Friday Feature - Functional Forms

One of my tasks is to maintain the Knowledge Base. The software I use provides sundry statistics, things like the number of views, popularity, and user-choice ratings. Both Terri and I troll these statistics looking for ideas about documentation updates, trainings, Friday Features, and tips and tricks. Well, I was fishing the other day and the question “Why does the form look different sometimes?” caught my eye. Created in January of 2008, this item has been viewed 168 times, thirteen times in the last few weeks.

It is a really good question with a really good answer.

Escape Online has several activities that PAY ATTENTION to what you are doing and react accordingly. For example, Vendor Requisitions actually has two forms: one for Admin users and one for everyone else.

As you can see, the “admin” form is much simpler, displaying on those fields that they need to fill in or get information about. This is especially nice because Admin users aren’t in the software all the time, just now and then. There is no need to bother them with information that they really don’t need to know about, like the API Status, FOB, or Terms for shipping.

We do something similar for Budget Entry. This time, though, the work flow is not based on your role, but your account type. Since salary and non-salary accounts have such different requirements, Escape Online has different “forms” for each type.

  • If you open a non-salary account, you will see a simple form with only a few fields for data entry.
  • If you open a salary account, you will get a form with all of the fields necessary to define the employee, position, subject gross and other salary information.

As if that was not enough, we have the ever magnificent extended records, which are about as custom as you can get. Drum roll please. Yes, Escape Online does include the ability to add “custom” fields (aka extended records) to department and vendor requisitions, employee benefit setup, employees, positions, position detail, and assignments.

Check it out! You can search by the extended fields and sort by them on the list. Escape places the fields directly on the form with lookups for data validation, and, in the case of employee records, on their own tab.

While extended records are incredibly useful, they are not to be implemented lightly. They require custom programming for adding the fields and modifying any associated reports. Several districts and most of the counties using Escape Online have taken advantage of this feature.

We are also currently working on quick links that will open multiple forms in a single activity, such as a requisition from a vendor record. This functionality will be rolled out over the coming year and, of course, will be the topic of a future Friday Feature!