Tag Archives: forms

Website Improvements #6: Webform

For the sixth in this weekly series of posts we started in March, I’m going to talk about our recent upgrade of the Webform module and the addition of some new modules to help you manage your forms. Here are the new things you can do with Webforms:

The interface to interact with the Webform has also been simplified by moving most form settings into their own tabs in the Edit Console, especially the addition of the E-mails tab that gives you a quick look at who receives E-mails when the form is submitted. The interface for adding options to select list components is also easier to use with an interface to quickly add and remove options. Lastly, if you have a sidebar on the page, it is now hidden when you’re trying to edit the form components so that you can view the full form.

DrupalCon 2010 Trip Report Day 1

Hello from San Francisco! I was waylaid in Chicago and missed the morning presentations, but I wanted to share what I’ve learned so far at DrupalCon. First, a quick bullet point summary for those who don’t want to dive into the details:

  • Drupal now powers over 1% of the total websites, closely tied with Joomla. WordPress powers about 8.5%.
  • Drupal 7’s forms will allow us to add conditional form fields that appear for the user without requiring a postback to the server. See the (very relevent for us) example here: http://d7.drupalexamples.info/form_example/states
  • Drupal 7’s User Experience (UX) team has made improvements to the interface that on our site is called the “Edit Console”. You can read more about their project at their website: http://www.d7ux.org/content/
  • We can improve our site performance by moving functionality out of the template files and into theme functions. Basically, the way we currently do things, we have to read a file off the server’s disk every time anyone loads anything on the site. By using theme functions instead of template functions we avoid this disk read and dramatically improve performance.
  • You can watch many of today’s presentations at http://sf2010.drupal.org/conference/schedule for free! Many of those without video have their slides up. The presentations from Monday are at the bottom of the page since, at the time I’m posting this, they’ve already happened and aren’t as interesting to the conference attendees.
  • Monster Menus, the module the Amherst developed that lets you add sub-pages and manage permissions is a few weeks away from being refactored to eliminate any Amherst-dependent code. The version we’re currently running assumes that Amherst’s version of Banner exists, which we’ve had to work around. The new version will make this easy for us and open MM up for other schools to use.

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Update from Database Applications & Systems

This will be my last post as the workgroup leader for the DAS workgroup, as we move into the new organizational structure announced by Mike Roy at the last all-LIS staff meeting.  Here are some of the projects and tasks that DAS staff members have been working on during the past month…

Mike Schuster
- Several Revisions to Room Draw SSB forms and lots of testing
– Added new student search dropdown box and removed boxes used by students to enter group member IDs.
– Modified procedures so as each student is selected, several eligibility checks are made.
– Modified message text displayed when students are ineligible.
– Modified WebTailor Infotext for links.
– Added logic to allow the group representative to remove group members when they’ve accidentally selected one.
– Created a database view of instructors to be used by new online catalog web page.
– Modified web directory script to correctly select on leave graduate students during winter term.
– Created database tables that will be used by custom Monterey web admissions applications forms.
– Assisted the registrar’s office with running the Term Student Type Update program(SHRTYPE) and the Learner Curriculum Conversion Program(SOPLCCV).
– After the registrar’s office runs SHRTYPE for a particular term, I create a population selection in Banner and run SOPLCCV with that popsel.
– Reviewed Clearinghouse Self-Service Authentication documentation and sample code.

Liz Whitaker-Freitas
– Supporting Hyperion BI+ for functional & technical users

Ian McBride (Full list at: https://www.yammer.com/users/imcbride)
– Completed MiddMedia plugin for WordPress
– Assisted with completion of RFP for Web Makeover
– Created conference registration form for VCC
– Developed payment form for Print Management
– Modified Athletics Recruiting application to remove Primary Sport
– Designed database sync script for the Course Catalog
– Launched CSO and Judicial Boards sites
– Upgraded Key Survey to version 7.1

Travis Stafford
– Troubleshooting cForms issue
– Testing cForms 10.3
– Two cforms trainings (Chemistry Department, Institutional Planning and Diversity)
– Finished first wave of BLM implementation (is now live) as well as fixed various bugs
– List Manager Configuration for newsletters / MiddCMS Newsletter support
– General support and Heat tickets

Rob Pekor
– Re-aligned parent Donor codes for “Feb” students.
– Removed obsolete region codes related to “CA Mailing”.
– Enhanced existing “pledge installment” view.
– Investigate poor query execution between databases (production and non-production).
– Created table to hold local data for the Harris Online Community project.
– Sent sample dataset to Harris thus enabling them to begin on data mapping on their side of the implementation project.
– Continued to fine tune the web pages for Phonathon segment creation
– Created new indicator for “young Alumni” (alumni for only 1-10 years) for the Banner List Manager project.
– Create stewardship project codes for Athletics (ATHSTW) and the Axinn Center (AXNSTW)
– Rewrote of slow performing fiscal data view for CA

Chris Norris
Staffing
– Transition planning for organizational re-structuring with DAS staff, Area Directors, and workgroup leaders
Project Work
– Reviewed Phoenix BIA summary presentation
– Drafted spec for remote DR web presence
– Revised Banner-ListManager project requirements with DAS staff
– Revised Broadcast Email Newsletter request document
– Configured four new Broadcast Email Newsletter editions with DAS staff
– Completed work on 2008 Summary Web Statistics for Web Makeover project
– Completed work on Stakeholder Reports for Web Makeover project
– Completed work on GSA (Google Search) for MIIS sites
– Began configuration and setup of Google Apps for Education (alpha instance)
Meetings
– Participated in Web Makeover project team meetings
– Met with HR staff regarding OpenHire “internal job site” project
– Met with Brett Wilhelm regarding departure considerations
– Met with members of the web subcommittee of the Sexual Assault Oversight Committee regarding a new web presence
– Participated in College Advancement Operations team meetings
– Participated in Harris online community project team meetings
– Participated in Pay for Print project team meetings
– Participated in MIIS technology team meeting
– Participated in College Data Workshop with IR, Faculty, and other LIS staff
– Conducted final DAS staff check-in meetings
Systems Administration
– Ongoing monitoring and problem resolution of online services
– Configured new GO rewrite rules
– Ongoing tuning of GSA to improve search results
– Renewals of College-owned domain names
– Transferred UWAC domains to College-managed account
Help, Support, Training, Workshops
– Updated Middlebury’s United Way web presence (campaign stats)
– Provided support for Broadcast Email Newsletters, CMS editing, BLWC Submission Manager, HEAT tix, and various ad-hoc help calls
– Conducted a Broadcast Email Newsletter training with Young Alumni staff
– Conducted a Broadcast Email (advanced) workshop for CA staff
Vendor Related Activities
– Participated in Sun-Guard/SCT Banner DBA weekly status calls
– Participated in Velaris Hyperion SysAdmin weekly status calls
– Participated in Google Apps for Education project team call with Google
– Transitioned Hyperion SysAdmin vendor (Velaris) relationship managment to Jeff Rehbach
– Provided IMA (eCommerce) details for Harris online community project

Using the cforms plugin for WordPress

A couple weeks ago, Joe Antonioli and Brett Wilhelm helped us out by installing a plugin for the blogging server here called “cforms”. This plugin lets people create general data collection forms which can be made available through their blog. It has a very friendly user interface and offers more form-related features than our custom coded PHP forms ever did.

I’ve received a number of questions about how to set this up, how to get started using this. I’ve created a Basic Guide to Setting up cforms on the LIS Wiki that I’ll keep adding content to as I continue to meet with people and find out what questions they have about using this plugin.

If you have questions about using cforms, you can contact me directly and I’ll work with you or your department, office, or organization to get setup and get using this.