In this article we will discuss a couple of the tools available in Infor Public Sector / Hansen for creating custom UI – Detail Pages and Grids. We call Detail Pages and Grids out separately because they are different in how they relate to an Application (AP) Type in the system, but their purpose is the same – to gather additional information about an Application, Inspection, or a Review (in CDR).
An AP Type can have one or more types of Detail Pages that are displayed as part of the application process. Each Detail Page Type exists once per application (one-to-one). These are useful for asking additional questions that only require one answer (ex: “How many doors are you going to install?”)
Grids allow you to add multiple records to a single application (one-to-many). This is useful when you want the applicant to provide a list of something (ex: “List each door, its dimensions, manufacturer, and fire rating”). Note that Grids must exist within the context of a Detail Page (they are not directly related to the Application object), and that it is possible to have a Detail Page with no questions that only exists to host one or more Grids.
How many Detail Pages do I need?
Sometimes the system-provided questions might be all that is required to support an application process. At other times you may need to gather some additional information. When additional information is needed you will need to create one or more Detail Pages to capture that data. Some thought should be given to defining Detail Pages and Grids, because there is opportunity for reuse, and user experience will be affected by your Detail Page design decisions.
Here are some things to consider when deciding how many Detail Pages to create:
- Are there some common questions that apply to multiple types of permits (ex: Emergency Contact Name / Phone Number)? Detail Pages can be reused across AP Types, so if there are some questions that are asked on all (or some) of your permit applications, it might be a good idea to create a single Detail Page for these questions and reuse it across the different AP Types.
- How many additional questions are there for this permit? If there is a small number of questions (less than 10 or so) then a single detail page should suffice.
- Can the questions be broken down into logical groups? If you have many questions, try to break them down into groups of questions that logically go together rather than simply drawing a line in your current paper form and creating “Permit Detail Page 1” and “Permit Detail Page 2.” Doing so will allow you to give your Detail Pages useful titles such as “Structural Information” or “Building Materials.” This also lends itself to reusability.
- Are some of the questions only relevant in certain situations? If there are groups of questions that are relevant only when specific conditions are met, it might make sense to create a separate Detail Page for those questions to make it easier to dynamically add them to the application when needed.
When should the Detail Pages be added to the Application?
Infor Public Sector / Hansen allows flexibility in deciding when Detail Pages are added to your application. You can add them right at the start, so the questions are available immediately when creating an application, or you can conditionally add them later.
Generally speaking, if there is a set of questions that is always asked for a specific AP Type, it makes sense to ask them at the beginning of the process. If you have Detail Pages that may or may not be required for a specific permit then you will want to add them later, using a formula to make the decision on when they should be added/displayed.
For example, let’s say you are creating an AP Type for a construction permit and you have some special requirements for residential neighborhoods. One of the first questions you might ask is if the project is taking place in a residential neighborhood (actually, in this example you could be retrieving this information from your GIS system based on the location provided by the applicant, rather than asking a question). Based on the answer to this question you could conditionally add another Detail Page titled “Residential Work Zone Information” that must be completed by the applicant.
What types of elements can I add to my custom form?
Infor Public Sector / Hansen has a built-in form editor that allows you to add elements to a form and arrange them to your liking. The following is a sample of some of the more common controls that can be added to your Detail Pages:
- Dropdown Box
- Edit Box (Textbox)
What if I want a list of something?
Grids are your available tool if you want to collect a list of something from an applicant, inspector, or reviewer. One or more Grids can be added to a Detail Page, and they can only be related to an Application, Inspection, or Review through a Detail Page. Grids are simple to define and you can add as many custom columns as you’d like. As a side note, while viewing a Grid in the system, you can change the visible columns, their widths, and the column order, and these preferences are persisted between visits to the page.
The purpose of this article was to provide a brief introduction to Detail Pages and Grids in Infor Public Sector / Hansen. These custom input forms are very often a necessary part of an application process, as they allow configurators to add additional questions / data points to the system that must be filled out by the applicant, reviewer and/or inspector. We hope you found this information helpful. If you have any questions about designing your Detail Pages and Grids in IPS, please feel free to contact us. We are always happy to help.