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UB Web Management

Transforming UB’s digital communications through process and tools

Form Container Component

Create a form on your site to send or store information submited by your visitors. Start with this base, then add additional components as needed.

The UBCMS is not an appropriate place for ANY regulated private data, such as bank credit/debit card numbers, government-issued ID numbers, health information or computer passwords.

We discourage building forms in shared content -- this interferes with normal functionality, such as validation.

The component as it is first displayed on the page.

The component as it is first displayed on the page.

Using This Component

Add the component to the page. It has two parts, Start of Form and End of Form, each represented by a bar. 

Start of Form has two tabs: Form and Advanced.

End of Form has one, un-named tab.

Start of Form: Form Tab

Action Type: Use this dropdown menu to choose how you want the results of the form made available. The options are:

  • Mail Content: Sends the form results in an email to specified recipients.
  • Store Content: Stores the form submission data in the UBCMS. 
    • Form data will be stored in a special location (Storage path).
    • Delete the default path from the box and click 'OK.' A new and correct path will be automatically generated by the UBCMS. (If the default path is not removed, your data will not be stored in the correct place and may be lost.)
    • The results can be viewed later by visiting this URL, or by pressing the View Data... button.

When choosing 'Store Content,' if the default path is used, your data will be lost.

Delete the default path from the box and click 'OK.' A new and correct path will be automatically generated by the UBCMS. 

  • Mail and Store Content: Sends the form results in an email to specified recipients and also stores the results in the UBCMS. See details immediately above.

Viewing Form Data

Please be very patient with form data. The UBCMS may take many minutes to load your data. Until then the report may look empty and you may incorrectly assume no data has been recorded.

When submitted, the form creates two records, one with just the 'Path' information and the second with the actual data.  We recommend clicking the 'Export' button and downloading the data into Excel or even Google Sheets where you can then clean it up. If this is not desirable, please consider Formstack.

The Start of Form bar opened for editing, showing the Form tab options.

The Start of Form bar opened for editing, showing the Form tab options.

  • Action Configuration: This area will request additional information from you based on which Action Type has been selected, such as email recipients.
    • If you select one of the Mail options,enter:
      • Subject - Type something that will make sense in your Inbox.
        • This is required.
      • From - Enter an email address in case someone clicks Reply (usually your office's administrative account).
        • This is required and must be an email address. (* see callout)
        • If you enter other information, such as a name, extra spaces, or a variable, the form will not work.
      • Mailto - Enter the address of the person (or shared admin account) to receive form submissions.
        • This is required and must be an email address. (* see callout)
        • Click "+" and enter one or more addresses.
        • If you enter other information, such as a name, extra spaces, or a variable, the form will not work.
      • CC -- Optionally add an additional recipient address to be copied on form submissions.
        • This is optional, but must be an email address. (* see callout)
        • Click "+" and enter one or more addresses.
        • If you enter other information, such as a name or extra spaces, the form will not work.
        • Be careful not to add any blank lines or include spaces -- the form will not function.
      • BCC -- Optionally add an additional recipient address to be blind copied on form submissions.
        • This is optional, but must be an email address. (* see callout)
        • Click "+" and enter one or more addresses.
        • Be careful not to add any blank lines or include spaces -- the form will not function.

* For any of the From, Mailto, CC, or BCC fields, you can automatically pull in the address of the submitter -to send them a copy -- see Advanced Use.

If you select a configuration that includes Store, enter:

  • Storage path - A location in the UBCMS where form entries will be saved for future collection through the View Data... button.
    • Delete the default path from the box and click 'OK.' A new and correct path will be automatically generated by the UBCMS. (If the default path is not removed, your data will not be stored in the correct place and may be lost.)
  • View Data... -- Provides access to your stored form data. (Please be warned, this interface is slow.)

When choosing 'Store Content,' if the default path is used, your data will be lost.

Delete the default path from the box and click 'OK.' A new and correct path will be automatically generated by the UBCMS. 

  • Thank You Message: This text will be displayed on a refreshed view of this same page after the user submits the form.
  • Thank You Page: Instead of a thank you message, enter the path to a UBCMS page where the user will be taken when they submit the form.  (This trumps the Thank You Message option.)

Start of Form: Advanced Tab

  • Form Identifier: This identifies your form in the UBCMS. The default will should suffice.
  • Client validation: Select to invoke jave-script client code for form validation. (Not usually needed.)
  • Load path: Set a path to preload form values. (Not usually needed. Alternately add a User info Loader component and pull in LDAP data for buffalo.edu users.)

Spam Prevention

Use these settings to reduce the amount of spam clogging up your email inbox through the use of forms. There is also a reCAPTCHA component that you can add to your forms.

  • Anti-spam: check to activate the hidden field filter.
    • Only a spam bot will attempt to complete the hidden 'spam' field and human submissions will be unaffected.
  • Anti-spam time value: We recommend using 5 (five seconds). 
    • Only spam bots can submit the form in less time than it will take most pages to even load. Five seconds is also the default.
The Start of Form bar showing the Advanced tab options.

The Start of Form bar showing the Advanced tab options.

End of Form

For the End of Form box, click Edit to create the buttons that your visitor will use to submit or clear (reset) the form.

You may alternately choose to use the Submit Button component for a customized submit button.

The End of Form bar opened for editing.

The End of Form bar opened for editing.

Advanced Use - Include the Submitter in the Email

How to send a copy of the form submission to the submitter

  1. Include a Text Field component in your form so you know who contact you. (Most people do this already.)
  2. Make this field required so the submitter must to include their email address. Remember the value you use for the Element Name (e.g. XYZ). To discourage junk emails, set the Constraint to Email, or even UB Email for an @buffalo.edu address.
  3. In the Start of Form properties, pull the submitter's email into the email that is generated.
    1. Add ${XYZ} to the From: field to make them the sender, so that any subsequent replies will automatically go back to that person as the original sender.
    2. Add ${XYZ} to the CC: field so the submitter will automatically be CC'd in the email that is sent.

Restrictions

  1. The UBCMS is not an appropriate place for ANY regulated private data, such as bank credit/debit card numbers, government-issued ID numbers, health information or computer passwords.
  2. We discourage building forms in shared content -- this practice may interfere with normal functionality, such as validation.

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On this page:

Spam Prevention

This component includes an effective method of spam prevention. See the advanced properties.  

CC the Submitter

To automatically send a copy back to the person submitting the form, see Advanced Use.

See An Example:

Related Components:

Last Reviewed:

October 17, 2017