Introduction to forms on the iPhone app

The forms that are used on the Barium Business Navigator app are the same forms that are used to run the process on www.bariumlive.com. However, the possibilities to present forms, fields are limited on the Iphone compared to a web browser on a computer. One reason being the size of the iPhones screen which is significantly smaller than on a regular computer screen.


We wanted to offer an iPhone that didn't require you to create different forms for different platforms. Having multiple forms, one for the iPhone and one for a web browser will make it complicated to configure, update and maintain.


Intelligent form field presentation

To make the process experience quick and simple for the end users of the Iphone app and for the creators of process applications we have made the form presentation in the iPhone intelligent in a couple of ways:

  • All form fields are displayed in a single column on the iPhone.
  • All fields used for layouting and describing the form are filtered away.
  • Lists, Date Fields, Time pickers will show up as native iPhone fields.
  • The attachment field will allow users to attach photos from their phone.


Creating a form for iPhone

Forms for your process applications are created in the exact same way whether they are to be used in the web interface or in the iPhone app. If you want to learn more about creating forms for processes you can learn more about that in the article Create your first E-form. This article will not describe the basics of creating forms.


Form rendering in the iPhone

There is no way to create forms that are only shown in the iPhone app, instead the iPhone app will render the created form and only show the important things in the form i.e. the fields. All the other fields are filtered out of the form. The iPhone app will also present the different types of fields with a native iPhone field control; such as date fields, checkboxes, drop down lists and more.


Form example

Below is a form created on Barium Live and presented in a web browser. On the right is the same form presented in the iPhone App. Note how the form in the iPhone app doesn't show the header with logo or the panels containing the descriptive text. 





Fields that are shown on the iPhone

All form fields must have a name (or ID), otherwise they will not be shown on the iPhone. The iPhone app will only show the following fields in a form:

  • Textfield
  • Textarea
  • Numberfield
  • Timefield
  • Checkbox
  • Attachment
  • All fields found in the folder Object fields are shown
  • All fields found in the folder Metadata fields are shown


Fields that are NOT shown in the iPhone

It's important to know that the following fields will not be shown in the iPhone:

  • Panel
  • HTML Panel
  • Fieldset
  • HTML editor
  • RadioButton
  • Label
  • Button
  • No fields found in the folder Layouts are shown


iPhone specific form settings

There are a few settings that can be used in a form to adjust the presentation of the fields in the iPhone.


Field sorting index

The fields in a form that is shown in the iPhone app will not automatically show up in the order that you would like. For example; if you form has a column layout the fields will show up in a seemingly random order on the iPhone.


TabIndex is a property that you can add to all fields in a form. TabIndex is used to decide in which order the fields should be focused on when tabbing through the form.


Simply add a number in the value for tabIndex: 1 2 3 4.


The fields will show up in the tabIndex order on the iPhone. It is up to you to make sure that the indexes are unique for each field.