Adding Source Data

Source Data is the part of FormReturn's database where Data Tables, Fieldnames and Records are added and stored.
A Source Data table MUST be created before a form template can be published, because the table is selected to publish the form template with, as a source for the captured data from scanned forms to connect to.

  • Every form will connect to one of the records in the data table.

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Click 'Source Data' to add a Table, Fieldnames and Records.


Add a Source Data Table.

The table can contain:

  • Respondent's records for when captured data must connect to a particular person.
  • Generic records, for when the form's respondents are unknown at the time of publication or are to remain anonymous.
  • No Records if the form template will be published as a single form and copied, and doesn't have to connect to a particular record.

Click 'Add New' in the Tables panel.

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Type a name for the Table and click OK.

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Table names in Source Data


Add Fieldnames for the Data Table.

Select a data table to add a new Fieldname. Click 'Add New' in the Fields panel.

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Type the Field Name (usually to describe the type of records that will be added) Note: make sure the fieldname you type doesn't match any fieldnames used by FormReturn. Two fieldnames the same will cause errors with the storage of captured data.

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Field Name Order Index

This is the Order the Fieldnames will be stored in the captured data Export columns. To change the order index of a fieldname, click the up / down arrows. Make sure each Field Name added to the table, has a different Order Index number.

Click Save.

Added Fieldname

Field Names and Export Order Index in Source Data

View a Screencast on Ordering and naming the columns of your exported data.


Click 'Records' to add / edit records for the data table.

records tab

Add New Records

Click 'Add New' in the Records panel.
In the dialog box select the Field Name you want to add a record for.

Type the record in the 'Value' column for each Field Name.

Numerical records can be auto filled to save time.

type new record

Click Save.

Edit Existing Records

  • Click to select the record
  • Click'Edit' in the Records panel.
  • Click Save to finish.

Records Panel

records panel

  • Table Name: The name of the selected table.
  • Refresh - update source data records that have been recently added.
  • Add New - Add new records.
  • Edit - Edit existing records.
  • Import - will open the Import Records dialog to enable the import of data records from a CSV file saved on your computer or another database, using JDBC.
  • Fill Cells - auto fill numeric records.
  • Delete will remove any selected records.
  • Export Selection - Export selected records to a CSV file.
  • Export All - Export all records in the selected table to a CSV file.

Autofill Numeric Records

When a data table of sequentially numbered records is required, quickly auto fill the records.

Add the first numeric record to the Field Name and select it.

Add first record

Click 'Fill Cells' in the 'Records' panel to open the 'Fill Column' dialog.

fill column dialog

  1. Select the 'Fill Type': either Numeric Series or Duplicates
  2. Select the 'Step Size' For example Step Size 2 starting at the number 1, would autofill the records as 1,3,5,7,9 etc.
  3. Select how many records to fill in the 'Cells to fill' field, (eg: the first record added + 11 cells to fill = 12 records)
  4. Click 'Fill'.

numerical records auto fill

Numeric records auto filled

Import Records Using CSV Import Feature

JDBC Import Feature

1.) Create a spreadsheet with just the data you want to import. The first line must contain the field names, the other lines contain the records.

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2.) Save the spreadsheet, as a CSV file on your computer, using "save as", and choose the type of file to save it as. Save as a text delimited (csv)… and if it asks you further questions, select double quote and comma as the delimiter.

Text from the spreadsheet saved as a CSV file

3.) Create a table in Source Data. 4.) Select the new table that you created by clicking on it, then click the records tab.
5.) Click the "Import" button and in the "Import Records" dialog, click "Select File" and choose the CSV file. Click "Import Records".

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The records will be imported into the selected FormReturn data table.

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Import Records using JDBC import feature

  1. Find the JDBC driver jar file for the database you want to connect to. This can be done by searching google… most major databases have a JDBC connector file.
  2. Get the class name of the driver file you have to use, this will usually be on the download page of the driver file.
  3. Add the class name to the protocol area of the JDBC import dialog.
  4. Select the driver file you downloaded from your disk by clicking the browse button.
  5. Add any connection information into the url wizzard, then click create URL.
  6. Add your SELECT query, this is SQL that will be passed directly to your database.
  7. You can preview the query's results, or import the data immediately by clicking one of the options on the button bar below.

Export Records

Source Data Records are easily exported to a CSV File and opened in a spreadsheet.

  1. Select the table which holds the records.
  2. Click the Records tab.
  3. Click 'Export Selected' - to export selected records. To select a number of the records hold down the command or control key and click each record with the mouse.
  4. Click 'Export All' - to export all the records in the table.

export buttons

Type a filename and choose a location on your computer. Click Save.

csv export dialog

csv file saved

Open the CSV File from where it was saved.
Click OK and the spreadsheet which will open in whichever office package you have installed on your computer.

Source Data Publications

Click 'Publications ' to see the Publication Name and Type of previous publications using the selected table.

Source data publications

Save a Publication to PDF

Select a Publication Name and Click "Export to PDF", to save the Publication as a pdf file, to print more forms from.

Publications Panel

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  • Table Name - The Source Data table used for the publications listed in the application window.

  • Refresh - To refresh recent publications
  • Delete - Delete selected publications
  • Print - Print the forms from the selected publication.
  • Export to PDF - Saves the forms of the selected publication to a PDF file.