Here at Chris City Council offices, we have a large number of forms for the public. When I say large, I mean in the hundreds. Everything from residential parking permits, domestic animal registration and even a permit for a busking permit.
We went to great lengths to create smart PDF forms and put them online for members of the public to easily access, we made them look great with all our branding but each of them have an almost identical section called ‘How to complete this form’ which has a glaringly obvious issue – “You must lodge the completed application by attending Chris City Council offices with your application form”.
There are a few we’ll receive via email which still means we need an attended email inbox because some poor soul at Chris City Council has to grab that attachment and retype all that information.
We’re forward thinking here at Chris City Council, and we’re on the ‘journey to the cloud’ like we’ve been told to be. These public forms are the final piece of a puzzle to fully digitize the experience for our end users. As an organisation on Office 365 using SharePoint Online and Nintex Workflow for Office 365 we’re well placed and Nintex just threw us a bone by telling us about their new Nintex Workflow Cloud platform and some exciting new connectors for SharePoint Online. So Chris City Council and our IT partner, have built a little proof of concept and here’s how it went.
We picked a form from our library of hundreds. One that was absolutely externally facing, public, anonymous and all that jazz. One that required approval by a Chris City Council worker and one that required publication of information into our Chris City Council Salesforce CRM system as a final master record. We chose the Domestic Animal Registration form.
Seeing as Chris City Council already uses Office 365 and SharePoint Online, the underlying SharePoint list with all my relevant site columns was there, so I won’t be covering that here. The issue was, all the input was manual from a paper or email received form.
First things first, let’s connect Nintex Workflow Cloud to that SharePoint Online environment. This set of connectors was built by Nintex using our new Nintex Xtensions functionality in Nintex Workflow Cloud. Nintex Xtensions is Nintex’s extensibility framework that allows you to define your own custom connectors for Nintex Workflow Cloud. Design your connector in an OpenAPI JSON file, import and configure it, and you’re ready to start using it in your workflow designs.
Due for General Availability release next week!
Next up, Create a workflow and select my Start event.
I’ll need it to be a Public Web Form and the guys at Nintex are going to give me a handy URL in return that I can post on my website or share via email. I’m giving you a sneak peak at Forms for Nintex Workflow Cloud which is currently in a closed Advanced Preview stage. You can still create this form by creating the Start event variables and they’ll automatically generate a form. Pretty neat.
Now onto my process. I always think it’s a common courtesy if you’re submitting something to a ‘machine’ that you receive a response to know that it’s actually got to the other end. So we’ll Send an email.
Time for the good part. We now need to send that information to our Office 365 SharePoint Online list for internal review and approval. I’ll check out the other SharePoint Online Connectors while I’m there. So we can now Copy a file, Create an item, Delete an item, Query a list, Retrieve an item and Update an item in SharePoint Online. Pretty cool.
As far as part 1 is concerned I’d say we’re done so let’s publish and test.
Looks like it does exactly what I want. Now my internal process can kick off and in part two I’ll complete the process by generating a certificate, adding a record to CRM and notifying my applicant via SMS and email.