Web Forms allow users to define entity forms and custom logic within the CRM to render data entry forms within Adxstudio Portals without the need for developer intervention. Web Forms support single step, multi-step navigation and branching logic. Web Forms are commonly used to produce custom surveys in a portal.

Use this guide to learn about the features and functionality of Web Forms in the Adxstudio Portals for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011. This guide will cover all the capabilities that are included with the solution and the configuration options.

Difference Between Web Forms & Managed Forms

Although both Web Forms and Managed Forms render a form in a website based on one that has been defined on a CRM entity, they are significantly different. A Managed Form is a single form rendered by the CrmEntityFormView control. To expose this form in a website, a developer must add a new page template and add the CrmEntityFormView control and specify the entity and form to render. This still provides the ability to modify the form in CRM without a developer, but to add new forms in the future, a developer must repeat this process. On the other hand, Web Forms provides the ability to specify some data in CRM that identifies one or more forms that are to be loaded to produce a single form or a wizard style multiple step process with conditional branching logic. Web Forms utilizes the same CrmEntityFormView control to render the form similarily to Managed Forms but does not require a developer to add new forms to a portal. Web Forms also has additional properties that can be specified in CRM to override some of the default behaviors and overcome some CRM entity metadata and form designer limitations.

View CRM Entity Form Feature Matrix

Requirements

  • Adxstudio Portals 5.0.
  • Adxstudio Portals Base and the Adxstudio Web Forms solution packages or the Adxstudio Portals Complete solution package.
  • Professional Edition or Enterprise Edition license. See Licensing.

Web Form Properties

The Web Form contains relationships to web pages and a start step in order to control the initialization of the form within the portal.  The relationship to Web Page allows dynamic retrieval of the form definition for a given page node within the website.

The other options on the Web Form record itself control top-level preferences for the multi-step process as a whole, for example whether or not you'd like to display a progress bar.

Web Form Steps

The Web Form Step provides the flow logic of the form’s user experience such as steps and conditional branching. It also provided details regarding the rendering of a form and additional behavior.

Web Forms persists the history of the steps a user has visited in an object on a Web Form Session entity. If a Web Form's steps have been modified, previously created history data could now be stale. Anytime steps are changed, it is recommended that you delete all Web Form Session records to eliminate miss match between sequence of steps logged in history and the current sequence. 

Each Web Form will be presented on the portal has one or more steps. These steps share some common propties, outlined below. Each Step contains a pointer (a lookup) to the next step, with the exception of terminal steps. Terminal steps do not have a next time, and are thus the last step of the Web Form (due to conditional branching, there can be multiple terminal steps)

Web Forms Metadata

The Web Form Metadata contains additional behavior modification logic to augment or override the functionality of form fields that is otherwise not possible with CRM’s native entity form editing capabilities.

Web Form Subgrid Configuration

Web Form Subgrids are configured in an identical fashion to Entity Form Subgrids. First, Create a Metadata record for the Web Form Step that has a subgrid, and add configuration metadata.  This process is described here.

Notes Configuration for Web Forms

Web Form Notes are configured in an identical fashion to Entity Form Notes. First, Create a Metadata record for the Web Form Step that has notes, and add configuration metadata.  This process is described here.

Surveys

Creating a survey is accomplished by making customizations in CRM and creating a new entity. Once the entity has been created and its form has been edited to suit your desired layout then a Web Form and steps can be created.