This topic provides an overview of Nintex Forms.
Nintex Forms provide an interface between a user and persistent data. The form surface provides the ability to provide data entry structures such as list boxes (providing a set of choices), check boxes (providing yes and no settings), validation of data entry, and the ability to send the data to persistent storage such as a database. Nintex Forms are designed to work with Microsoft SharePoint lists and Nintex Workflow.
A form provides a number of features for capturing user input. These features include:
The form provides possibility of a layout that can thoughtful integrate a data entry workflow or interaction sequence with entering the data.
The form can focus on collecting the data (entry), and then placing the data into the SharePoint list.
The form can use conventional controls such as the date picker, people picker, or drop-down list that is consistent from form to form so that users are already familiar with the interaction and type of data that will be entered using the control.
Even though the underlying data type may be open ended, such as a string containing a phone number, a data entry mask can guide the user into entering the information in an expected format.
The form can validate on entry so that the data can be checked for data entry errors, format, and so on.
The form triggers interaction in response to events in the form so that the form can dynamically adjust to the requirements of data entry, display additional information, and so on.
The form can use data that has been entered on the form to create calculations.
Some elements of the form can be hidden or exposed depending on events in the form.
The form exists in relation to a person using the form, SharePoint, and also other sources of data. You can include on the form sources of data from the web, external database, or other lists in SharePoint. For example, a list lookup may retrieve the items in the list from a web service that lists the retail outlets for a retail chain. Since the location of these outlets may change, the lookup would always have access to the most recently published information.
Finally, the form exists in relation to SharePoint. The data collected and processed by the form is stored a SharePoint list, which in turn stores the data in Microsoft SQL.
Note: You could also store the data in a third-party data store accessible via a Web Service or SQL call. However, the typical function of the form is to store the data in a SharePoint list so that it can be used by Nintex Workflows.
Nintex Forms allow you to create an optimal user experience of the same data collection for different form factors. A single form can contain multiple layout versions for desktop, tablet, and smart phone users.
The form focuses user input into a record in the SharePoint List. A record in this context is a single row of column fields. In SharePoint, this is known as a column, which in turn corresponds to the field in SQL.
For example, a user opens a list in SharePoint, and Nintex Forms opens and displays the list of columns: user name, a column labeled, nickname, primary email, and a column with address 1, address 2, and zip code, and state. Each of these columns has a data type, for example, a string for the name field, an email data type for the email, and a number for zip code and phone number.
Nintex Forms are contained in Workflows as start up and task forms. In addition to access to SharePoint data such as users and list items, forms created in workflow can access workflow variables.
Nintex Forms comprise several elements. These include:
The Forms designer is accessed as a graphic user interface from the SharePoint list or from the Workflow designer. You can open the Forms designer from the edit toolbar. The Forms designer allows you to create your form layout, add controls, and bind the controls to the SharePoint list. In addition you can add your validation, events, calculations, and visibility settings in the designer. Finally, the Forms designer allows you to export your form as form XML.
The XML file contains descriptions of the layout, forms controls, CSS, rules, other elements of the form in a portable format. You can use form XML to migrate from one SharePoint instance to another.
The Forms filler renders the form within the context of SharePoint. For example, when a user opens a SharePoint list, a form can be triggered to open. The Forms filler reads the form XML and interacts with SharePoint to connect the user interaction, event model, and data with the list.
The API allows you to export, import, save, publish, and delete form XML from SharePoint 2013 On Premises. This can help form's designers and developers deploy forms in the software development life cycle (from a development environment to a test environment and then to production), or third-party solution providers develop a form in their development environment and then deploy the form to a client.
Nintex provides PowerShell extension that can also help with managing and deploying the forms.
This model describes how the form is structured by the Forms designer, described in the form XML, and then rendered in the Forms filler.
In this section you can find:
How Nintex Forms work
Types of Nintex Forms