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mobrien

Absence Request - storing field data

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Dear Community,

I have been granted a day today to develop a system for staff absence requests in School. I had originally planned on using SharePoint, but I was inspired by @Graham Quince at Frog18 yesterday and have started to look at using Frog instead. A combination of Forms, Data Viewer and the Keyword widget appear to be the key.

I have, however, hit a couple of conundrums that I am struggling to resolve, and wonder if there might be any help from the community. Please treat me as a complete coding beginner with very little experience...

Description:

  1. Teacher1 creates an 'Absence Request' site from a template
  2. Teacher1 enters details into the page describing the absence. e.g. dates, reasons etc. (I can build this all in HTML, but the forms widget will make a nicer job).
  3. They submit the data to be stored (and viewed later), AND click the 'Submit' keyword button
  4. LineManager1 sees the site in a keyword-filtered site list.
  5. LineManager1 reads the data Teacher1 entered, and approves/rejects with another keyword widget.

Queries (3)

  1. Is there a way to create a button that will create a new site from a specific template?
  2. How do I store the data entered in the fields into he page of the site so that the owner AND line manager can read the data (not by using the Data Viewer format)?
  3. Is it possible to have a field (variable) with a button that sets a keyword equal to that field.

I hope you can help. 

Thank you

Edited by mobrien
Unfinished!

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Hi,

Interesting idea to use a site per leave request.  I've been working with some schools on this already and we were using a form rather than a site.  

  1. Each team has their own form - all identical except that in the Advanced settings, a different person (line manager) is set to be emailed.
  2. On submission, the line manager is emailed and then in a new feature coming in the next release, the line manager can edit the entry using the data viewer widget.
  3. The HR manager then views the data viewer widget and sees which leave requests have been processed.

There's a few new elements to this:

  • The data viewer widget, can be set to only show your entries.  Perfect for staff checking on their requests
  • Each form element has a "hidden" checkbox.  When checked, this means it does not show in the form itself, only in the data viewer.
  • By being able to edit a row, the line manager can approve the request using this hidden field.

So that's one way, but to answer your questions (if you want to build it today)

1 hour ago, mobrien said:

Queries (3)

  1. Is there a way to create a button that will create a new site from a specific template?
  2. How do I store the data entered in the fields into he page of the site so that the owner AND line manager can read the data (not by using the Data Viewer format)?
  3. Is it possible to have a field (variable) with a button that sets a keyword equal to that field.
  1. There is a FrogCode widget - Adrian Tate uses it - its recently had a bug but @Simon Law was looking into it.   If he gets it working, I'll add it to your platform and share it on the community
     
  2. I'd use Wall widgets - that way you can set the "topics" to be filled out.
     
  3. Not really, i think you'd need several buttons to present the possible answers.


 

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@Graham Quince

Whilst not a direct answer to your question, we have some upcoming changes in the next release that may give you another and possibly easier way to do this.

If all goes to plan, the next release will contain the ability to edit entries already submitted to forms via the data-viewer and the ability to filter data in the data-viewer. 

So, this means - (using your example): 

  1. create a form which staff fill in for absence requests,
  2. The form is configured to send an email to their line manager (we have something else coming that might make this even easier - more details to come) and tick the new option that says 'send email to submitting user' when adding the form to the page
  3. The staff member fills out the form which sends an email to their line manager. The user gets a copy of this form
  4. .The line manager visits the site, uses the data-viewer (which can now be embedded in a widget) - filters all the responses by either person or status (pending, approved / rejected)
  5. The manager then edits the entry and selects a response and presses save
  6. The user gets an email with the updated response.

I've not tested this exact scenario, but I think it should be doable. 

The next release should be happening over the summer and before the new school year.

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@adamw and @Graham Quince thank you for this - it sounds like it is getting close to the solution we are looking for!

Thanks for your tips - I'll take a look at them now, in particular the Wall idea.

Intrigued to hear the afore mentioned 'other' development. Looking forward to the details as ever!

 

Thanks for your help so far.

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@Graham Quince the idea of grouping staff into teams is good, but the HR manager would have to check around 20 teams' sites/forms (!!) for updates as the data viewer only appears to display data from a single form.
The idea of having a dynamic keyword was so that the teacher would specify the staff code of their line manager. Using this keyword, filters could be applied to only display them to the relevant line manager - worth a thought, perhaps?
I'd used your Governor Portal policies as the source for my thinking this morning.

@adamw my other consideration for thought is that the first layer of approval would work great, but how does the HR manager get notified of the response updates? Would it be possible to add a two stage notification system...? 

Thank you to you both

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On 28/06/2018 at 14:08, mobrien said:

@Graham Quince the idea of grouping staff into teams is good, but the HR manager would have to check around 20 teams' sites/forms (!!) for updates as the data viewer only appears to display data from a single form.

Actually some side work that is being done will allow you to view all the entries to a form, even when re-used.  so your HR manager would only have to check in one place.  I'll try and get a screenshot from @Ashton Taylor

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