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Adobe Business Catalyst: Building Web Forms to Gather Visitor Data

Chapter Description

In this chapter, you'll take a look at how the Business Catalyst Platform gathers information submitted by visitors and stores it in the database. This is a powerful component of the online business, because the data obtained by interested visitors can be used in a variety of ways.

Understanding Workflows

Web forms collect the submission data and store it so that the interaction history and customer records are easily retrieved and managed by the business team in the Admin Console. But that isn't all that is happening behind the scenes.

Web forms can be configured to trigger workflows every time the form is submitted. A workflow is a process that you can set up to help automate and streamline business operations. For example, when a form is submitted, your client can receive a notification via e-mail and SMS. Workflows can also be configured as a reminder system with escalation rules to ensure that every case incident is resolved and nothing slips through the cracks.

Workflows are assigned to web forms as they are created. You can see the workflow assigned to the Contact Us form by viewing the form itself. To see the form elements and view the configuration of the form, you'll access the Web Form Builder.

  1. Choose Modules > Web Forms to see the list of existing web forms displayed. Click the Contact Us form link to open the form in the Web Form Builder. Directly below the form's name, use the Click To Edit link to access the Web Form Details window (FIGURE 5.8).

    Figure 5.8

    Figure 5.8 Workflows are set in the Web Form Details section of the Web Form Builder.

    Review the options in the Use Workflow? menu. You'll see that two pre-created workflow options are available:

    • Content Approval Workflow
    • Customer Inquiry Workflow

    Leave the option set to Customer Inquiry Workflow; this option generates an automatic notification whenever a new form submission is received. Next, you'll take a look at the workflow section of the Admin Console to see how workflows can be configured.

  2. In the Admin menu at the top of the page, choose the option Manage Workflows (FIGURE 5.9).

    Figure 5.9

    Figure 5.9 Access the workflow administration area by choosing Manage Workflows.

    The two pre-created workflows that are included with the trial site are designed to help the business team approve content and respond to customer inquiries. These are the same options that were available as settings in the Web Form Details.

  3. The list of workflows is displayed in the Workflows List page (FIGURE 5.10).
    Figure 5.10

    Figure 5.10 The two included workflows are displayed as links in the list of workflows.

Click the Customer Inquiry Workflow link to open the Workflow Details page.

Click Next to access the Workflows configuration page (FIGURE 5.11).

Figure 5.11

Figure 5.11 Set up notification steps in the Workflows configuration page.

Notice that the Customer Inquiry workflow currently includes two steps:

  • Notify Via SMS
  • Notify Via Email

Click on the workflow step Notify Via SMS. The Workflows configuration page includes fields to control several settings, but the most important is the first one: Role Responsible.

The Role Responsible menu is used to define which role (set of users—which may only consist of one person) will receive the notification for the selected workflow step. In this example, the SMS and e-mail notifications are sent to the Administrators role. Because you created the trial site, you are automatically added to the Administrators role.

Since your user account is added to the Administrators role, this means that the Customer Inquiry workflow is currently configured to send you notifications whenever the Contact Us form receives a submission.

If you used a valid e-mail address when you set up the trial site as described in Chapter 1, "Creating Your First Free Trial Site," check your Inbox to see the workflow notification message (FIGURE 5.12).

Figure 5.12

Figure 5.12 The workflow generates a notification and the form details are sent in an e-mail message.

Depending on your e-mail client, you may not see the message appear in your Inbox immediately. If you don't see the message, be sure to check your spam folder to see if the message was routed there.

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