Cloud Computing: Adobe FormsCentral: 10 Ways It Eases Form Management in the Cloud
Adobe FormsCentral lets knowledge workers easily create a variety of online forms and surveys, including questionnaires, contact forms, registration pages, mailing lists and Web forms. Users can customize one of several out-of-the-box templates or start from scratch using a drag-and-drop editor. Recipients need only a Web browser and Internet connection to access and complete the form. The information is automatically added to a response table, and FormsCentral also includes analysis tools to help users understand the data collected.
The My Forms organizer is a hub for creating and distributing forms, managing responses and analyzing results. The interface makes it easy to get started with the first form, search among the inventory of form projects and collaborate with colleagues. Clicking the New Form button launches the forms authoring tool, or the Templates tab can be clicked and templates chosen.
Design Forms and Surveys
Whether working from a template or from scratch, users can quickly create professional online forms and surveys. Four tabs across the top of the screenDesign, Test, Distribute and View Responsesprovide access to everything needed to manage the lifecycle of a form or survey, from creation and testing to distribution and analyzing responses. The Adobe FormsCentral authoring tool makes customizing a form quick and easy, and the Forms Palette provides a variety of field types for adding to the form or survey.
Customize Forms and Surveys
FormsCentral lets users customize online forms and surveys with a logo or photo and use advanced features to validate data as respondents enter information into the form or survey. Clicking in any field opens the Field Properties box, providing the ability to customize that field or provide access to custom help text as needed.
Share and Collaborate
FormsCentral enables collaboration in a secure online environment. Users can specify whether others can edit or view the work in progress and assign levels of access. Clicking on the Share Form File & Responses button shows users the current sharing status of the form. Users can share a form in progress with selected individuals or publish it so anyone with the assigned URL can view the response table with all the form submissions. They also control who can re-share the form.
Preview and Test
After the form or survey design is complete, the Test feature in Adobe FormsCentral lets users fill out the form or take the survey and watch their response appear in the response table, all before making it publicly available. Users can see their form or survey exactly the way the respondents will. From the Test tab, users can test the form to better understand the experience recipients will have when they receive and fill out the form.
Easily Distribute Forms and Surveys
Adobe FormsCentral makes it easy to distribute forms and surveys and automate the collection of responses. Users control every step, from when the form becomes publicly available to the messages recipients see when they complete a form or try to access a form after it has been closed. The Distribute tab shows the unique URL for the form that can be shared with anyone through e-mail, Twitter or instant messages. The link also can be posted on a Web page or blog.
Support for Multiple Devices
Because the form is in HTML, respondents can complete it on most devicessmartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop computerwith Web browser and Internet connection.
Immediately View Responses
Adobe FormsCentral lets users immediately analyze online form and survey results, which arrive in real time. New data is added to the response table as each person clicks submit on the form or survey. Summary formulas and tables are automatically updated. As for security, when users access FormsCentral, SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) technology protects the information using both server authentication and data encryption.
Easily Filter Responses
Users can customize how they view data by searching, sorting and filtering to see the data that is important to them. Multiple people can view, contribute to and analyze the data at the same time. If collaborating with others on the form and analysis, the Private View option lets users do so without affecting other users who are concurrently viewing the response table.