January 2010


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Santiago Fernandez-Gimenez <[log in to unmask]>
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UofMN CSS Web Development <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 22 Jan 2010 13:03:06 -0600
text/plain (5 kB) , text/html (7 kB)
Here is a link to a fact sheet the WorkflowGen user group created. This
gives a little more info about this option.


On Fri, Jan 22, 2010 at 9:13 AM, Santiago Fernandez-Gimenez <
[log in to unmask]> 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] 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]
> 612-625-6423
> On Fri, Jan 22, 2010 at 7:26 AM, Peter Wiringa <[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]
>> "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

Santiago Fernández-Giménez
information architect / web project manager
Academic Support Resources
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

[log in to unmask]