Data Sources Overview

Data SourcesClosed Data sources, also known as "Lookups", are external sources of data that you upload or connect to ProntoForms. You can reference this data in a form to populate answers or answer options. Data sources save typing, reduce errors, and make it easy to provide mobile users with only the relevant, most current data., or “lookups”, are external sources of data that are uploaded or connected to ProntoForms. To reference the data in a form, add a Dropdown, Multiselect, or Radio Button question and use a Data Source to get the list of options. Data Sources save typing, reduce errors, and make it easy to provide users with relevant, up-to-date information. They also save administrative time, because the data can be updated without any need to change the form. This topic explains some basic concepts to help you better understand how Data Sources work.

Available on all tiers:


Note:The types of Data Sources you can use depend on your pricing plan. Check with your account manager if you have questions.


Common uses

  • Data Sources can provide a list of values for the mobile user in a Dropdown, Multiselect, or Radio Button question. This makes completing a form easier, faster, and more accurate. Errors are more easily avoided when the user selects an answer from a list of preset options.

    Tip:You can use a Data Source within any type of section, including a Repeatable Section. Set up a lookup question, and then select Use Data Source for Options.

  • With a Data Source, you can auto-populate a series of questions in the form based on a single selection. For example, the mobile user could select a customer name and have fields for customer contact information prefilled for them.

  • Data sources can be filtered or partitioned to limit the data available to specific users or user groups.

  • If you have the Multi-Language add-on, you can set up a lookup question to display the options in the user’s selected language.

  • Info:Customers on the Enterprise tier can use the Multi-Column View and Default Sort Options. These make it easier for field users to select the right answer to a Dropdown, Multiselect, or Radio Button question.

Maintaining Data Sources

We store Data Sources as tables (rows and columns) in the ProntoForms system. Several options are available for maintaining your Data Sources.

Using a single Data Source in multiple forms

One of the key benefits of Data Sources is the ability to integrate data sets from business operations within forms. Data Sources can be used in multiple questions within a single form, and across multiple forms within a ProntoForms FormSpaceClosed FormSpaces are where forms are stored and organized in the ProntoForms Web Portal. A ProntoForms Team may have multiple FormSpaces, depending on their needs. Admins can set FormSpace permissions to control which users have access to the forms in that FormSpace.. This enables businesses to centralize their data within a few ProntoForms objects.

Data Sources are created within a FormSpace. You can use a Data Source with any form within the same FormSpace. The Web Portal provides information on whether a Data Source is in use and which forms reference it:

Manage Forms > Data Sources

Note:You can’t delete a Data Source that’s “in use” by an Active or DraftClosed A draft form is a partially filled-out form saved on a device, or a preliminary version of a form that's been saved but not deployed in the Form Builder. form.

Data Sources in the Forms Library

The Forms LibraryClosed The Forms Library is a resource available to form designers that provides a list of customizable form and Data Source templates. Users can select a form from the Forms Library when they create a new form. also contains Data Sources that users can import for use within forms. To find a Data Source in the library:

  1. Sign in to the ProntoForms Web PortalClosed The ProntoForms Web Portal is a web application used to manage security settings, forms, FormSpaces, other users, Data Sources, and Data Destinations., and then go to the Get Started page.

    If you can’t see that page:

  2. In the Resources section, select the Forms Library.

  3. Select the Data Sources tab.

  4. To view the details, select the right arrow.

  5. To import the Data Source, select the + icon.

Some sample forms found in the ProntoForms Library also have Data Sources associated with them. When you import a form that uses a Data Source, both the form and the Data Source are imported.