January 2010


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UofMN CSS Web Development <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 22 Jan 2010 15:18:22 -0600
UofMN CSS Web Development <[log in to unmask]>
text/plain; charset=windows-1252; format=flowed
Zachary Johnson <[log in to unmask]>
text/plain (213 lines)
Maybe I missed it... but does this product have any screencasts or demos 
or tours online?

Santiago Fernandez-Gimenez wrote:
> Yes, those concerns are always credible, and we've worked around some 
> concerns, especially related to validation.  WFG itself has pretty 
> hokey, non-accessible validation built in.  But we experimented with it 
> and discovered we could do pretty much whatever we wanted with the form 
> code, so we could use Javascript validation, .net validation, or we 
> could build something server-side. 
> There are definitely trade-offs, as with any development tool.  For 
> example we want to redirect a user to a One Stop page upon submission ( 
> "Thanks for submitting the form, and here are the expectations of when 
> your appeal will be resolved.")  When we add the redirect out of the WFG 
> system, the whole form gets wrapped in a frame. Yuck. We complained to 
> the vendor on that one. That's certainly not ideal, but on the whole, 
> we've found we have pretty direct access to the markup.  
> Santiago
> On Fri, Jan 22, 2010 at 12:33 PM, Zachary Johnson <[log in to unmask] 
> <mailto:[log in to unmask]>> wrote:
>     Sounds pretty interesting.  When I hear "pre-existing .net tool" my
>     experience immediately makes me wonder about customizing form
>     markup, validation, error states, javascript hooks, etc.  Often it
>     seems to be the case that you get point-and-click DW routing or
>     whatever at the expense of form usability and accessibility that
>     looks like it was hacked together in 2001.  Any credibility to my
>     concerns with this particular solution?
>     Zach
>     Santiago Fernandez-Gimenez wrote:
>         Regarding the pre-populating of form data:
>         One Stop has tons of paper / pdf forms that need automation.
>         Most of them include sensitive information. After a pretty
>         detailed analysis Academic Support Resources determined that the
>         type of software we needed to solve the "forms" quandary was
>         generically called "workflow" software— automating the form is
>         fairly trivial, but routing the data and doing the work was
>         difficult to solve securely. The Graduate School and Disability
>         Services, with a SPIF grant, had purchased a tool called
>         "Workflow Gen", and after comparing it with some business
>         criteria, we determined it was worth giving it a try, so we've
>         been piloting it this year.  It is not an "Enterprise" tool at
>         this time, so each unit that participates is sharing the costs.
>         WorkflowGen provides a web-based process management interface
>         that plugs into a .net form.  You have to build the .net form in
>         Visual Studio, so hold your nose if you're a MS hater. MS
>         antipathy aside, we have found that the tool is pretty efficient
>         and opens the door to real service and process improvement.
>            * Form authentication is via the CAH hub.
>            * We are pre-populating the forms with appropriate data from
>         the DW,
>              providing students the opportunity to vett their PeopleSoft
>              information, and linking to the "personal information"
>         application
>              if they see something out of date.    * We can pull in data
>         from the DW that is not visible on the form,
>              and use that for routing logic.    * Someone with a
>         "business analyst" skill-set can plot out the
>              routing of a form with conditional logic and notifications
>         via a
>              point and click interface.    * Someone with a
>         "junior-developer" skill-set can build the form in
>              .net and template the email responses.  
>         There is a collaborative consortium / user group on campus
>         funding and using this tool, but based on our brief pilot
>         experience, we are advocating for this tool, or some sort of
>         generic workflow tool like it, to be adopted as a common good
>         for the enterprise.
>         If you want to find out more about the tool, send an email to
>         our User Group listserve:  [log in to unmask]
>         <mailto:[log in to unmask]>
>         <mailto:[log in to unmask]
>         <mailto:[log in to unmask]>>. We have tons of
>         documentation if you want to hear more.
>         Sorry I missed the meeting. Sounds very interesting!
>         Santiago
>         -- 
>         Santiago Fernández-Giménez
>         information architect / web project manager
>         Academic Support Resources
>         University of Minnesota - Twin Cities
>         [log in to unmask] <mailto:[log in to unmask]>
>         <mailto:[log in to unmask] <mailto:[log in to unmask]>>
>         612-625-6423
>         On Fri, Jan 22, 2010 at 7:26 AM, Peter Wiringa <[log in to unmask]
>         <mailto:[log in to unmask]> <mailto:[log in to unmask]
>         <mailto:[log in to unmask]>>> wrote:
>            Here are a few notes from my end and some questions for the
>         group.
>            It sounded liked there was interest in a central repository
>         of form
>            information and including some basic form styles and elements
>         in the
>            templates would be useful. A general feedback form seems like
>         a good
>            starting point. What other types of form or multi-element
>         form parts
>            (i.e. EFS) might be good to include and would serve a broad
>         audience?
>            For those of you using a tool to help generate forms and
>         client-side
>            or server-side validation, what tools are you using? Web Form
>            Factory may be generating again and provides a solid start for
>            simple forms, as a I recall (PHP only).
>            http://www.webformfactory.com/
>            On utilizing central authentication and LDAP to improve the UX of
>            form by pre-populating info, it doesn't seem like we landed on
>            anything with regard to security considerations. If someone is
>            signed in, and would be forced to sign in if they weren't,
>         what are
>            the issues with pre-populating fields using information about the
>            user that's publicly available in LDAP? Here's an example of what
>            might be returned.
>            http://ur-test.umn.edu/pete/cssdev/ldap-returns.html
>            Anyone from OIT Security on the list who can shed some light
>         on this?
>            As Chris suggested, you could attempt to pre-populate fields for
>            logged in users, but not requiring people to login. Switch to
>         HTTPS,
>            get their cookieauth cookie, run it up against the central
>         auth hub
>            to get their Internet ID, and then query that. Are there
>         different
>            security implications for pre-populating fields in this case?
>            Of course, directory-suppressed students won't be found in public
>            searches of LDAP.
>            Central auth info
>            http://www1.umn.edu/is/cookieauth/
>            Accessible anti-spam techniques
>            http://webaim.org/blog/spam_free_accessible_forms/
>            Good read on validation
>          http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2009/07/07/web-form-validation-best-practices-and-tutorials/
>            --    Peter Wiringa
>            Electronic Communications
>            University Relations
>            University of Minnesota
>            (612) 625-3252
>            [log in to unmask] <mailto:[log in to unmask]>
>         <mailto:[log in to unmask] <mailto:[log in to unmask]>>
>            "I gotta hold on to my angst. I preserve it because I need it. It
>            keeps me sharp, on the edge, where I gotta be." - V. Hanna
>     -- 
>     ______________________________
>     Zachary Johnson * Web Manager
>     Student Unions & Activities
>     (612) 624 - 7270
>     http://www.sua.umn.edu/
> -- 
> Santiago Fernández-Giménez
> information architect / web project manager
> Academic Support Resources
> University of Minnesota - Twin Cities
> [log in to unmask] <mailto:[log in to unmask]>
> 612-625-6423

Zachary Johnson * Web Manager
Student Unions & Activities
(612) 624 - 7270