Using form data with multiple forms
When using the User service
to involve people in processes, you may be required to use more
than one form in a process and populate them with the same form data.
If all forms use the same layout for the form fields, they can be
used interchangeably with the same form data. However, if two form
designs use different layouts, form data from one form cannot be
automatically merged with the other form. In this case, you need
to manipulate the form data so that it properly fills the form.
This Quick Start will be most useful to you if you are already
familiar with using forms in processes.
For example, a person fills an order form to purchase parts from
a retailer’s online automobile parts catalog and submits the form
to initiate the purchase process. The process determines that some
of the ordered parts are not in stock and must be ordered from the
manufacturer. The process automatically fills a different form to
order the parts from the manufacturer and fills this form with data
from the customer’s original purchase request.
You can use these strategies to manipulate form data to use it
with a different form layout:
Make changes to the form data (which is stored in an
xfaForm variable) so that the data structure matches that of the
form. Use this strategy if the forms use only slightly different
field layouts so that adding nodes to the data schema makes them
Copy data items from the form data to an xfaForm variable
that uses a data structure that is compatible with the form’s data
schema. Use this strategy when the forms use very different field
layouts or if you only need to use a subset of the form data.
To implement either strategy, use the Set Value
service to manipulate the data stored in form variable
o see the form data schemas in XPath Expression Builder, embed the schema in the form.
To use the same data for two different forms, you need
to define two xfaForm variables that hold the form data you are
Configuration when forms are similar
If two forms use field layouts that are very similar, you
may be able to add nodes to the data from one form so that the data
can be successfully merged with the second form. You can use XPath
expressions to add nodes to the data model of xfaForm variables.
The following illustration shows the data models of two different
xfaForm variables (xfa
for populating two different forms (Form1 and Form2).
The difference between the two schemas is that the schema for
variable includes the
below the root node of the form schema. The data in the
is made compatible with Form2 by adding a
to its schema.
The following expression adds the
to the data schema of
This expression is used as the value of the location attribute
for a Mapping property of a Set Value service’s execute operation
to create the
To preserve the original form data, you must
copy the data to another variable before you modify the data schema.
Configuration when forms are not similar
You can copy data from the nodes of one xfaForm variable
data model to the nodes of another xfaForm variable schema. If two
forms use field layouts that are very different, you can copy data
items from one form variable to the other form variable so that
the data is reused in the second form.
The following illustration shows the data schemas that are required
in two different form variables (
for populating two different forms (firstform and secondform).
The form called
contains fewer fields than
firstform so that the data captured using firstform cannot be automatically
merged with secondform. However, the data from some firstform fields
are appropriate for fields on secondform. You use the Set Value
service to copy items of data from the
For example, you would use the Set Value service to set the value
variable to the value of the
The examples in this Quick Start use simple XPath expressions.
If required, you can manipulate data with more complex XPath expressions
and use XPath functions.