SharePoint Document Libraries are content repositories where you can store folders, files, links, and other meta-data.
SharePoint Document Library and OneDrive have a lot in common, as both are file management systems. While sharing content to multiple users is possible with OneDrive, SharePoint is Microsoft's favorite tool for collaboration on content within groups in an organization. Along with Microsoft Teams, it's a key part of Microsoft's approach to workplace modernization.
This makes SharePoint Document Library suitable for workgroups and teams who need to share data and collaborate on projects. SharePoint's version control feature allows you to maintain content history and manage approvals and checkouts, while its dashboard and access control policies help keep groups organized and on track.
With ProntoForms, you can use a SharePoint Document Library as both a Data Source and a Data Destination.
SharePoint Document Library data sources
The Microsoft SharePoint Document Library Data Source retrieves data from an Excel or CSV file in a Microsoft SharePoint Document Library. This data can then be used to populate a table or list of options within dropdown or radio button questions using ProntoForms, for example, a list of products or parts.
The Data Source can be configured to fetch data at a specified interval. A business users can also do updates using Excel directly from within the familiar SharePoint system. This allows you to automatically have the latest information available on the mobile app and minimizes the need to access the web portal.
SharePoint Document Library data destinations
The Microsoft SharePoint Document Library Data Destination allows you to send submitted forms and attachments such as captured images, sketches, audio recordings, scanned documents, etc. You can also send form meta-data and answers to populate custom columns in the library. This allows you to search for and filter content easily within the library and do other useful things such as send notifications to Teams or create analytics with Power BI.
ProntoForms allows you to automatically create custom file and folder names using its powerful DREL feature based on data in the form to logically organize and manage files.
In essence, it's a real-time repository of the execution of work in the field, automatically maintained, using a system you already have.
Workflow with SharePoint Document Library
There are various ways SharePoint Document Libraries can be used with ProntoForms. They can be combined with other Data Sources and Data Destinations such as a SharePoint List to ease data collection, processing, and analysis not just within Microsoft's eco-system, but with other systems of record and system of engagement solutions.
Here's an example use case that shows a simple asset inspection workflow that uses SharePoint Document Library as a Data Destination:
Create a SharePoint List
A citizen developer creates a SharePoint List and the column data types in SharePoint within their Office 365 user interface.
The list can then be populated with details for the inspection, such as work order information, the technician assigned, site, equipment details, etc.
Create the Form
An admin designs a form in ProntoForms' portal using the visual Forms Builder. The form uses dropdowns and/or radio button- type questions. These controls accept lists as inputs. They can also push data to other questions based on the selected list item.
The source of these lists can be the SharePoint List created earlier by the citizen developer.
Create a SharePoint Document Library
The citizen developer creates a SharePoint Document Library using Office 365. The library can have the default structure, or the citizen developer can add custom columns to receive additional meta-data from ProntoForms, such as question-answers, username, custom text, etc.
ProntoForms' DREL expressions can be used to define what data to send along with the form submissions and attachments, such as images, audio recordings, scanned documents, and more.
Create a SharePoint List and a SharePoint Document Library Data Destination
Using ProntoForms, an admin creates a SharePoint List and a SharePoint Document Library Data Destination.
They set the list path and map the form's answers to the appropriate list columns. The form can send any data or format it using ProntoForms' built-in DREL language.
For the SharePoint Document Library, a folder path is set to hold copies of the form outputs such as photos and sketches. Similar to the SharePoint List Data Destination, it can also map a form's answers or other text to any custom columns in the document library.
Capture Data in the Field and Automatically Sending it to SharePoint
In the field, when the service technician opens the relevant form on the ProntoForms mobile app, it pre-populates the forms with data from the SharePoint List data sources. This provides valuable context to the mobile user, reduces the amount of manual data entry, and minimizes potential errors.
Once the technician is finished, they submit the form which gets sent over to ProntoForms' Cloud, where the Data Destinations do their work to process the data and integrate it into SharePoint.
Use the Form Data for Storage and Analytics
SharePoint Document Library is used to save the form submission as a PDF, Word, or Excel document and any associated attachments, such as camera images, sketches, audio recordings, etc., for longer-term storage, reporting, or compliance purposes.
A SharePoint List can also be used as a Data Destination to power analytics and dashboards using Power BI or other third-party analytics solution.