New form layout: migration plan

In this post we’ll try to outline the steps you’ll need to do to migrate to a new form layout from your existing applications. It’s not only the change in a way the form appears on the screen. TeamDesk has developed over the years and many times new features supersede old ones. With new layout we are trying to fold various settings into one consolidated thing.

* In old layout Default Form was displayed in a single-column with order of the columns as defined in a table, without sections, and text blocks. In a new layout, Default Form is a fully featured form with sections, text blocks and columns’ order separated from the columns’ order defined in the table. If you have single custom form associated with all roles and actions you are few clicks away from successful migration.

* In old layout you were able to define multiple forms per table and associate various forms for different roles and actions. In a new layout we are defining a single form per table; multiple forms are dropped in favor of using form behaviors to specify what columns should be hidden from the form; with behaviors you can emulate role-based differences plus achieve a lot more.

* New layout affects Default Forms only, custom forms are not affected. To see which users will be affected, please check what roles in what tables in your application are associated with Default Form via Setup mode > table’s tab > Forms > Associate Forms with Roles and Actions. If your have found the roles you do not want to enable new feature ]instantly, make a copy of Default Form and associate a copy of the form with the role(s).

* To enable new form layout you need to go to Setup mode > Setup tab > Tools section > Labs and enable Grid Form Layout. You can enable or disable this feature anytime.

Once you enable the feature, Forms menu will be reorganized. Old one contained:

  • Customize Form Behavior
  • Create New Form
  • Customize Existing Form
  • Associate Forms with Roles and Actions

New one is shortened to:

  • Customize Form Layout
  • Customize Form Behavior
  • Generate Web-to-Record Form

If you had custom forms defined for a table you can still have access to them; the link to old functionality is moved under Rules section > Custom Forms link.

* If you have single custom form for all roles and actions, view the form and click "Copy to Default Form" button. This will copy all the columns, sections and text blocks to a new layout’s Default Form. Then change form associations to set Default Form for roles and actions you want to enable new functionality to. If you are satisfied with results, change the association for remaining roles and actions.

* If you have multiple custom forms associated with various roles and actions start with the form most suitable for migration (containing most of the columns for example). Then adjust the columns’ visibility as necessary via form behaviors:

  1. To differentiate between Add and Edit mode you can use
    RecordId()=’0′ behavior’s filter condition.
  2. To differentiate between roles you can simply address the role name enclosed in square brackets in the filter, for example [My Role].

The Preview button found under Customize Form Layout can help you to play with behaviors and roles without actually deploying the form.

* Web-To-Record (W2R) functionality is also slightly affected. While old W2R forms exist, they will work unchanged. Yet if you decide to migrate completely, please note that there will be a single W2R gateway URL per table.

Enable all the columns from all of your W2R forms. Save. Capture <form>’s action URL from generated HTML code and use updated URL on your site forms.

* Once you complete the migration you can delete all of your custom forms to hide Rules > Custom Forms item.

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