Form design best practices

Decisions made during the form design process can have an immediate impact on performance and ease of maintenance. The following pages describe how different design decisions can impact performance, future maintenance of the form, and more.►›

Key differences between form development and application development

Winshuttle Workflow is a forms and workflow solution, and there are considerations to take into account for optimal performance and maintenance. In effect, this means staying within certain boundaries.

The following table outlines some key differences between a forms and workflow solution and an application.

The key to realizing a high ROI (Return On Investment) is keeping the differences between form development and application development in mind when you are designing your forms.

Forms and Workflow Solution


Represents one process

Represents multiple processes

Supports no or few process variants

Supports all or many process variants

Collects information in pre-determined path

Collects information dynamically

Each step has few simple actions

Each step can have many complex actions

Few integration points with systems of record

Many integration points with systems of record

Few interdependencies between data elements

Many interdependencies between data elements

Sequential workflow

State machine workflow

Little or no code (e.g. JavaScript)

Often includes code (e.g. JavaScript, .NET, etc.)

Note that there is no well-defined delineation between a complex form and a simple application. Some complex forms may have one or more of the application characteristics in the table above.

A general recommendation is to minimize the use of "application-like" features unless there is enough justification for the added complexity.

Leveraging design best practices by targeting use cases that share the characteristics of a forms and workflow solution will help you ensure long term maintainability. It also means that for certain requirements you may have to compromise on advanced functionality or have more granular use cases. However, the total cost of ownership will be much lower.