Using Slate Forms with Portals

Forms can be used in portals to update Slate data. A form can be created with the forms tool and then be integrated with a portal in a few different ways. 

Slate forms are built with the form builder's drag-and-drop interface, which means that it would not be necessary to add custom HTML or scripts within the portal to replicate form functionality. Form submissions are all tracked in Slate, and are immediately associated with the relevant record as well. Using a form avoids having to set up POST methods that require custom SQL.

Forms can handle many use cases related to updating Slate data. There are a few instances that do require the use of POST methods instead.

Some common examples of forms that are integrated in portals are Contact a Counselor, Change Your Major, or Edit Your Profile.

Embed a Form Using the Form Widget

To embed a Slate form using the form widget in portal views, first navigate to the view in which the form should display. In the view, select form from the widget palette, and drag and drop to the area in which you would like the form to be displayed for portal users. 

In the Edit Part window, enter the following configurations:

  • Name - Provide a label for the part.
  • Status - Set to Active.
  • Form - Select the form to display. The list will include all forms available in the forms tool, regardless of the portal's or forms' scope.

The following settings are optional:

  • When form is submitted: Reload portal - By default, submitting a form embedded via the widget will not reload the entire portal page. To reload the portal upon submission, check this box. If you are using filters to control what is visible on the portal and the form submission will change that data, reloading will show the updated view.
  • Pop-up: Form is inside a popup - Checking this box formats the height of the form to display in a pop-up, and upon submission, closes the pop-up. 

  Best Practice

Using the form widget is recommended if the scope of the form is the same as the scope of the portal (i.e. the security setting that indicates the type of record that will be authenticated by the portal). For example, an applicant logs in to their status portal and fills out a form that should also be associated with their application record.

If the form to be filled out is not the same scope or should notbelong to the logged-in portal user, the other two methods (providinga hyperlink or using the form embed code) described later in this article should be used.

Example: Contact Your Counselor Form

In the following example, a form is embedded into an applicant status portal that allows students to send a message to their assigned counselor.

The pop-up contains the form itself, in which the student can enter their message.

Status portal page

Contact counselor form inside pop-up

Animated GIF of form inside pop-up


Since the form is displayed within a pop-up, a separate view is created in the portal, and the form added via the widget. A new method is created as well and will be associated with this specific view.

Form widget in portal view

The main page's view then contains a static content part with a link that, upon clicking, calls the new method to display the pop-up view.

Portal main page view

Source view of static content block

Source code:

<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">
<head>
<title></title>
</head>
<body>
<a data-href="?cmd=contact" href="#" onclick="return (FW.Lazy.Popup(this, {width: '750px'}));">Click here to contact {{staff_assigned_name}}!</a>
</body>
</html>

Important!

The cmd in data-href must match the action of the portal method.

This form also uses merge fields to display the name of the specific counselor assigned to the logged-in applicant. The form can also be set up to send communications upon submission with the counselor as the recipient, and the message merged into the body of the mailing.

Hyperlink to a Form

A link can also be added (via a static content block) which, upon clicking, can open a new form submission in the same window and then redirect back to the portal after submitting, or open in a new tab.  

The URL of the form can use query string parameters to pass in the GUID of the record to which the form response should be associated.

  Tip

You might consider this option if the form is lengthier and would be easier to fill out if it occupies the entire browser window.

Example: Alumni Interview Report Form

This example illustrates how an alumni interviewer can access and submit an interview report form for an applicant.

When the interviewer views their interviewee's details in the portal, a link is available that opens up to an interview report form in the same window.

Alumni portal pop up

The form can be prepopulated with information already available in Slate for the applicant's record.

Prepopulated Form

When submitted, the form response is automatically added to the applicant's record. 

Applicant Record

In the details pop-up view, the form URL contains two additional query string parameters: one for referrer, and one for the application GUID.

Query String Parameters

The referrer parameter value is /portal/[portal key]. The referrer parameter allows the portal user to be redirected back to the portal after submitting the form, instead of being shown the default confirmation page.

The parameter for passing in a record GUID is always person (regardless of whether the form submission should ultimately be associated with a person, application, or dataset record), and Liquid markup is used to merge in the GUID value (here, the merge field is called "id", as that is the name of the export in the portal query).

Example URL: 

/register/?id=GUID OF FORM&amp;referrer=/portal/PORTAL KEY&amp;person={{id}}

Important!

The GUID must be included as an export in the relevant portal query (in this case, the applicant detail query associated with the detail method and view). The name of the export must match the name of the merge field exactly.

The form is application-scoped, and so the parameter value for person must be the application GUID in order to associate the form submission with the correct application record.

Using the Form Embed Code

A Slate form's embed code can also be used to integrate the form into a portal.

Example: Advancement Giving Portal - Pledge Fulfillment Form

In this example, a donor can log in to a giving portal and view their pledge history.

List of pledges in giving portal

When they are ready to fulfill a particular pledge, a form is available for filling out the payment details.

Pledge fulfillment form

The form embed code can be copied and then pasted into a portal view (via a static content block's Source).

Form embed code

When adding a form embed code into the portal view, the code can be edited to pass in additional parameters that can populate certain form fields. 

Form embed code added to portal static content Source

Liquid markup is used to merge in the parameter values. The merge fields must exist as export parts in the relevant portal query.

Example embed code with additional query string parameters:

<div id="form_e552f605-1227-4310-bd71-f22a4f039a09">
Loading...
</div>
<script async="async" src="/register/?id=e552f605-1227-4310-bd71-f22a4f039a09&amp;sys:gift:parent_identity={{identity}}&amp;sys:gift:type={{type_guid}}&amp;sys:gift:fund={{fund_guid}}&amp;output=embed&amp;div=form_e552f605-1227-4310-bd71-f22a4f039a09" type="text/javascript">/*<![CDATA[*//*]]>*/</script>

In this particular example, the additional query string parameters pass in values that populate hidden form fields. Some fields are hidden since they don't need to be displayed nor updated by the portal user at all. These hidden form fields allow the form data to map to the correct system fields - for example, 'identity' in this case refers to the pledge identity value, and is used to associate the gift to this particular pledge.

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