Continue Forms Later: Values in Dropdown do not appear when the page is reopened

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    rwaldenjr
    Asked on September 29, 2017 at 02:08 AM

    I'm testing the "Continue Forms Later" option using my Renter Interview Form.  But, it doesn't seem to be holding the value of drop down boxes. When a selection is made in the "Name Prefix" field (the very first line of the form) and the form is closed, then re-opened, the selection reappears briefly, then disappears to leave a blank field. Is there something I'm doing wrong here? Or, do I need to do something differently? Is this a possible bug?

    Thanks for your response!

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    philis
    Answered on September 29, 2017 at 04:41 AM

    Sorry for the inconvenience caused to you.

    I tested your form on a clone version and was able to replicate the issue. The Dropdown values disappear after the page reopens. It seems that it is the Autofill function under the form settings you use in order to keep the data saved, which is a browser-based function and will not work anyway when the form is reopened on another browser. However, why the dropdown values are not kept is a problem to be taken into consideration. There is nothing wrong you are doing, I am escalating this issue as a bug report to our developers. Once there is an update you will be notified on this thread but I cannot provide an ETA. 

    Luckily, there is another and a more assured way to save a form and continue later. I have tested this method with your form and it worked just fine. 

    Here is the user guide you can follow: https://www.jotform.com/help/97-How-to-Save-Forms-and-Continue-Later 

    This method requires two forms. One of them is aimed to collect users' name and email info and provide the URL of the main form to allow them to continue their sessions thereafter. Since you already have the main form, you just need to create one new form to obtain names and emails and to give users the main form's URL. Remember to disable Continue Forms Later option under the form settings. 

    The screenshots below also display the steps you'll follow while creating your first form:

    1. The form will basically include these fields. Please remember to make them required.

     


    2. You'll create an autoresponder email. In the Email Content field, delete all the existing data and type a brief message with the URL to direct your user to the main form. Please note that at the end of the URL "?session={email}" is typed.

    3. You can also direct your users to the main form via the Thank You page. 


    4. Please watch the screencast below and see it works!

    Please let us know if the issue is resolved and feel free to ask if you need further assistance. 

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    rwaldenjr
    Answered on September 29, 2017 at 12:12 PM

    Thanks Philis -

    You're the third of your colleagues to recommend using the two-step pre-populate method. Obviously, that's way more complicated than the "Prepopulate" app (which has proven to have a bug in it for drop down fields, and been escalated for further development). If I implement the method you suggest, do I have to create yet another form to create the prepopulate URL? Or, can I use one of my existing, shorter, registration forms, which were designed to obtain the information needed to prepopulate my longer interview and questionnaire forms? And if so, how would I do that?

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    Nik_C
    Answered on September 29, 2017 at 12:36 PM

    Yes, the issue regarding the Continue later option is reported and worked on by our backend team.

    Regarding the second way of prepopulating the form you would have to create another form with name and email in it, that will be used for creating a session only like showed in the guide here: https://www.jotform.com/help/97-How-to-Save-Forms-and-Continue-Later

    Now, I guess you could use some existing form, but you will have to adjust it's Thank you page and Autoresponder.

    Let us know if you have any further questions.

    Thank you!

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    rwaldenjr
    Answered on September 30, 2017 at 03:24 PM

    Thanks for clarifying Nik. Obviously, the "How to Save Forms and Continue Later" instructions are based on creating a standalone form, not re-purposing an existing form. I guess I wasn't clear. What I was asking is how to adjust my existing forms so that they fulfill the requirements of "Save and Continue Later" while auto-populating more than just the name and email fields on Form 2 via the Thank You and Autoresponder emails? (See my "Contractor Registration Form as an example of my pre-existing registration forms that I'd like to convert into Form 1. I'd like to pass all of the data fields on my registration forms to their respective long-form counterparts.)


    As regards the instructions for Save and Continue Later, I have several questions:

    1. It seems that this is a manual process. Can it be automated? I don't want to have to touch every user's submission.

    2. At the top of the instructions, in the description paragraph labeled Form 2 (Main Form), it states specifically, "The main form needs to have page break, please also note that the progress on each page will only be saved when the 'Next' and 'Back' button is clicked." My registration forms (see example, referenced above) are single page forms. I also notice in the 3rd asterisk of Item 2 in the instructions about being able to hide the visibility of these buttons. At first, I was thinking maybe I could just include them and then hide them, since they won't be used on my single page forms. But now, it seems that's not possible!?! Why would you want to change their visibility if you need to use them to trigger the save function of sessions?

    3.  The only information in the User Guide about "Save and Continue Later" is the link you sent me. Is there any other information you can send which describes its capabilities, and what data I can expect to save, and use, etc.? I'd hate to go to all that work, and then find out it still won't do want/need it to!


    In view of these restrictions, its starting to seem like the only efficient means of auto-populating my questionnaires and interview forms is via the "Prepopulating Fields to Your JotForm via URL Parameters" method, which is where I started, and how I discovered that the Prepopulate Fields app has a bug in its "save drop down field data" function. Any rough idea how long it usually takes them to fix a known bug? Rough estimate of when it might get fixed?

    Also, I'd hate to do all these form submissions and URL conversions manually! That's waaay too labor intensive! Is there any way to automate the "Form-1-submission-to-URL-conversion" process? What about using cookies? I know the Auto Fill feature enables form data to be saved in Cache, as long as the Cache isn't cleared. But, its also browser dependent. And, I see no other mention of using them in the Forum, nor any Apps or Widgets that facilitate using them either. Is there a way to retrieve the data from the Auto Fill cookie, and pass it to a different form, hopefully without a lot of custom JQuery, Javascript or PHP coding?


    Thanks for your help!

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    Nik_C
    Answered on September 30, 2017 at 05:15 PM

    The first form is just used to save session on our server so it will be enough to use email field, for example, only. 

    The Save form and continue later will save the data from the second form in that session. So when the end user accesses it the data will be saved for him to continue the process.

    Regarding your questions:

    1) Creation of Form 1 and link in it cannot be automated I'm afraid, that has to be manually created.

    2) The page break is needed since it will trigger the saving of the data, that is for sure. Regarding the visibility of the back and next fields. That was probably related to the hiding of certain back fields, if you don't want to allow users to go back from certain pages. I wouldn't know other reason.

    3) Aside from the guide, you checked we don't have any other guide. But we can explain any possible doubt you might have.

    The limitation that I'm aware of is that the session created for a form will be stored for 90 days in the JotForm servers. Since the form is never submitted, the session will be cleared after 90 days and data will be lost. 

    There might be a confusion here, prepopulation link will prepopulate the form's fields as you set in the URL and that's it, that will not change, unless you change it. The Save and Continue later will save the existing information filled by the user so whatever a user filled will be available for him when he/she revisits the form.

    The Save and Continue later will save the existing information filled by the user so whatever a user filled will be available for him/her when he/she revisits the form.

    Again, you don't have to do a much work for Save and continue later feature to work, you have to have one form which will create a session, later your users will use that session link to access their prefilled data.

    Maybe I missed this information in your replies but creating a prepopulate URL requires more work than using the Continue later option. So Save and Continue later option could certainly be a way to go, but maybe a simpler solution is to use the Continue later option (auto fill) that you already used, we just need to wait for our developers to fix the drop-down field issue.

    The downside of the auto fill feature is that is related to the Browser, as you noticed, but it is the simplest solution.

    What would be the workflow you want to have regarding your form? So we can review all possible options.

    Maybe that information will give us a better perspective.

    Thank you!

  • Profile Image
    Nik_C
    Answered on October 01, 2017 at 02:56 AM

    a. That is correct, Continue later(Auto-fill) is using Browser's cookies, so it is local, and Save and Continue later is storing data on our servers so it can be accessed from anywhere.

    b. Correct.

    c. True, they have to use the same Browser and watch out that the data is not cleared.

    d. Yes, that is a downside of that option.

    e. True, that is a bit of work, you have to know all field names and create such URL manually.

    f. The closest to automatically passing data from one form to another is Prepopulate URL, it is a bit of work but totally doable. 

    This is how the Prepopulate URL is working, you have to know field names of both forms involved. Those don't have to be the same forms, you can use different ones, but again, you have to know the field names. 

    The simplest example, let's say you have two forms, Form 1 with ID 123456 and Form 2 with ID 789123.

    And let's assume you want to pass name and email fields from Form 1 to Form 2. You have two options here, you can create a URL in the Autoresponder email that will go to the user or you can put the URL in the Thank you page and have the user redirected upon filling Form 1 to Form 2 and have his data there (name and email).

    So either way, you will create the same prepopulate URL you can do that by following this guide: https://www.jotform.com/help/351-How-to-Automatically-Pass-Form-Data-to-Another-Form. And from this guide https://www.jotform.com/help/71-Prepopulating-Fields-to-Your-JotForm-via-URL-Parameters there is this application http://prepopulate.jotform.io/ which will save a lot of time. 

    So we have the URLs ready. If we want to prepopulate the Form 2 with the Form 1's data this would be the link www.jotform.com/form/789123?name={name}&email={email}

    The source data is the data that will come from Form 1.

    When you create such link the URL will be automatically created from that point.

    ****************

    The first I have to mention regarding your workflow is that you will not be able to create any type of login on JotForm's side since we don't allow creating login pages on our platform and it is against our Terms of use.

    By reading your workflow, I could tell few notes here:

    - Login should be created and handled by Weebly only.

    - Accepting of Terms popup should also be handled by the website and saving such data in cookies.

    - Regarding the 4th one, I would say that you have to decide if you want to allow them to have multiple options available (checkbox) or just one of the options (radio button).

    - The 5th one is not possible because of the above-mentioned terms.

    - 7th - yes, the Save and continue later feature might be useful here since you have shorter and longer form, so the session data could be saved there. That will, however, require them to use the link when they decide to revisit the page. So I would think of Auto-fill feature as well.

    - 8th - Prepopulate URL explained above would handle this. Again, it is a bit of work to create such URL (there is the prepopulate app to help though), but it will work nicely.

    Hope this helps in making your workflow going.

    Let us know if you have any further concerns.

    Thank you!


  • Profile Image
    rwaldenjr
    Answered on October 01, 2017 at 01:14 PM

    Nik, I think we're honing down the the process and eliminating the confusion. Thanks for your detailed explanation! I wish JotForm was a little more helpful in term of automating some of these steps. But, at least now I know what it can and can't do, and I can work around it accordingly.


    There's still a couple of sticking points I'm not quite clear on about JotForm, as follows:

    1.  What's the difference in use of the "Autoresponder" and the "Thank You" email (over and above the obvious use of the words "Thank you" in one of them)?

    2.   I like the idea of having the "user redirected upon filling Form 1 to Form 2 and have this data there"; fewer steps for the user. Is that still a function of Pre-populate? And, does it require intervention on my end to create the URL that's passed to the Autoresponder? That could still create delays, in terms of preventing them from continue their session on the spot, and potential bottlenecks.

    3.  You didn't answer my questions in the previous message about the intended use of the "Prepopulate app", and whether or not I'd have to manually copy all the data from my users' registration forms over to the app in order to generate the URLs? Is there any way to embed the app into an iFrame so that users can generate there own URLs which could be passed via condition to the Autoresponder or Thank You email?

    4.  Would the Zapier Integration app solve some of these integration problems, such as with getting the data to the URL creator, or the URL to the Autoresponder or Thank You email? Any other uses you can imagine with using it? (I've never used Zapier, but I've heard it can solve some of these automation problems.)


    And, regarding integration with Weebly, I have these questions:

    1.  It sounds like Weebly will have to do all of the heavy lifting when it comes to user groups, and access to select pages/forms as a privilege of group membership? If I'm reading you correctly, the best case scenario would be that Weebly grants privileges that enable access to the initial public (registration) JotForms, and upon submission, further grants access to the next set of private forms, hopefully!?! The sticky point I'm looking for suggestions on is how to reveal these Inactive forms to general site visitors prior to being granted group access to the Active forms? Any ideas? What prompts the JotForm condition that makes the forms active?

    2.  It sounds like you're recommending that I use a combination of "Save and Continue Later" and "Auto Fill" for the longer forms? (I thought they were mutually exclusive!?!)


    I think we're close, in terms of figuring out what JotForm can accomplish, what Weebly will have to do (or Zapier), and determining an effective strategy to complete this project. Thanks for you and your team's patience. I look forward to your next reply.....

  • Profile Image
    rwaldenjr
    Answered on October 01, 2017 at 01:18 PM

    P.S.

    Your link "www.jotform.com/form/789123?name={name}&email={email}" returns the following error:

    "Form not found
     This form has been deleted by the owner.
     Try contacting the owner of this form".

  • Profile Image
    Mike
    Answered on October 01, 2017 at 03:08 PM

    1.  What's the difference in use of the "Autoresponder" and the "Thank You" email (over and above the obvious use of the words "Thank you" in one of them)?

    Email Autoresponders - usually emailed to the form users.

    Email Notifications - usually emailed to the form administrators.

    Thank You Page - Displayed to the form user upon the form submission. The form can be also configured to redirect the user to the custom Thank You Page URL.

    2.   I like the idea of having the "user redirected upon filling Form 1 to Form 2 and have this data there"; fewer steps for the user. Is that still a function of Pre-populate? And, does it require intervention on my end to create the URL that's passed to the Autoresponder? That could still create delays, in terms of preventing them from continue their session on the spot, and potential bottlenecks.

    Yes, this is related to the pre-population by URL parameters. The URL has to be created manually (once).

    Related guide:

    How to Automatically Pass Form Data to Another Form

    It is compatible with the session continue later and autofill methods. Note that the autofill method saves the data for 24 hours only.

    3.  You didn't answer my questions in the previous message about the intended use of the "Prepopulate app", and whether or not I'd have to manually copy all the data from my users' registration forms over to the app in order to generate the URLs? Is there any way to embed the app into an iFrame so that users can generate there own URLs which could be passed via condition to the Autoresponder or Thank You email?

    The idea of the app is to create prepopulated URLs by the form owner. If you need a specific prepopulation URL you can use that app, or alternatively go through the steps manually.

    Prepopulating Fields to Your JotForm via URL Parameters

    Form users cannot use that app.

    4.  Would the Zapier Integration app solve some of these integration problems, such as with getting the data to the URL creator, or the URL to the Autoresponder or Thank You email? Any other uses you can imagine with using it? (I've never used Zapier, but I've heard it can solve some of these automation problems.)

    Zapier processes submitted JotForm data. For example, when the form is submitted, do some action.

    Zapier or other apps will not have access to the content of the autoresponder email.

    1.  It sounds like Weebly will have to do all of the heavy lifting when it comes to user groups, and access to select pages/forms as a privilege of group membership? If I'm reading you correctly, the best case scenario would be that Weebly grants privileges that enable access to the initial public (registration) JotForms, and upon submission, further grants access to the next set of private forms, hopefully!?! The sticky point I'm looking for suggestions on is how to reveal these Inactive forms to general site visitors prior to being granted group access to the Active forms? Any ideas? What prompts the JotForm condition that makes the forms active?

    We do not have membership features and conditions to disable/activate the forms.

    It may be possible to show the form fields based on some access code using conditional logic:

    How to set an access code to a form

    2.  It sounds like you're recommending that I use a combination of "Save and Continue Later" and "Auto Fill" for the longer forms? (I thought they were mutually exclusive!?!)

    You should use either the session method or the autofill method on a particular form.

    Your link "www.jotform.com/form/789123?name={name}&email={email}" returns the following error

    That was probably a sample link to illustrate the prepopulation by URL parameters ?name={name}&email={email}.

  • Profile Image
    cem
    Answered on October 09, 2017 at 10:11 AM

    Hey rwaldenjr,

    There was a general problem with dropdowns not being filled by autofill which is solved at the moment. You can resume using browser based autofill feature again.

    Sorry for the late answer and inconvenience we have caused you so far.

    Thank you for reporting us and have a nice day!