Active Form Best Practices



Active Forms are a powerful way to gather information and update records in your Practifi organization. Because Active Forms support a high level of complexity, it's important to set them up correctly so they work as expected. This article provides guidance on configuring Active Forms to save time and help you avoid errors.

Active Form Field Names

Unique names are automatically generated when you create Active Form elements such as Active Form Fields. These names follow a system naming rule, which uses the element name/label plus a unique identifier (a four- or five-digit number). This naming convention helps ensure elements are universally unique within an Active Form.

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Please note: The Name field on an Active Form Field (not to be confused with the Label field) should not end with the characters $ or @, as this will cause an error.

Field Name Changes

When Active Form Fields are referenced in a Rule Builder or formula, the Name field is used. Rules refer to Active Form Fields using their unique names, not Record Ids, for portability considerations. When the name of an Active Form Field is changed, the references in rules do not automatically update, which can cause the rules to break. We recommend following system naming conventions and not manually modifying the Name fields on Active Form elements.

There is one exception: When multiple Active Form Fields have similar labels, it can be difficult to find the Active Form Field you want within a list of names.

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In this case, you might want to rename the Active Form Fields. We recommend following these steps:

  1. Change the Name field on the Active Form Field records to something more easily identifiable.

  2. Run a Validation Check on the process task. The results of the check will list all the rules referencing field names that cannot be found now.

  3. Click on each error to resolve it.

  4. Perform testing to make sure everything works as intended after the name changes.

Visibility Rules vs. Display Criteria

While both visibility rules and display criteria can be used to control the behavior of Active Form Fields and Sections, visibility rules are more compact, flexible and powerful than display criteria.

Display Criteria

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Visbility Rules

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Additionally, the following Active Form elements are compatible only with visibility rules, not display criteria:

  1. Active Form Screens

  2. Active Form Tables

  3. Active Form Table Fields

  4. Active Form Prompts

As such, we recommend using visibility rules over display criteria when utilizing these components of Active Forms.

Setup Bundles

Setting up a complicated Active Form can be time-consuming, especially if you need to replicate it across multiple process tasks. Using Setup Bundles can save you time and effort in the creation process. When creating a Setup Bundle, make sure you include only what you need to avoid replicating unnecessary configurations.

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Here are some things to think about when creating a Setup Bundle:

  • Clear Naming: Choosing a relevant name makes finding and reusing Setup Bundles easy.

  • Meaningful Description: State clearly what's included in the Setup Bundle and when it should be used.

  • Proper Testing: Run a test import of the Setup Bundle to ensure it delivers value to your Active Form configuration.

The Active Form Configuration Lifecycle

The more complicated an Active Form configuration is, the more important it is to be mindful of the Active Form lifecycle. We recommend following these stages:

  1. Design: This is the first step when building a new workflow. Think about designing each workflow step (process task) and its Active Form configuration before implementing it.

  2. Configure: Implement the workflow design and keep best practices in mind. Remember t to run a Validation Check to see if there are any configuration mistakes.

  3. Test: Try out the new workflow by kicking off the process and working on tasks as an end user. Test various scenarios, especially if the workflow has complex dynamic configurations.

  4. Maintain: This step is for when you want to update an existing workflow that is already in use. Practifi does not currently support versioning for workflows, so any update to an existing workflow can impact processes and tasks that users are already running. To properly update a workflow:

      • Stop creating processes using the workflow.

      • Wait until existing processes with this workflow are completed or canceled.

      • Update the workflow.

      • Test your changes.

      • Release the updated workflow to users.

Updating an existing workflow can be challenging, especially if it's been used heavily. It's important to follow the lifecycle to properly design, configure and test workflows before releasing them.

Active Form Field Limits

While there is no hard limit for the maximum number of Active Form Fields on a given form, we recommend using no more than 80 fields. While adding more than 80 fields is possible, this may lead to performance issues, like prolonged loading time.

The Impact of Excessive Fields

We consider an Active Form too large if it contains more than 80 fields, including fields used within Active Form Sections and Active Form Tables. Applying prefill logic and visibility rules to these fields may also contribute to performance issues.

If you have an Active Form with a large number of fields and are having issues with performance, please consider the following:

  1. Reduce the number of fields: You can either split Active Form Fields into different tasks with more meaningful groups or use alternative components like the Specifics component to enable in-place read/edit.

  2. Simplify field logic: If you do have to use a large number of Active Form Fields, try to reduce the amount of complex field logic.

Additional Information

This article contains recommendations for Practifi Administrators. To learn more about Active Forms from an end-user perspective, see Understanding and Using Active Forms.

For more information on setting up Active Forms, see the following articles:

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