Many applications, particularly those belonging to local or central government departments or educational establishments, need to collect data from users before using it within a business process. Frequently a dedicated forms engine is employed to do this, placing constraints on the architecture and necessitating the construction and maintenance of interfaces to the back-office systems where the data is required.
datb's online forms is delivered as a module within the kinodb platform, allowing seamless integration with line of business applications to enable the collection of data from external and internal users. The presentation of questionnaires can be configured as required; for our government customers, a Government Digital Services (GDS) theme is included and can be tailored if needed.
Its many features include full versioning of questionnaires, conditional flows, an expressions engine that can calculate scores or user-specific texts, save and resume functionality, document uploads, administrator review / approvals of uploaded documents and much more.
Enterprise scale applications typically have users of many types and with greatly varying requirements and levels of involvement with the application as a whole.
The kinodb platform implements clear and consistent user interfaces across very large systems. A system's internal users will quickly become familiar with the highly functional default interface, which is designed to maximise productivity.
However, where external users of the system require access to parts of its functionality, an entirely different user interface is appropriate.
Public sector and other organisations with large numbers of external stakeholders are familiar with this issue, and frequently address it by the use of a separate externally facing system or systems, often based around a forms generation capability, used to gather information from members of the public or external organisations.
This requires a set of interfaces to be implemented and maintained to transfer information between the externally facing system and the various back-office systems that use the information.
By contrast, online forms is built within the kinodb platform, removing the need for interfaces and enabling administrators, not developers, to create and manage questionnaire definitions within the environment where the data is required.
As its simplest, this provides functional benefits and significant reductions in cost and complexity. At the other end of the scale it enables a degree of integration with back office systems that enables the implementation of highly functional client portals where all of an individual's interactions with a large system can be centralised.
Questionnaires are defined by system administrators, allowing data collection without development. They are also versioned so that a change doesn't impact previously submitted information.
Questionnaires can perform calculations and access external data sources as the user completes a submission. In some cases (for instance a questionnaire to assess eligibility for a particular service or benefit) the questionnaire can contain all of the logic required to make a determination.
Many processing requirements, such as emailing confirmation of an accepted submission, or building a message to the user based on calculated values, can be implemented using the built-in scripting language. More complex processing can be handled by kinodb's Actions functionality.
The online forms is included within our Local Government Platform (LGP), enabling submissions to access (for example) parking and other permit information, to determine availability and costs, and to create permits to be issued and assigned to account holders.
Online form submissions can be anonymous or can require that the submitting user is registered within the application. Configuration extends to full self-service functionality and can enable a user to create an account within the system before applying and paying for services.
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Online forms makes data collection incredibly easy. The user interface works on any desktop, laptop or mobile browser and is designed for use by non-IT literate users.
The implementation of forms/questionnaires is an administrative function, allowing business units to refine the information gathering process.
Full integration with the kinodb platform means that any kinodb application can put it to use without additional systems or interfaces.