This topic provides a set of recommended best practices for working with Form Templates in Aptify.
- Use a Wizard to Create Organization-Specific Copies of an Existing Form Template
- Use a Generated Form as a Starting Point
- Use Configure Tab Feature and Visual Designer to Modify Forms
- Mark All Templates for a Form as Non-Generated
- Adding a Top Area to a Form
- Consider Two Columns for Fields on a Tab
- Use Icons on Tabs to Increase Awareness
- Use Run Mode and Disabled Behavior to Conditionally Control Part Availability
Use a Wizard to Create Organization-Specific Copies of an Existing Form Template
Aptify provides a Form Template Copy wizard that creates a copy of an entire form template hierarchy for a top level form, including copies of form template parts. Aptify recommends that when working with form templates, you use this wizard to first create a copy of the system’s baseline form template and then modify that copy as desired. This prevents the system from inadvertently overwriting any of your changes if Aptify modifies the standard form templates at a later date.
Note that cloning a form template is not the same as using this wizard. The cloning operation only clones a particular Form Templates record and remains linked to existing Form Templates and Form Template Parts. Changing these form template parts will then lead to undesirable side effects to the other forms that use the same parts.
For instructions on using the wizard. see Using the Form Template Copy Wizard.
Use a Generated Form as a Starting Point
While a developer could create a new form from scratch, Aptify recommends that you create a copy of the system-generated form and use it as your starting point since it typically will already contain much of the layout needed for your form. By specifying the appropriate field information in the Entities record, the form created by the Baseline Form Template Generator can in many cases come close to the final version of your form and therefore only require minor modification. See About the Baseline Form Template Generator for more information on the baseline form template generator.
Use Configure Tab Feature and Visual Designer to Modify Forms
Rather than attempt to work directly with Form Template and Form Template Parts records, Aptify recommends that you use the Configure Tab feature to modify the tab layout and the Visual Designer to modify the specific fields that appear on a tab. Using the combination of a blank tab (created by the Form Template Tab wizard) and the Visual Designer, you can easily add new data to a form without having to modify a form's existing tabs.
Mark All Templates for a Form as Non-Generated
If you modify a generated form, you should mark all Form Templates in that form's hierarchy as non-generated to prevent the system from inadvertently modifying your form template layout if the Baseline Form Template Generator later regenerates the entity's form due to a change in the Entities record.
In other words, there should not be a mix of non-generated and generated Form Templates. Once one of the Form Template records is marked as non-generated, all of its related Form Templates should be marked as non-generated. In addition, the Rank should be changed to be a lower number than the default. Changing the Rank ensures that the non-generated Form Template will take precedence over any generated Form Templates that are created in the future. See About the Form Template Hierarchy for a discussion of the types of Form Templates that typically make up a single form in Aptify.
Likewise, if you choose not to modify the standard form rather than create a copy (see Use a Wizard to Create Organization-Specific Copies of an Existing Form Template), you should also rename all of the form templates (such as by adding a prefix).
To identify a generated form template, look for the word Generated to the right of the template's Name field, as shown in the figure below. Note that the easiest way to mark a Form Template as non-generated is to modify its Description and save the record.
Aptify automatically adds Users and Groups specified at the entity level to the Security tab for generated Form Templates. If an entity uses a non-generated form and you add or remove users and groups from the entity's permission settings, then you need to manually update the Security settings on the Form Templates for that non-generated form. When working with a Form Template's Security tab, only the Read permission is applicable (that is, users and groups have access to the form if they have Read access).
Adding a Top Area to a Form
Many forms in Aptify use a top area to store important data that is always visible when a record is open (such as a Person' name, title, and Company affiliation in the standard Aptify Persons form). See Adding a Top Area to a Form for more details.
Consider Two Columns for Fields on a Tab
Each field on a generated form typically fills the width of the form. When modifying the layout of a particular tab, keep in mind that many fields may not need to be the entire width of the form. By organizing these types of fields into two columns, you may be able to decrease the height of the form.
This is particularly useful if one or two tabs on a multi-tab form have a large number of fields that increase the height of the form to fit all of these fields. Other tabs on the same form use the same height but may then have too much blank space that violates your organization's usability design.
Use Icons on Tabs to Increase Awareness
Each tab on a form can support a different icon. Aptify's standard form includes many tabs with an icon, such as the Attachments tab and Topic Codes tab. You can specify your own icon for your form's tab by adding the icon the Object Repository and linking it to the tab's corresponding Form Template Parts record.
Use Run Mode and Disabled Behavior to Conditionally Control Part Availability
A developer can easily conditional control the availability of one or more parts on a form without having to write a Layout Control. Each Form Template Parts record includes Disabled Behavior and Run Mode fields that determine the conditions under which a particular part should be available on a form, as described below:
- When a Form Template Part has a Run Mode of All, the part is always visible on a form.
- When a Form Template Part has a Run Mode of New Only and a Disabled Behavior of Disable, the specified part is only available on new records. Once the record has been saved, the field or tab becomes unavailable.
- When a Form Template Part has a Run Mode of New Only and a Disabled Behavior of Hide, the specified part is only available on new records. Once the record has been saved, the field or tab is automatically removed from the form and is no longer available.
- When a Form Template Part has a Run Mode of Saved Only and a Disabled Behavior of Disable, the specified part is only available for saved records. The field or tab is grayed out and unavailable on new records and automatically becomes available once the record has been saved.
- When a Form Template Part has a Run Mode of Saved Only and a Disabled Behavior of Hide, the specified part is only available for saved records. The field or tab is not visible on new records and is automatically added to the form once the record has been saved.