Process Management - Editing Forms and Links
"Process Management" can be thought of as managing the links that appear in LegalServer and what happens when those links are clicked.
Process management is the answer to a simple question like "How do I make Date of Birth a required field on an intake form?", as well as a more complex question such as "How do I change the way new user accounts are created?"
This help topic provides an overview of how the pieces fit together, then provides details on editing the various pieces.
Modules are the highest level of objects within LegalServer. Modules contain processes, forms, profiles, and fields. Each module contains a distinct set of these objects.
All instances of LegalServer contain several modules: Case/Matter (prescreens, intakes, and cases), Litigation (a module within Matter to create litigation records), Timekeeping, Calendar, Outreach, etc.
Some modules are considered Additional Modules, and may need to be specifically enabled by LegalServer staff because they require special setup, such as Electronic Verification of Time, Financial Snapshots, etc.
Module is the first selection on the Admin > Processes, Forms, and Profiles page. An administrator must know the correct module to display the correct processes, forms, and profiles.
Processes, Forms, and Profiles - Admin Page
The Admin > Processes, Forms, and Profiles page is where most process management is done. The name reflects the flow of most operations:
Process -> Form(s) -> Profile
Link -> Data Entry -> Display
A process generally displays a link on a page or in a menu. Clicking the link displays one or more forms. Each form contains elements (headers, fields, blocks, and instructions). After the only, or last, form is saved a profile page displays information about the record.
Add Outreach -> Outreach Create Form -> Outreach Profile
Start New Intake -> Multiple forms -> Main Profile
And so on.
Static and Dynamic Processes
Static processes, forms, and profiles are "built-in" to LegalServer and generally cannot be changed (but see Legacy Process Settings below). However, site administrators have a great deal of control over dynamic processes, forms, and profiles:
- Which user roles can see the link a process displays (or if the process displays a link at all);
- The number and order of forms the process calls, and the fields and elements on each form;
- The fields and elements displayed by the profile page at the end of the process.
Tip: A quick way to determine if a form or process is static or dynamic is to look for the Admin menu in the Search bar, and see if it has an "Edit Form" or "Edit Profile" link. If it doesn't, or there is no Admin menu, it is likely a static form or profile.
Tip: You won't see the Admin menu mentioned above unless your user role has the "View Edit Form Link" permission checked. You want this. You really really do.
Why aren't all processes dynamic? Originally, nearly all processes in LegalServer were static. Developing the tools needed to give site administrators control (without learning programming, database design, and web development) was a significant undertaking and achievement. In addition to developing these tools, converting each static process and form requires a substantial amount of work.
Converting from Static to Dynamic
Older installations of LegalServer may be using the static version of modules that are now dynamic. Site administrators may want to create dynamic processes, forms, and profiles for these modules to gain additional control over them. The following help topics explain how to make the conversion for some modules or parts of modules:
- Add Case Note - Customizing
- Contacts - Customizing
- Home Page and Section Fronts - Customizing
- Outreach - Customizing the Processes, Forms, and Profiles
- Tasks - Customizing
- Time - Customizing Time Entry
- Users - Customizing
Legacy Process Settings
The following pages have settings that primarily affect legacy links, but also contain other settings.
- Admin > Process Settings
- Admin > Timekeeping Settings
- Admin > User Roles (Permissions): turn on/off some static process links
A process generally displays a link on a page or in a menu and contains a list of one or more forms that should be displayed when the link is clicked. Processes are added and edited on the main Admin > Processes, Forms, and Profiles page.
Types of Processes
Each type of process has its own "New" link on the process management page, so administrators need to use the appropriate option to create the correct type of process.
- Prescreen and Intake: the "create" processes for the case/matter module
- Create: Create a record (for modules other than case/matter)
- Auxiliary: Perform actions after a record has been created (close a case, add a note, edit an outreach, change password, etc.)
Each process has several attributes. The most significant is the "Name", which is the default link text that users see.
The Complete field displays in the list of processes on the admin page and is a filter. It does not affect what a process does.
Active determines whether the process can be selected in various side/action elements like Custom Link Boxes.
Show on Quickbar applies only if the Quickbar is enabled.
Show Process Link in Module Static Profile determines whether a process displays a link on the corresponding module's static section front. This field can generally be left at the default, no selection, or set to Yes. The exception is the Quick Case Copy process in the Case/Matter module. This field should be set to No for that process so that it does not appear on the static home page or Cases section front.
Show Process Link in Module Process allows hiding intake process links in the side bar while someone is doing an intake.
Per User Role Permissions
After a process is created, it can be edited to set permissions per user role.
By default, all user roles defined on a site will have permission to use the process except the Pro Bono Restricted Access role, or roles created based on that special role. A user whose role does not have permission for a process will not see the link the process displays.
One common use of role permissions is to create links like "Edit Closing Information" that only administrators can see on closed cases.
Case Dispositions to Show (Case/Matter Only)
Processes in the Case/Matter module can display a link according to a matter's disposition. In the following example of a close case process, only "Open" is selected because a Close Case link should only be displayed for open cases.
Forms display pages primarily for data entry. Forms are added and edited on the main Admin > Processes, Forms, and Profiles page.
Pro Tip #27: Most forms can be edited "in place" using the Admin menu's "Edit Form" link in the Search bar:
View the form you want to change. It can be a "live" record; you won't be changing the data for that record.
The link displays the form in edit mode, then returns to the "front end" of the form after you save your edits to the form structure, avoiding the need to go to Admin > Processes, Forms, and Profiles, finding the form, then returning to the front end of the form.
If the link doesn't appear, either you are looking at a static form, or your user role needs the "View Edit Form Link" permission in Admin > User Roles (Permissions).
Types of Forms
The types of forms available depend on the module selected on the admin page. Most modules will have Create, Aux (short for 'auxiliary'), and Branch Logic forms. The Case/Matter module has two 'create' forms, Prescreen and Intake, and also has Case Specific Forms.
Auxiliary forms are used after a record is created — 'Add Case Note', 'Change User's Password', etc.
Form elements are maintained in the Form Elements section when editing a form:
New elements are added by using the dropdown selector and the Add button (not shown). Click the gray rectangle next to an element to drag and drop it. The order of the enabled elements determines the display order on the form.
Elements can be removed by dragging them from the Enabled section to the Disabled section. All disabled elements can be deleted from a form using the "Delete Existing Disabled Elements on Save" option near the bottom of the edit page.
The elements that can be added to a form are described below. Each element may have properties or options that can be set by clicking the + symbol next to the element.
Header elements display text in a bar. Set the text in the element's properties:
Instruction elements display text in a box with a yellow background on a form:
By default, the instruction text is displayed "inline" on the form. Alternatively, the text can be displayed in a "hover" box. That option shows a question mark icon and the text is displayed in a popup box when the mouse pointer hovers over the icon.
The Format as HTML option supports basic HTML tags, allowing text to be bold, italicized, in a different color, etc. It also allows a clickable link (hyperlink) to be displayed using the "<a href>" element. For example:
<a href="https://intranet.agencyname.org" target="_blank">Click here for our User Manual</a>
Advanced positioning and style tags are interpreted but not supported; meaning that if a change in the application CSS or code causes a problem with these tags, it is up to the site administrator to adjust them.
The Field element displays a single field on a form (although it may optionally be hidden). The configuration options vary depending on the type of field (date, lookup, text, etc.) and in some instances the specific field.
When adding a new field element, after selecting "Field", a searchable list of available fields is displayed. Select the desired field, then click the Add button.
This is an example of a lookup field:
The first 3 options determine what is initially displayed for the field. In the example, Intake Type is a special field and offers the option to default to the user's preference.
The default "Toggler style" is Dropdown, but administrators may find the Radio button options useful for some lookup fields with a small number of values.
The "Empty text" option is the text that will display if a default value is not otherwise displayed.
The "Default Overrides Existing Value" option, when used, is typically also set to hidden or read-only. Use with caution because it will set (or change) the field to the default value each time a form is saved.
The "Label" option is blank by default, but any text can be entered to replace the field's default label (the field's Short Name in field management). This option only changes the label on the specific form being edited or created; it does not change the label displayed on other forms, profile pages, reports, etc.
"Right of Last" will display the field to the right of the previous form element, instead of below the previous element. This generally is only effective if the previous element is also a field.
"Required" will prevent saving the form unless the field is filled out or a selection made. Some fields, like Intake Type in the example above, have the Required option checked and the check is grayed out. This indicates the field cannot have a null value if it is used on a form.
"Bold" will display the field's label in bold text.
"Hidden?" will hide the field on the form, but any defaults set will be saved if the form is saved.
"Read-Only?" allows a field to be displayed on a form, but users cannot change it.
Blocks typically display one or more fields on a form, and may display other elements like headers and buttons to perform actions. Blocks often include code that affects the behavior of the form. Some blocks do not have configuration options, but most do. See the Blocks page for additional information.
When adding a new block element to a form, after selecting "Block", a searchable list of available blocks is displayed. Select the desired block, then click the Add button.
The Address block provides an example of the configuration options available on a somewhat complex block:
The List View element displays a standard LegalServer list of information in a tabular format. Although primarily used on profile pages, a list may be helpful on some forms. For example, on an auxiliary case form to add a case contact, it may be useful to display a list of existing contacts on the case.
When adding a new list view element to a form, after selecting "List View", a searchable list of available lists is displayed. Select the desired list, then click the Add button.
Most lists have configurable columns that can be dragged and dropped to display or hide columns and change the order of displayed columns.
If no columns are enabled for a list, a default set of columns is displayed to prevent a 'blank' list from appearing on the form.
The List Style default, Default Style, is a tabular display of each record with the specified columns. Detail List Style displays the information vertically, one record after another.
Some list views also have a Custom Default Filters button that allows changing the default filters.
There is currently no configuration option to set the default sort column on a list.
The Field Set element can be used to visually group elements on a form and optionally display a header. It does not create a group of fields that can be placed on other forms or profile pages as a 'group'.
Add one of these elements to start the grouping, and optionally include a header on the form. Add a second instance of this element to end the grouping if desired.
The Break/Whitespace element inserts up to 10 "lines" of space between elements on a form. This is a legacy element that generally does nothing on forms these days, and will likely eventually be removed.
The Tab Block element is available on forms but is typically only used on profile pages and section fronts.
Profile pages display information about a record. Significant profile pages are the Main Profile that displays cases and rejected matters, the Prescreen Summary profile for sites using prescreens, the Outreach Profile for sites using dynamic outreach, and so on. Profile pages are added and edited on the main Admin / Processes, Forms, and Profiles page.
Create Process Determines the Profile
Each dynamic create process has a "Followup Profile" selection that determines the profile used to display the record it creates. Static processes use a static profile.
Records remember the process that created them. Administrators will notice this if a site converts, for example, from static to dynamic outreach objects. Outreach records created with the static process will continue to be displayed by the static profile. Only new records created with the dynamic create process will be displayed with the dynamic profile (assuming one was created).
Editing profiles is similar to editing processes and forms. Use the Admin "Edit Profile" link or find the profile on the Admin > Processes, Forms, and Profiles page.
Name and Description Section
This section only requires a Name and the Active field to be set. The Description only appears in the profile list on the admin page. The Continue Button Text does not need to be set.
Form Elements Section
Profile pages can contain the same field, block, and other elements as described above for Forms. A simple profile page like a timeslip profile may be a header and a list of fields, much like a form. More complex profiles like the Main Profile are often a series of Tab Block elements:
Tab blocks display a series of tabs on a page, with each tab containing other elements like fields, list views, and blocks. A partial view of the Top Row tab block shown in the example above, might contain the following elements:
The "Tab" elements and the configured text (^, Contacts, Time, Documents) create the tabs that are displayed on the profile:
Tab blocks are created by the "New Tab Block" action menu link on the main Admin / Processes, Forms, and Profiles page. Existing tab blocks can be edited via the "Edit" link on a profile, or from the Tab Blocks list on the process management page.
Side/Action Elements Section
This section determines if anything is displayed in the sidebar (left side in the new interface, right side in the legacy interface), the Actions menu (new interface only), and the Views menu (new interface only). A simple profile, like a timeslip profile, may have no elements in this section. The Main Profile in the case/matter module has several elements and options. See Profiles - Side Bar, Action, and View Elements for more information.
Allowing Fields and Blocks to be Edited on Profiles
Elements added to a profile page are not editable by default. Administrators can make fields and blocks editable in the configuration options for that element. The options differ between the Case/Matter module and all other modules.
For profile pages in all modules except the Case/Matter module (see below), elements have a simple "Editable?" checkbox.
Profile pages in the Case/Matter module have more complex options because matters have dispositions. These are the configuration options for a field on a case/matter profile page:
In this example, the "Is this matter LSC Eligible" field can be edited when a case is open or pending — the field label will be clickable blue text. Once the case is closed, or if it is rejected, the field label will be the default black text that is not a clickable link.
By default, an editable field will be edited "in place" on the profile page, just as it would be on a form. This may not be desirable for some fields, like the example of LSC Eligible. Whether a case is LSC Eligible should generally be determined on a form with the LSC Eligibility Information block (which performs several configurable tests to make that determination, may offer override options, etc.).
To avoid the field from simply being changed to Yes or No, the "Start Aux Process" option is used. The "Edit Eligibility" auxiliary process will be started if someone clicks the blue field label. This is the same as an Actions menu link for the "Edit Eligibility" process, and both can be used.
Print profiles are typically used to display a subset of information about cases in a printable format. They display on a single page information that may be on multiple tabs and in different locations on the main profile.
Print profiles typically appear on the Views menu.
The Views menu is controlled by a side bar element on the main profile with the box type set to "Print":
In the classic interface, the side bar element is placed in the Actions section instead of the View Menu section.
Administrators maintain print profiles on the Profiles tab of the Admin > Processes, Forms, and Profiles page. New print profiles are created with the Actions menu "New Print Profile" link.
Print profiles are a series of elements (headers, fields, blocks, etc.) and are added and changed as described above for forms.
Profile Views can be used to display an alternative to the main profile on cases. For example, a "Housing View" might have a different tab arrangement than the main profile to highlight information most important to those cases. See Profile Views for more information.
Summary of 'How to Display Case Information'
As detailed above, there are 4 ways to display case information (after an intake is completed). This section compares these options in the common context of having added some new fields to your database.
1) Add a new tab to an existing Tab Block on the Main Profile, or add the fields to an existing tab.
Advantage: The information is directly on the page and doesn't require a link to get to it. You can optionally make a field directly editable on the profile (see "Allowing Fields and Blocks to be Edited on Profiles" above).
Disadvantage: You can't require fields to be completed. If your 'group' of information uses blocks, some blocks do not work directly on a profile page and need to be on an auxiliary form.
2) Create an auxiliary form (with the fields) and an auxiliary process (the link to call the form).
Advantage: Having fields on a form allows you to require them. If your new information uses blocks, they will work well on a form.
Advantage: You control which user roles see the auxiliary process link. So an "Edit Restricted Info" link could appear for Administrators but not Users.
Disadvantage: People will need to find the Actions menu link to get to the form.
3) Do both 1 and 2. This gives your users the advantage of seeing the information directly on the page. And using the Start Aux process option for elements on a profile, you can make editing happen on an auxiliary form where you have greater control.
4) Create a print profile if people will want to see and print these fields. Although designed for printing, fields can be made editable on a print profile.
5) Create a profile view (requires new interface). A separate profile view is overkill just to display a few new fields unless you have an unusual circumstance where you need the user role permissions available on profiles; for example you have users with a role that does not let them see the Main Profile but would let them see a limited profile view of cases.
Section fronts are the pages displayed by clicking on a top level navigation tab, like Cases, Timekeeping, Outreach, etc.
See Home Page and Section Fronts - Customizing for more information.