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Introducing the Process Step field type

Basic workflows in Form screens have always been possible through our Form Task field type.
Over time though, it became clear that Form Tasks were simply too limited for many scenarios.
So we went back to the drawing board in December, and built a more powerful replacement – the Process Step field type.

This new field type is supported on all Android app updates released today – check your Google Play listing for the update.
We’ll be submitting IOS app updates tomorrow, so keep an eye out for your App Store update in probably 3-5 days (Apple review time dependent).

The whole concept with a Process Step is that it is just like the name says – it’s a field that represents a step in a process that is playing out within the Form.
So normally we’d expect you to use 2 or more of these in your Form design.

Another way to think of a Process Step is that it is a “decision point” in your process.
Unlike the old Form Task, the Process Step allows you to present the app user with up to 3 options to decide what happens next to the Form entry thats in progress.
So for example, imagine you have a simple approval process:

Step 1: An assessor in the field conducts an assessment of some kind, and then needs to send this off to a supervisor for approval.

Step 2: The supervisor will review the assessment, and he’ll either accept or reject the assessment.
If he accepts, then the entry is complete.
If he rejects, then the entry needs to go back to the original assessor for rectification – i.e. it goes back to Step 1.

Previously with the Form Task, this kind of process – particularly the need to loop the process back to Step 1 – was difficult to implement, since there were a number of things missing:
– The ability to tell which step in the process one was at
– The ability to resend through a previous step (since these tended to become “locked” after first use)
– Access to information about the steps that had occurred in the Form already

We set about fixing this by adding a number of new STEP-() formula functions that are specifically for use with Process Steps.
These functions are incredibly useful for situations where you may want to toggle fields visible or readonly based on whether a specific Step has occurred, or even whether a specific Step option was chosen.

To help you understand how the Process Step works, we added a new example to the Examples page.
Try out the Asset Check Process example found under the Intermediate heading, we’re confident that once you see it in action and check out the design behind the Asset Check Form, you’ll see the possibilities 🙂

The Process Step is a significant upgrade on the Form Task and we strongly recommend using it for your process driven Form screens going forward!