Field Details: Set fixed Unique Name and Field ID

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    jotters
    Asked on August 14, 2017 at 12:58 PM

    We are attempting to standardize our various applications and databases to conform to the OAI and DCMI standards. We cannot figure out how to get the element (e.g., variable) names to match the standards, as it appears that Jotform wants to create the UNIQUE_NAME and respective FIELD_IDs based upon its own rules. The entry in the exported database field identifiers are also derived from the Question Text.

    Being rather inexperienced in Jotform, it appears as though we have no control whatsoever here. The effect is that we appear to be forced to modify all downstream code (apps, search engines, databases) each time an update is made to a question. In short, we will end up violating the very principles and practices enshrined in the standards.

    There must be some other way. How?

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    Chriistian
    Answered on August 14, 2017 at 01:22 PM

    The Unique Name and Field ID are automatically being generated by JotForm. For the Unique Name, the value depends on the label of the field. The Field ID does not change upon update of the label.

    If you want to have a fixed Unique Name and Field ID on the elements on your form, you can download the full source code of your form so you can update the element ids as needed. To get the full source code of your form, just follow the instructions provided in this article: How to get the Full Source Code of your Form. Do let us know if you need further assistance.

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    jonathan
    Answered on August 14, 2017 at 01:37 PM

    So, every time we make a modification to a question on a form, we will have to download the code and go through and manually modify all the elements?

    Will it be possible to go into the jotform database from the Edit_Submission link and have all those changes reflected there within the jotform database, and in the various exports to integrated tools?

    Okay, what's the next alternative?

     

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    Chriistian
    Answered on August 14, 2017 at 01:55 PM

    So, every time we make a modification to a question on a form, we will have to download the code and go through and manually modify all the elements?

    You can directly change the questions on the form source code as well. But you will need to host the form on your own website for your user to fill it up.

    Will it be possible to go into the JotForm database from the Edit_Submission link and have all those changes reflected there within the JotForm database, and in the various exports to integrated tools?

    Unfortunately, the JotForm Database cannot be accessed from the Edit Submission Link. If you need to process the submission data, you can save the submission data of your form to your own database. You can check this guide for more information: How to send Submissions to Your MySQL Database Using PHP.

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    jotters
    Answered on August 14, 2017 at 02:07 PM

    So we will not be able to use any of JotForm's integrated tools, 3rd Party integration tools, or publish platforms?

    We give all that up because we want to standardize on industry standards?

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    david
    Answered on August 14, 2017 at 02:43 PM

    So we will not be able to use any of JotForm's integrated tools, 3rd Party integration tools, or publish platforms?

    Everything should still be usable but may require further modification to the source code to reflect changes made to the field ID's.  Since nearly all submission functionality depends on the field ID's, adjusting to your industries standards would require a fair amount of customization. 

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    jotters
    Answered on August 14, 2017 at 03:21 PM

    Thanks for your rapid feedback.

    Not sure what to do.

    The point of using the standards is to avoid all that customization across across the various tools, databases, platforms, etc.

    The point of using JotForm was to leverage the integration with various tools, databases....

    It doesn't appear that those objectives are compatible.

    I've been looking to see if we could trick JotForm into accepting the industry convention. No luck. This might be possible if we could include a field within the "Question Text" that would be the intended ID, but not displayed in the Element on the form. An example might be: {contributor} Please enter your full name. The form would display: Please enter your full name  The UNIQUE NAME would be: {contributor}

    That would be simple, easy, and not likely to happen....

    Thanks again.

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    david
    Answered on August 14, 2017 at 03:32 PM

    You could use a custom thank you page and handle the data after it has been collected, rather than updating the form source code:

    https://www.jotform.com/help/51-How-to-Post-Submission-Data-to-Thank-You-Page

    https://www.jotform.com/help/126-How-to-send-Submissions-to-Your-MySQL-Database-Using-PHP

    This way, you can assign the collected values to different variables if needed, then pass that data to your database. 

    If the source ID's must be changed, unfortunately that is only possible through modifying the forms source code as it cannot be changed in the form builder.

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    jotters
    Answered on August 14, 2017 at 07:15 PM

    Thanks again.

    Probably won't write code to translate one set of element names to another. Trying to reduce maintenance efforts across the several platforms by using standardized naming conventions.