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Multiple Step Forms and database-fed entry verification

  1. Hi there!

    Being a happy user of GF I am now looking into using your product for a rather extensive client project. Therefore I need to sort two main things out:

    A) Multiple Step Forms (weeks/monts time in between)
    Our contest-registration process is divided into three steps where each form needs to act separately (form completion triggers email-notification) but the data collected is meant to be combined into a single data-set.

    Is this possible? I checked the forums and stumbled upon this post –> http://www.gravityhelp.com/forums/topic/multi-page-forms-2

    Regarding the soultion with separate forms (see last post by Chris):

    • Can I provide the user with a link to the next form and carry on the entries made? How? Is it safe (= practical enough) to use query strings attached to a link in the notification email?
    • Wouldn't this result in duplicate entries meaning having to sort three different forms which actually belong to one user / one entry? Can I delete the first-step-form upon completion of the next one?

    B) Field entry verification through externally generated field values (via database
    Our contest-registration incorporates a user-registration on the main site. The site doesn't run WordPress, so there is no easy option to combine the data sets. Because we would like to limit the entries to the second form to registered users we'd need a (text-)field which is fed by our main user database and verifies the entries made by simple comparison. Optional add-on: Do not allow duplicate entries.

    Would love to hear from you. I am aiming for the Development Package and am sure this can be done with GF – I just need to know for sure.

    Thanks & Regards,
    Henning

    Posted 9 years ago on Tuesday January 8, 2013 | Permalink
  2. Is this possible?

    Yes

    Can I provide the user with a link to the next form and carry on the entries made? How?

    In your confirmation screen, you give them a link or big button "Continue to step two" and that link is built from merge tags of the data that was entered in form one. Form two will need to have the fields "allow field to be populated dynamically" checked on the advanced tab, with the proper parameter name, but the link will then take them to the second form with that data pre-filled for them. You can even make the fields hidden so that the visitor does not try to change the data or even think about it.

    Is it safe (= practical enough) to use query strings attached to a link in the notification email?

    Yes. The same string you build for the confirmation screen could be used in the notification email. They click that link, and they land on your form page with all that data pre-populated for them.

    Wouldn't this result in duplicate entries meaning having to sort three different forms which actually belong to one user / one entry?

    Yes. Form three entries will have the complete data, form two entries will have the data from the first two forms, and form one entries will contain just the data collected in form one.

    Can I delete the first-step-form upon completion of the next one?

    Yes. You only need the complete data, not the other form submissions, if they made it through to the last step. What I was trying to help with in the topic you linked to was capturing early form information if the process is abandoned.

    Explain step B more simply. What does the visitor have and what does that need to be compared to? And what happens when it matches or when it does not?

    Ignore for now where the data is stored.

    Thanks

    Posted 9 years ago on Tuesday January 8, 2013 | Permalink
  3. Thanks for the comprehensive answer!

    A) OK, I'll use a stringed-link to bridge the different forms. I was hoping for an automated deletion: IF form2 = complete THEN delete form1 -- this isn't possible or at least not easily done, is it?

    B) The user essentially has to register within our community in order to take part in the contest. The second form is the first to incorporate information one can only provide when part of the community. In order to minimize drop-outs (user, that have completed form1, did NOT register with the community but still want to fill out form2 despite all advises), I thought about a simple input check (say "Captcha"), which would compare the given user-name with our database-listings. Logic:

    1 - IF in database THEN allow access to form2
    2 - IF NOT in database yet THEN show message ("double-check your name") & link ("not yet registered? go here and do that")
    3 - IF already filled out form2 with this username THEN show message ("already filled out, problems/fraud: contact us here")

    I'd love to know if this is possible at all. If not, we'll be able to handle anyways since I do not expect too many people to perform faulty entries. But this is the best UX we can aim for.

    Thanks!

    Posted 9 years ago on Thursday January 10, 2013 | Permalink