Select Automatically carry forward answers… to ensure that the destination maps answers from the submitted form to answers in the target form based on question Unique IDs.

  • Select questions in the Target Form to populate with data from the submitted form.
    • Target Question is the Unique ID in the target form that should be filled. Read more about Unique IDs here.
    • The Answers to Dispatch can reference question answers and metadata from the submitted form using DREL. Static text can also be included.

Note:If you are using conditional logic to "Set" an answer on a question, we highly recommend that you don’t dispatch to this question. The conditional logic and dispatched data may conflict and produce inconsistent results.

Sample Dispatch labels

Dispatch Files

Files can be dispatched between questions of the following question types: File Upload, Image, Signature, and Sketch Pad. This can be useful for images that are specific to a job, like a site-specific floor plan, a chart for the mobile user to reference, or a sketch produced in a form from an earlier site visit or job estimate. A photo collected from an Image question can be dispatched to a Sketch Pad question, and vice versa.

As with all control types, checking Automatically carry forward answers… takes data from the dispatching form and automatically route it to fields in the Target Form with corresponding Unique IDs. Read more about Unique IDs here.

To manually define files to dispatch from the submitted form to the Target Form, you can use a DREL expression in the Answers to Dispatch field. The field must be formatted as:

contentType|Base64-encoded bytes

where contentType is the file type and Base64-encoded bytes is the encoded file content. For example, to send this text file:

Air pressure                      = 8 mm Hg
Earth Leakage Current             = 450 µA

enter text/plain|QWlyIHByZXNzdXJlICAgICAgICAgICAgICAgICAgICAgID0gOCBtbSBIZw0KRWFydGggTGVha2FnZSBDdXJyZW50ICAgICAgICAgICAgID0gNDUwIMK1QQ==

in the Answers to Dispatch field.

Unlike dispatching to simple text data types, static text cannot be included in the Answers to Dispatch when dispatching files. For more information, see Supported Question Types for Dispatching: Attachment Format.

The following example shows a photo collected by a question with the unique ID "Photo" that is configured to dispatch to a field with the unique ID "Image1" in the Target Form. In this example, the DREL expression extracts the answer from the question “Photo” and formats the answer as contentType|Base64-encoded bytes.

Example of an Image Unique ID field in a Dispatch Destination

There is no difference in the DREL expression formatting between Image, File Upload, Sketch Pad, or Signature questions, simply use the correct unique ID.

Dispatch Barcode Scanner values

Barcode data requires specific formatting, including both type and value.

We support the following barcode types:

  • UpcA

  • UpcE

  • Ean8

  • Ean13

  • Code39

  • Code128

  • Itf

  • QrCode

The following types of barcodes are supported but might be difficult to scan on older devices:

  • DataMatrix

  • Pdf417

To prefill Barcode Scanner questions, you can:

  • Configure your destination to Automatically carry forward answers…. The dispatched form includes any Barcode Scanner answers from the submitted form if the question Unique IDs match.

  • Specify the barcode type and value using the following DREL expression format:

    %a[UniqueID][barcodeType]|%a[UniqueID][barcodeValue]

    where [UniqueID] identifies the Barcode Scanner question and [barcodeType] and [barcodeValue] are additional properties.

Dispatch Geo Locations

Specify the geo location to dispatch using the following DREL expression format:

%a[UniqueID][coordinates]

where [UniqueID] identifies the Geo Location question and [coordinates] returns the latitude, longitude, and altitude of the geo location.

The following example shows a Dispatch Destination configuration. The geo location from the question NewSite prepopulates the question SiteLocation in the dispatched form.

Dispatch destination configuration for a Geo Location question. The Target Question is a question with the Unique ID SiteLocation. The DREL expression that specifies the answer to prepopulate is %a[NewSite][coordinates].

Use Case: Dispatch a Link to the Form Submission Document

In cases where the recipient of a dispatch needs to view the document for the submitted form, the URL can be dispatched to them along with other data. This URL can then be launched directly within the form using the "Data Type Launcher" Functionality. In this example, we will dispatch a web portal link to the PDF document so that the user can open it in an external browser.

In the Form Builder:

  1. Open the Target Form in the form builder.
  2. Add a Text question with a URL data type (Text-> URL-> Textbox).
  3. Mouse over the question and Edit Properties.
  4. On the Properties tab, select Allow mobile users to launch a web browser… and Open the link in an external web browser.
  5. Save and close.

Data Destination Configuration: 

  1. Edit the Data Destination. Select the Dispatch Configuration tab.

  2. In the Form Answers section, in the Target Question field, Enter the Unique ID of the URL question.

  3. In the Answers to Dispatch field, enter the URL:

    https://live.prontoforms.com/data/%r[id].pdf

    This extracts the reference ID of the submitted form and inserts it into the link.

When configured as above, the recipient of the dispatch will receive a link to the form submission document, which they can tap to launch in their browser.

Use Case: Dispatching to Different Forms Based on an Answer

You can use one submitted (source) form to dispatch data to a number of different forms. The source form can be simple, with a few questions containing customer contact information, or it can be complex, making use of conditional logic to hide questions not applicable to what the user has selected as a target form. In either case, a separate Dispatch Data Destination is required for each Target Form.

  1. In the Form Builder, create a dropdown question where a user can select a form name (from a data source or otherwise). For the purposes of this example, the unique ID is "TargetForm", and one of the answers is "Work Order."

  2. Create a Dispatch Data Destination and select "Work Order" as the Target Form.

  3. In the Data Destination Filtering tab, configure as shown below. The data destination for the "Work Order" form will only execute and dispatch to a user if "Work Order" is selected. Configure other data destinations for the other target forms similarly.

    Example of a Dispatch Data Destination filter rule