Free form module

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Permission Submission moderator and higher
Connectivity Online and offline

This document describes the functionality of the 'freeform' workflow module and how to properly configure if for a workflow.

Required permissions:

Required connectivity:

  • You need to be online to create a new or edit an existing workflow template.
  • If you are online when you initiate a workflow instance the fields will be prefilled from the last workflow instance with the same location(s). Once the workflow instance has been loaded, you can complete the workflow in an offline mode.
  • You can initiate a workflow instance when you are offline, and the fields will be filled with the latest cached information on the computer. This will be up to date unless workflows have been submitted using other computers since you were last online on the computer you are currently using.
  • If you submit whilst offline the workflow will be uploaded to the InfoEx server the next time you are online. WARNING: If the internet connection is lost whilst this is being done, the workflow will not be submitted and you will lose the data..


Fig. 1: Free form workflow module

The freeform workflow module allows users to add an additional step to their workflow that simply consists of a free-form text field. This step can be used to record any additional operational information that is important for you internally and which will not be exchanged in the InfoEx. Examples of possible uses are:

  • Operational plans
  • Personal summaries of InfoEx and/or weather forecast
  • Inventories
  • Personal reflections

The text field can either be started blank (default) or pre-populated with customized default content/form (e.g., headers for the main topics covered in this step) or the content of a free form step with the same name submitted from a workflow associated with the same location(s).

NOTE If you have the same free form step in multiple workflows for the same location(s) (e.g., AM and PM meetings for entire operation), make sure that you name the free form steps completely the same to ensure that their content is properly transferred between the workflow templates.

Any workflow template with a freeform module step will automatically have a Workflow summary step added at the end of the workflow. This summary allows users to review their observations and assessments before they are submitted.

The content submitted via the freeform module are associated with the location specified in the entry form of the individual observation.

It is possible to complete the freeform step in a workflow without internet connectivity.


The freeform workflow step consists of a short paragraph with instructions and a single free-form text field (Fig. 1).

The information entered in a freeform step is stored on the InfoEx server but is proprietary information that is not shared with other subscribers and therefore does not appear in any reports.


Fig. 2: Free form workflow module settings

The free form workflow module has the following settings (Fig. 2):

  • Name
    Name of the workflow step shown in the header of the workflow. It is recommended that you choose a short name (e.g., 'Ops Plan' instead of 'Operational Plan') to keep the navigation bar of the workflow as tidy as possible.
NOTE When pre-populating the free form step with content from previous workflows, we use the name of the step to identify the correct content. If you want content to transfer properly from one workflow to the other, the steps need to have the same name in both worflows.
  • Instructions
    Short sentence that describes what should be accomplished in this workflow step.
  • Default Content
    Default content for free form text field. This is the place to build a customized template for the free form text field (e.g., headings for sections (see Fig. 2), lists of items). If you always want an empty text field, simply leave the default content blank.
  • Logic for prefilling of content
    This setting allows you to specify how you want the content of the free form text field to be filled. The two options are:
    • Always prefill with default content
    • Prefill with the content from the last submission

Information shared within the InfoEx

Even though the information entered in a freeform workflow module is submitted to the InfoEx server, this information is private and NOT shared with other InfoEx subscribers. The information is only accessible by members of your operation.

Other workflow modules

Functionality tested by

  • Mar. 5, 2014: Pascal Haegeli