WHAT: This HOWTO describes how to create a simple Purchase Order form and the related workflows required to automate this in your business.
WHO: This HOWTO is ment for administrators of the system that need to setup the form and workflow.
First the Why: We are a small technology company with about 7 employees each having to order hardware or software occasionally. Originally, everybody just mailed the office manager with what they needed and a general list was stored in excel. This process soon became unwieldy and it was time for a more structural and efficient solution.
By creating a simple Purchase Order form, we can create a structured way for employees to request new items and for administration to manage all requests, as well as keeping track of the status of orders and the validity of products like software licenses.
- You have one Admin user
- There is a Finance department configured with at least one user
- There is an Employees department where all employees are members of, or they have no account in the system at all.
- There is a Public department with anonymous access.
Setting up the form
- Log in as the company administrator:
- Confirm that the departments exist as described re is a department for Finance and a department for Employees and a public department. You can do this by clicking on the department menu on the top.
- Now click the forms link and then click ‘Add Form’
- Enter a name for the form: ‘Purchase Order’. Make sure that all 3 departments have the right to ‘Add’ this document and that Finance have all rights:
- Now click the ‘Save’ button.
- Add rights for a specific form means that the user can create a new document based on the given form.
- Edit rights means that the user can change information in existing documents of the given type.
- Report rights means that the user can create and view reports based on the given type.
- You should now see the following:
- Whenever the ‘Save’ button is coloured green, it means that the form has unsaved changes, so be sure to save frequently to avoid losing any of your work. Here you can modify the name of the form and save it if needed.
- Now, let’s create the fields needed for a basic Purchase Order. We will break the Purchase Order into different modules to manage access per module:
- General: This module contains all relevant information required to actually order the item and must be accessible to all (including non users).
- Admin: This is a simple block containing the status of the order. It is necessary for the back office to manage the status of all different orders.
- First click the ‘+ Module‘ button to create a new module. A module is like a section of a document that can be used to group fields together. You can also define who is allowed to access the fields of a module.
- Call the first module ‘General’ and make sure that all 3 departments (Finance, Employees and Public) can edit this module.
- Now add the fields for the module by dragging the correct types from the right to the module. The screenshot below serves as an example:
- Make sure to click save on the main form menu to persist your changes.
- Click the ‘+ Module‘ button again to create a new module and call it Admin.
- The Admin module contains internal information for the Finance department to manage actual orders. This means that this module is only visible to members of the finance department:
- Now add the fields as shown in the screenshot below.
- The status field is a dropdown containing the possible states our order can have. In this case we used: New, Ordered, Delivered, Cancelled, Returned:
- The last module is called inventory. It contains all eventual information about what was ordered including serial numbers and license keys. This module is a Table. This means that you can add multiple records with all the fields in the module. So if you bought 20 licenses for Microsoft Office, you can store the license keys in this module. If your licenses have an expiry date, you can also store that information in this module.
Setting up the workflow
For workflow, it is important for us to easily identify purchase orders of the New and Ordered states. All other states indicate that the order is complete and does not require any further actions.
- Log in as a member of the finance department. You should see a screen with a search form on the right displaying all searchable fields of the form we just created:
- We will first create a filter to collect all New purchase orders. Select New from the status selector above and press the search button.
- Now select the ‘Save Filter’ option and fill in the required information:
- Repeat the above steps and create and save another filter for Ordered items.
- Now, if you click the Workflow button, you will see the 2 filters grouped under Purchase Orders:
- As you can see, both filters contain no items as no purchase orders have been created yet.
Retrieving the public URL
Since a part of the form (General) is available to non registered users to create new purchase order requests, there is a public url that can be used by to create new purchase order requests. To get the public URL of a form, go to the main form configuration window and click the “Public Link” button of the form:
Copy the url provided and give this to all users that need to be able to request new purchases.