Thanks to everyone who submitted a question to our latest Forms AMA. We recorded a video to answer your questions. And as promised, here’s a transcript of those answers.
I’ve edited some of the questions a little for clarity and to show how we interpreted them. If we got the context wrong, please let me know in the comments below.
All answers come from Simon Herd unless otherwise noted.
Q: @Matthias Ortner asks “is there going to be a performance update that will speed up loading the forms in Jira service management portals?”
A: We're very much aware that the loading experience of the moment with the spinners is unacceptable.
There have been a couple of changes that have made it. We shaved a couple of hundred milliseconds off in the last week or two, but we have a dedicated project and epic coming up in the next month or two, that's going to address forms in portal. The other thing I'll note is that with native forms, for anyone that's come across from the marketplace, you'll see a huge speed bump, um, increased, uh, with the native implementation of forms, compared to what you're seeing with the marketplace app.
Q: @Ajay _view26_asks "are forums going to support table type inputs with dynamic field types as columns.”
A: We've had people ask for dynamic columns for tables. That's not something that we're currently working on. What I will say is definitely on our roadmap is making dynamic sections or repeatable sections and repeatable rows. So you could design the table that has three rows by default and the person filling it out can just keep adding more rows if they need to. So that will come and we'll do the same thing with sections. So instead of having a table layout, you might have a whole section that's (for example) contact details. And if you need to add multiple sections to cover more contexts, that's something that's definitely on our roadmap.
Q: @Dave Mathijs asks “is multi-lingual support for forms on the roadmap? For example, depending on the customer's language setting, the form is presented in their native language (without duplicating 1 form where the first question is a language choice).
A: Dave, we would love feedback from you on the approach we could take here.
Because a form is its own document, building multiple views of the same form is tricky. I’m not making any commitments here, but my thinking at the moment is that we probably won't have multiple views of the same form, but what we may allow you to build different forms in different languages.
So you'd have the Spanish form and the English form as separate forms, but you can link both of those forms back to the same request. So if the customer is hitting your portal in Spanish, we will show the request type in Spanish and we'll load the Spanish form. An English-speaking customer would see the same request and form English. So this is really about having multiple forms on the same request type, but differentiating by language. I think that's an easiest solution.
It's a really important thing for us to build this back into forms, but I don't have an ETA on it.
Q: @Alex asks “are any of the automation rules available for Data Center in the roadmap for the Cloud product?”
A: Good question, Alex. You will find that Cloud has more automation rules available now than Data Center. Data Center had a basic plan of dropping in forms and attaching forms. In Cloud you now have the trigger for when a form is submitted, you have checks about where the forms are submitted and what status they're in.
You've got the option of adding additional forms to an issue. And importantly, you've also got the action of being able to copy a form from one issue to another. So you can actually now do more in Cloud than you can in Data Center when it comes to automation.
Q: @Arielle Unterberger asks "would it be possible to use a form field in automation and rules?”
A: Currently, that's not possible. It’s something we will build, so we'll make it really easy to use smart values and go in there and to retrieve a particular the question key.
Unofficially, one might refer to the documentation available for the Data Center version. If you look at that automation, you might be given a strong indication of how you can still retrieve that data by going directly into the JSON. But its unofficial and unsupported because it can be a very brittle way to go. If you scroll down to the bottom, read the warning and then continue reading, you’ll find a way to do that.
Q: @Juliette Lallement _Elements Apps_ asks “are there future plans to build out data connections?”
A: There are plans. Please let us know through the feedback tool within the application or in the comments below what kind of connections do you need, Juliet.
Some of the destinations we would like to integrate with would be active directory, LDAP, and more authentication options, but please let us know what you would like.
The other area that we're looking at is that you've got some great apps that allow you to build custom fields that can do that integration. There’s Elements Connect that also allows you to build custom fields that kind of data connection work and reach out to a whole range of data sources. And what we want to do with forms is open it up for our marketplace partners and also our customers to be able to sort of rely on those custom fields that already have that really rich data connection functionality. So we don't want to have to build everything ourselves. We want to help you and help our marketplace partners to fill in the gaps. So that again, I don't have an ETA looking at current roadmap. It's not going to be unlikely to be this calendar year that we're going to get to it
Q: Juliette also asks “are there plans to extend this linkage to custom fields and vendor built fields?”
A: Now that we've integrated forms natively into Jira Service Management, our goal is to build it up to parity with everything in Jira. We want to make sure that we support all of the Jira fields like cascading fields, select Insight fields, and attachments. We are working on those fields already and part of parity is to offer an API so you can get to your data and you can manipulate forms, which will allow all the other automation tools out there to work with forms.
Part of parity is to allow vendors to put their own custom fields back into forms and for them to surface there.
Q: @John M Funk asks “for those of us that have been using performer for a while, what's different?”
A: Thank you, John. Great to hear from you. A couple of things.
One, it's a lot faster. As I mentioned earlier, it is noticeably faster and it will continue to get faster. So when it comes to displaying forms on issues, and even in the portal, it's faster and will be getting even faster.
Automation integration. That's a huge change. The options and what you can do now, particularly with having it all integrated within Automation for Jira is phenomenal.
We’ve had two slight regressions. One is filtering on the number of open forms on the issue search. And the other one is exporting forms along with custom fields from the advanced issue search. Both of these are coming back and are in active development at the moment.
So there have been a few regressions. Check out the change log to see more.
We now have a really solid platform for delivering new features. Labels are coming. Attachments are coming. Insight fields are coming.
We're taking a slightly different approach as we build out forms. We'll try to share as much about what we're about to build, to make sure that what we do build will meet your needs. So please watch the Forms Group and keep an eye out for what's coming.
Peter PrestonAtlassian Team
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