Data Sources Overview
What is a Data Source?
Data sources 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 uploaded or connected to ProntoForms. This data is then referenced in a form. When mobile users access the form, they will have access to specific columns of data, such as a list of customers in their area. Data sources save typing, reduce errors, and make it easy to provide users with only the relevant, most up to date data when they are on the road. They also save administrative time; forms do not need to change, even though the data they use may be updated frequently.
Note:The Data Source types you can use depend on your billing tier. Check with your account manager if you have questions.
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, Radio Button, or Multiselect question.
- Data sources can provide a list of values for the mobile user in a radiobutton or dropdown question, making data entry into forms easier, faster, and more reliable; errors are easily avoided when the user selects their answer from a pre-set list of options.
- More advanced uses include auto-populating a series of questions in the form based on a single selection; the mobile user could select a customer name and have fields for customer contact information prefilled for them.
- Data sources can be filtered either in the form builder or at the data source level, making it easy to provide users with information most relevant to them, such as their personal list of customers
Maintaining Data Source Data
The data contained in data sources is stored in the ProntoForms system and synchronized to users for use on their forms. Several options are available for maintaining data source data in ProntoForms.
- Retrieve data dynamically from cloud-based services like ServiceNow, Microsoft SharePoint Lists, Salesforce, ServiceMax, Dropbox or Amazon S3, or from a Google Apps Spreadsheet.
- Use the ProntoForms API from within a script or application to update data sources.
- Configure the ProntoForms system to dynamically retrieve data source data from a server through an HTTP GET request.
- Use the ProntoForms Group Data Source to automatically compile information about users in a selected group, making it easy to create and maintain a list of users to select from within a form.
- Manage data sources through manual uploads of CSV, XML, or JSON files in the web administration portal.
Using Data Sources 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 FormSpace 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 feature allows businesses to centralize their data within a few objects in ProntoForms.
Data sources are created within a FormSpace. Any forms within a FormSpace can be configured to use the data sources within it. The administration portal provides information on whether a data source is in use, and which forms are referencing it. Data sources which are referenced by forms cannot be deleted.
Data Sources in the Forms Library
The Forms Library 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 which users can import for use within forms. These data sources can be found by navigating to the ProntoForms portal, clicking on Forms Library in the main menu, and selecting the Data Sources tab. Or follow this link: https://live.prontoforms.com/library/sources. View the Data Source by clicking on the right arrow icon or import any Data Source from the list by clicking on the plus sign icon.
Some sample forms found in the ProntoForms Library also have data sources associated with them. When importing a form that has a data source, both the form and the data source are imported.