Posted in Database

Populating an HTML Form from a SQL Database: Using frevvo’s Database Connector

Most of your company’s important data likely lives in a SQL database.

Practically every organization has at least one SQL database and often many of them. 

But, here’s the rub: Most of your company has no idea what SQL even means, let alone how to get the information they need out of the database. So, that means that your IT team spends an enormous amount of time either manually running queries and generating reports or building one-off applications and HTML forms for every department under the sun to get the data they need.

It’s not a good use of time.

What you need is a form builder with configurable SQL database integration that can help you stand up solutions quickly. Rather than rolling your own applications, you can use frevvo to build custom forms, configure advanced workflows, integrate data from a MySQL database, and ship a solution—in about an hour. 

Continue reading “Populating an HTML Form from a SQL Database: Using frevvo’s Database Connector”
Posted in Forms, Workflows

Create Dynamic Forms: The No-Code Guide to Smarter Data Collection

Dynamic forms are the lifeblood of most automated business processes. 

From HR paperwork to automating accounting tasks, most of the common ways that our customers use frevvo to save time and money in their business rely on smart forms that are able to do more than just collect text in a box, but perform actions based on those specific inputs. 

This functionality allows businesses to create forms that perform calculations, automatically fill in  information, or customize workflows based on the user’s inputs.

While most users would likely love this functionality, few have the resources at their disposal to achieve a truly seamless experience.

Instead, most businesses capture inputs through forms where users have to type data and read instructions and then still manually process those inputs with human time and energy. Why? Because building dynamic forms can be an enormous expense and investment that many businesses can’t make. 

For most companies, rolling your own dynamic forms and creating custom workflows can drain hundreds of hours of IT time and other resources cost thousands of dollars to implement.

This is why frevvo includes a Visual Rule Builder (VRB) to allow business users to create dynamic forms without coding. Using the VRB engine, non-technical users can easily define custom rules and logic that control how a form functions while it’s being completed, once it’s been submitted, and when it’s being processed. 

All of the custom functionality that would require manual coding and huge investment to build and maintain can be created with just a few clicks.

Continue reading “Create Dynamic Forms: The No-Code Guide to Smarter Data Collection”
Posted in Forms, HowTo, Mobile, Usability

Responsive Forms: The Tactical Guide for Modern, Growing Organizations

The modern workforce is picking up their mobile devices and not putting them down. The BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) trend has skyrocketed in the last decade with nearly 90% of employees connecting to company networks via their mobile devices 

As this trend continues, your customers and employees expect to leverage portability and access forms and business services from anywhere and from any device. This gives customers the flexibility to interact with you anywhere and from any device. It also gives employees the freedom to keep projects moving without being chained to their desktop computers.

The end result? Your organization also saves time and resources as projects get done faster and more efficiently — and provides a better customer experience.  

There is a caveat, though.

Increased efficiency is only possible if people use your mobile apps. Poorly-designed, non-responsive forms keep them from fully enjoying and embracing the mobile experience. And for growing organizations, a frustrating mobile experience creates an unproductive work environment and employee disdain for difficult mobile applications. 

The good news is that virtually any form or workflow can be optimized for mobile. Employee onboarding, contracts and quotes, proposals, expense forms, and more—all from any device, and from any location. 

Let’s go over the characteristics of mobile-optimized forms, what they are and how to implement them into your employee’s workflow. 

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Posted in Forms

Automated Form Processing: A Tactical Guide to Dealing with Forms on the Fly

Efficiency is key for high-performing businesses. Inconvenient as they are, forms, from purchase orders to travel requests, are unavoidable and abundant. Forms typically require approvals where one or more supervisors may comment and sign, and processing where the completed data fields are entered into an electronic database. This can be done manually or automatically. 

Automated form processing is much more efficient and has significant advantages over manual processing. Form automation software streamlines tasks, saving staff time and reducing errors. Learn the benefits of automated form processing, how it works, and the best form automation software for your business.

Continue reading “Automated Form Processing: A Tactical Guide to Dealing with Forms on the Fly”
Posted in Mobile, Usability

10 best practices for mobile form design

if_seo_web-46_1046182.pngUX Matters had this interesting article on mobile form design. At frevvo, we’ve created thousands of forms and workflows for mobile devicesand we’ve learned a lot along the way. One thing is absolutely true:

“As technology continues to go through metamorphoses and our understanding of users’ needs becomes more refined, good mobile form design is constantly evolving.”
– Quoted from above article

Getting your forms to be genuinely usable on mobile devices is hard but can have big benefits. Fortunately, with frevvo, you don’t have to worry too much about this. Let’s take a look at a few things mentioned in the above excellent article:

1. Use a single input field where possible

Continue reading “10 best practices for mobile form design”

Posted in Forms

Google Drive as a low-cost ECM?

google-apps-for-work-logo-2My colleague Prajakta just published a 6-part series of articles on frevvo + Google Apps (Part 1 is here and contains links to the others).
I also came across a Forrester Wave report (The Forrester WaveTM: ECM Business Content Services, Q3 2015: Our Evaluation Of 11 ECM Vendors And How They Stack Up) while working with another ECM vendor. It contains the following key takeaway:

Business Content Services Emphasize Document Sharing, Collaboration, And Usability

That got me thinking. At frevvo, we use Google Drive quite extensively for collaboration and sharing around documents. But, we also use it as a low-cost [Enterprise] Content Management system. It works for us because our own internal forms and workflows are integrated with Google Drive (Apps).
Cloud-based document sharing systems like Google Drive tend to focus on basic document storage and retrieval e.g. sharing your pictures from that trip to the Amazon. Even if you’re looking to share and collaboratively access business documents, Google Drive can do a decent job of that.
But the highest value is realized when these functions are properly integrated in with automated workflows (and the associated forms). Without e-forms and workflow, Google Drive is nothing more than a glorified network drive albeit. Very useful (secure, backup etc.) and incredibly affordable no doubt. But, it’s not even close to ECM and will produce very little by way of cost & time savings or productivity enhancements by itself.
That’s where frevvo can help. You can combine frevvo + Google Apps in many ways to create really useful solutions:

  • Electronic Signatures – sign permission slips, sales orders and leave approvals electronically and save them to Google Drive.
  • Dynamic Content – create dynamic pick lists from a Google Sheet, update it after submission, get mileage info from Google Maps.
  • Simple Content Export – create relatively simply forms and workflows that just save submissions to a Google Sheet. You can perform all the usual functions on the data to analyze it.
  • Automated Approvals – this is where the real value comes in. Digitize core day-to-day operations – forms/documents that are routed between various people in your organization for approvals.

Read more in Prajakta’s series of blog articles (Part 1 here).
Again, Google Drive (and Apps) by itself is not really an Enterprise Content Management system. But, by combining frevvo with Google Sheets, Maps, Drive and other APIs, customers can easily create their own unique online forms and digital workflows that meet real-world business requirements, work automatically on mobile, are cloud-based and securely save the documents to Google Drive. Once in Drive, the documents can be managed, shared and searched.
The combination gets you closer to having ECM-like functionality at an incredibly affordable cost.
Learn more by visiting our website and sign up for a free 30-day trial account.

Posted in Approval Process, Forms, Green Schools, k-12, Paperless Schools, Workflows

[Infographic] K-12 Process Automation

infographic_wireframe_frevvo_jan2016_3In previous posts, we’ve described how some of our K-12 school customers are using frevvo to automate routine processes and improve efficiency and services to students and staff. EUSD (Escondido Union School District) has been so successful at this – they’ve automated 8 approval workflows including Absence Records, Mileage Reimbursement, and Budget Transfers in the first three months – that they were even able to decommission SharePoint/InfoPath thanks to frevvo.
The fact is, schools are drowning in paper. Student work, parent & staff communications, travel reimbursements and many other processes are paper-based and require, emailing, printing and scanning.
Yet, for many schools, going paperless means 1:1 education, e-textbooks and expensive $500 gadgets for each student. It’s a fantastic goal undoubtedly but there’s also plenty of much lower-hanging fruit that’s ripe for automation and saving paper, time and money.
Check out this new infographic on the value/benefits of automating day-to-day K-12 workflows.
Every parent is familiar with consent forms for athletics, directory listing, emergency contact etc. (Miami-Dade County, Los Angeles USD). Typically, these require a parent/guardian to sign the form and they’re sent home on paper or printed out at home.
Internal approval workflows like travel reimbursement, field trip approval etc. (e.g. see New Haven USD, Cabrillo USD) are also commonplace. Typically, these are routed to a supervisor for approval i.e. to sign the form. The paper-based process is simply inefficient.
It’s 2016! There’s simply no excuse for outdated, manual systems that cause delays, result in unhappy students and staff and wasted time and money.
frevvo already has pre-built forms and workflows that can be customized in next to no time and deployed online. They can all be signed online, routed to the proper person electronically, used on mobile devices, delivered in multiple languages, generate PDFs, work with Google Apps for Education and a whole host of advanced capabilities. With affordable, cloud-based workflow products for K-12 process automation, there’s no need to deal with printing PDFs for signatures, correcting Excel-based time sheets, or tracking down approvals in email.
Learn more by visiting our website. Explore some of the examples, read customer success stories and contact us for more details.

Posted in Approval Process, Forms, Mobile, Workflows

InfoPath replacement / SharePoint alternative

Microsoft’s InfoPath essentially lets you create rich forms that work with SharePoint. What’s the future of InfoPath? Should we continue to use it? How does it work with SharePoint? What are our replacement options? So many questions …

Should you continue to use InfoPath?

The answer’s got to be an unqualified NO WAY. Microsoft’s announced that there won’t be a new version of InfoPath coming out. Ever! InfoPath 2013 is the last one. It’s great that it’ll work with SharePoint 2016 and be supported until 2023. Here’s the problem. It’s old technology today and has been old technology for many years.
You can create forms with it bInfoPath formsut, frankly, they suck. In 2015, do you really want to deploy applications with user interfaces like this? In fact, we’d suggest
Even if Microsoft was not discontinuing InfoPath, you shouldn’t even consider using it in this day and age.
And it’s even worse on mobile devices. Employees come in to work and deal with horrendous user experiences with their enterprise applications. But they’re also consumers. They use apps on their mobile devices at home everyday that have gorgeous, sexy UIs and are engaging and easy to use. No wonder 60% of employees abandon corporate mobile apps.Portrait Landscape Desktop
Check out some of these examples and try them on different devices and see for yourself. Or watch this 4 minute video. With frevvo, you design your forms once and we’ll make sure they look great and work naturally on all devices. Automatically!
And you can still make use of your existing investments in Microsoft technologies. frevvo runs on Windows, works with SQL Server, integrates with Active Directory, works on Azure and can write your documents to SharePoint. A fantastic user experience that meets business needs. What’s not to love? Try frevvo today for free.

Posted in Approval Process, Customers, Forms

Looking for an InfoPath alternative?

There won’t be a new version of InfoPath and FoSL is dead. Your business needs real forms and approval workflows and you need them today. SharePoint workflows don’t really have sophisticated forms and SharePoint costs quickly get very high. What to do?
Certainly, there are third party products (such as Nintex or K2) that you can buy that work on top of SharePoint workflows and Microsoft even recently announced that InfoPath 2013 will continue to work with SharePoint 2016. But, should you continue to invest in InfoPath when even Microsoft isn’t?
Several customers have turneEscondido Union School District Case Studyd to frevvo precisely to solve this problem. We provide everything you need to digitize your day-to-day approvals – from collecting signatures, feedback and approvals using powerful, customized forms to workflows with routing, notifications, and escalations.
Check out this recent Case Study. Escondido Union School District had a number of PDF and paper forms for absence records, mileage reimbursement etc. that were being filled, printed, and hand-delivered for approvals & signatures. They did an exhaustive evaluation of numerous web-based workflow systems before choosing frevvo.
They’ve automated 8 approval workflows including Absence Records, Mileage Reimbursement, and Budget Transfers in the first three months. The District chose frevvo Live Forms over implementing these in an existing SharePoint install because it provided an easy-to-use solution that fully met business requirements at a fraction of the cost.

In fact, EUSD has decommissioned SharePoint as a result of their success with frevvo!

Read the Case Study here and Sign Up for a 30-day free trial today.

Posted in Forms

Generate Federal W4 PDF

Businesses often need to generate specific PDFs e.g. a Government W4 for a new employee or a Medical Insurance form for health insurance. Typically, this is a tedious, manual process. Unless you are managing this through frevvo.
frevvo makes this simple for all! With PDF generation many forms, like the W4 tax form, can be uploaded into your workflows. Ultimately creating a fast and accurate approval process. PDF Generation ensures no fields are left blank, no errors, and it is mobile friendly. frevvo allows for a natural and user friendly experience anywhere, including smart phones and tablets.
Get rid of bad data, duplications, and anything else that could and probably will go wrong working with a PDF. frevvo makes it simple, accurate, and reliable for your employees and customers. Once you create your online forms they will work on any device and you will still be able to instantly generate PDFs you need to fulfill business requirements.
To generate pixel perfect PDFs you must follow a few simple steps. An entire step by step walk through created by frevvo for importing pixel perfect PDFs can be found here.
W4Acroform
The benefit of this feature is that once the acroform is uploaded to your workflow in frevvo it can be mapped. This means you can configure it so that fields in your frevvo workflow will auto fill in your printable W4 form.
This is easy. Trust me. It is much like building any frevvo form with the drag and drop feature. If at any point it becomes confusing and/or difficult, visit frevvo docs, or you can reach out to our great team at support@frevvo.com. 
Now, your employees and customers can get a great user experience on the device of their choice while still allowing you to run your business and meet requirements and regulations.
If you are new customer needing the Generate Federal W4 PDF feature, or a current customer wanting to try it, we recommend it for everyone.