Creating mobile accessible forms in SharePoint
With the release of the Nintex Mobile apps, SharePoint users can now optimise their experience across popular mobile devices and platforms.
With the first release of the Nintex Mobile apps for iPhone, iPad and Windows 8, SharePoint users can now optimise their experience across popular mobile devices and platforms.
By being “native” to the platform, the apps can take advantage of the best features of your mobile hardware and software, including camera, GPS, NFC, gesture and offline mode.
Nintex Mobile - Optimize Experience Across Popular Mobile Devices and Platforms
Nintex Mobile apps version 1.0 can be installed on devices running any of the following operating systems:
· Microsoft Windows 8 for x86 platforms (32 and 64 bit) or ARM (e.g. Microsoft Surface).
· Apple iOS 5 or greater for iPhone, iPad or iPod.
If you are using Microsoft SharePoint 2013, Nintex Mobile apps version 1.0 require the following versions of Nintex Workflow and Nintex Forms installed and configured.
· Nintex Forms 2013 version 184.108.40.206
· Nintex Workflow 2013 version 220.127.116.11
If you are using Microsoft SharePoint 2010, Nintex Mobile apps require the following versions of Nintex Workflow and Nintex Forms installed and configured.
· Nintex Forms 2010 version 1.3
· Nintex Workflow 2010 version 2.3.9
The process for designing a mobile form in SharePoint is completely visual and it starts in Nintex Forms.
First, we need to create a new SharePoint custom list app (I assume we’re working with SharePoint 2013 now), and then open it in Nintex Forms (click the List tab and select Nintex Forms in the ribbon).
The Nintex Form designer will open and the form has already been created for the desktop layout, displaying the relevant controls for each column in the list.
It is now possible to add two layouts to the current form, for making it available on the Nintex Mobile apps:
· Nintex Mobile Phone
· Nintex Mobile Tablet
As the name suggests, the Nintex Mobile Phone layout is designed for phone devices, whereas the Nintex Mobile Tablet one is the layout used by the Nintex Mobile apps to display the form on a tablet.
From here, the experience of designing a form for mobile devices using Nintex Forms remains the same as for the desktop layout. There are however a few best practices to follow for making the best of mobile forms on your device.
Specifically, the following list details the supported controls in Nintex Forms that can be used when designing a mobile form:
· Multi Line Textbox
· Single Line Textbox
Please note: Controls besides the ones mentioned above are not currently supported by the Nintex Mobile apps. Unsupported controls will still appear in the Nintex Forms Control Toolbox, but will not display on the mobile device.
When choosing the Nintex Mobile Phone layout, the form will look similar to the screenshot below.
You may want to rearrange the controls to ensure they fit correctly onscreen. For a phone layout, the recommendation is to line up labels and controls one under the other one, and occupy the full extent of the screen for each control. I’ll present additional best practices and recommendations for designing mobile forms in a new article.
Once published, this form is immediately available for being displayed within the Nintex Mobile apps. After signing in to Nintex Mobile with your account, the Forms page displays a list of all available forms created with Nintex Forms and published on the SharePoint server to which you are connected.
Forms are sorted by category, as specified in the Nintex Mobile Settings of a form, and by name within a category. If no category is specified, forms are assigned to the fictitious “No Category” and displayed before any other categorized forms.
If you are using the Nintex Mobile app for Windows, categories are represented as separate columns, under which forms are listed in alphabetical order. If the number of forms for each category exceeds the maximum number of consecutive forms that is possible to display in a column, additional forms span over adjacent columns. It is also possible to remove the grouping of categories in column format and move to an “in line” categorization of forms that does not create visual separation of categories by column.
This option is recommended when a large number of forms is available (more than 100), as performance is greatly improved. You can activate this option from the Settings panel, Options > Enable item grouping.
In the next article, I’ll present more advanced techniques for better controlling the layout of mobile forms and get the most of the available controls in Nintex Forms for SharePoint.