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CDI Blog

Forms Addict Alert - Configuring form data sources and CSS/JS

By Kyle Knebel

February 2022 Consultant’s Corner:

This month we are going to spotlight two valuable and exciting features of Laserfiche Forms. The first feature we will review is Database Lookups. The second feature we will review is JavaScript. We’ll also look at the best practices for these options and discuss important items to think about when upgrading.

Laserfiche Forms comes in two basic “flavors”: the Essentials edition and the Professional edition. The Professional edition is included for all On-Premises installations if you have a Laserfiche RIO environment. If you have a Laserfiche Avante license, the Professional Edition is still available as an add-on option.

Database Lookups are included in Forms Professional only. For those with Laserfiche Cloud, Database Lookups function differently and will therefore not be discussed in this article.

All flavors of Laserfiche Forms have CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) and JavaScript functionality available out-of-the-box in the latest version.

Now that we have the basics, let’s get into the details.

Connecting to a Data Source

Once a process is associated with a data lookup source, while in that process, forms can access information in the data source to automatically fill out fields or suggest values to users. This follows best practices aimed at reducing error-prone and unnecessary manual data entry.

Any Forms Processes that have been added to the data source will have access to the source regardless of the user. This delegation of access is completed entirely in the background.

Note: You must have the System Administrator security role assigned in order to make these changes.

Here are the steps to configure a Data Source:

Step 1: Select the account drop-down at the top right corner, then choose Administration. (In this example the user is logged in as “Forms”)

Step 2: Select Data Sources from the System Settings option on the left side of the screen.

Step 3: Select the New data source button at the far right.

Step 4: The “New Data Source” dialog box will appear, ready for configuration.

Step 5: Enter the Name field of this data source you are creating.

Note: For some earlier versions of Forms, the name needs to be surrounded by double-quotes if it has spaces.

Step 6: Select the DBMS type.

Step 7: Next, you will have two choices, MS SQL Server, or ODBC. Select one.

As of Forms 10.2 the ODBC type is available. As per the Laserfiche help file:

Note: As of Forms 10.2 the ODBC type is available. As per the Laserfiche help file:

Fully supported ODBC drivers include: Microsoft Access Database Engine (supporting Excel, Access, CSV, and TXT), MSSQL, MySQL, PostgreSQL, Oracle, OpenEdge, IBM DB2, FileMaker, SoftVelocity Topspeed, and Pervasive. These drivers have been tested with Forms. While other ODBC drivers may work, they have not been tested, and may have potential issues.

Step 8: For ODBC, enter the Data Source Name or if you are using a SQL Server, enter the Server and Database fields.

Step 9: Enter the Account Name and Password.