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Forms reference

This reference contains detailed information for forms controls and the configuration syntax.

Form controls

Controls are represented by a FreeMarker template snippet, and each field has a control and an optional set of parameters.

The following controls are available.

association.ftl
The association control is used to allow objects in the repository to be picked and ultimately associated with the node being edited. The control uses the JavaScript Alfresco.ObjectPicker component to allow the user to browse the repository and pick objects.
The following parameters are available:
  • compactMode: Determines whether the picker will be shown in compact mode.
  • showTargetLink: Determines whether a link to the document details page will be rendered to content items.
category.ftl
The category control is used to allow the user to select categories for the node being edited. The control uses the JavaScript Alfresco.ObjectPicker component to allow the user to browse the category hierarchy.
The following parameters are available:
  • compactMode: Determines whether the picker will be shown in compact mode.
checkbox.ftl
The checkbox control renders a standard HTML check box control.
The following parameters are available:
  • styleClass: Allows a custom CSS class to be applied to the check box.
date.ftl
The date control renders a date field allowing free form entry of dates, as well as a calendar widget allowing dates to be selected visually. If appropriate a time field is also rendered.
The following parameters are available:
  • showTime: Determines whether the time entry field should be displayed.
encoding.ftl
The encoding control renders a selectable list of encodings.
The following parameters are available:
  • property: The name of a content property to retrieve the current encoding from; if omitted the field.value value is used.
  • styleClass: Allows a custom CSS class to be applied to the select list.
invisible.ftl
The invisible control renders nothing at all; it can be used when a form definition needs to be requested and returned but not displayed. This control has no parameters.
mimetype.ftl
The mimetype control renders a selectable list of mime types.
The following parameters are available:
  • property: The name of a content property to retrieve the current mime type from, if omitted the field.value value is used.
  • styleClass: Allows a custom CSS class to be applied to the select list.
period.ftl
The period control renders a selectable list of periods and an expression entry field.
The following parameters are available:
  • dataTypeParameters: A JSON object representing the period definitions to show in the list.
selectone.ftl
The selectone control renders a standard HTML select list.
The following parameters are available:
  • options: A comma separated list of options to display, for example "First,Second,Third". If a value for an option also needs to be specified, use the "First|1,Second|2,Third|3" format.
  • size: The size of the list, that is, how many options are always visible.
  • styleClass: Allows a custom CSS class to be applied to the select list.
selectmany.ftl
The selectmany control renders a standard HTML select list allowing multiple selections.
The following parameters are available:
  • options (mandatory, comma separated string): A comma separated list of options to display, for example "First,Second,Third". If a value for an option also needs to be specified the "First|1,Second|2,Third|3" format can be used.
  • size (optional, int): The size of the list i.e. how many options are always visible, the default is 5.
  • styleClass (optional, string): Allows a custom CSS class to be applied to the select list.
  • style (optional, string): Allows CSS rules to applied directly to the select list.
  • forceEditable (optional, boolean): Forces the control to be editable, default is false.
size.ftl
The size control renders a read only human readable representation of the content size.
The following parameters are available:
  • property: The name of a content property to retrieve the current content size from; if omitted the field.value value is used.
textarea.ftl
The textarea control renders a standard HTML text area field.
The following parameters are available:
  • rows: The number of rows the text area will have
  • columns: The number of columns the text area will have
  • styleClass: Allows a custom CSS class to be applied to the text area
textfield.ftl
The textfield control renders a standard HTML text field.
The following parameters are available:
  • styleClass: Allows a custom CSS class to be applied to the text field
  • maxLength: Defines the maximum number of characters the user can enter
  • size: Defines the size of the text field

Forms configuration syntax

The share-config-custom.xml file uses an XML configuration syntax.

The XML syntax is described as follows:

default-controls
The type element defines what control to use, by default, for each type defined in the content model. The name attribute contains the prefix form of the data type, for example d:text. The template attribute specifies the path to the template snippet to use to represent the field. If the path value should be a relative path, it is relative from the alfresco package. If the path value is absolute, it is looked up relative to the alfresco/web-extension/site-webscripts package, normally found in the application server shared classes location. The control-param element provides a mechanism to pass parameters to control templates, meaning that control templates can be re-used.
constraint-handlers
The constraint element defines what JavaScript function to use to check that fields with constraints are valid before being submitted. The id attribute is the unique identifier given to the model constraint in the content model, for example LIST. The validation-handler attribute represents the name of a JavaScript function that gets called when the field value needs to be validated. The event attribute defines what event will cause the validation handler to get called. This will be a standard DOM event, that is, keyup, blur, and so on. The validation handler called usually has a default message to display when validation fails, the message and message-id attributes provide a way to override this message. However, the validation messages are not shown (the Submit button is enabled/disabled).
dependencies
The dependencies element defines the list of JavaScript and CSS files required by any custom controls being used in the application. In order for valid XHTML code to be generated, the dependencies need to be known ahead of time so the relevant links can be generated in the HTML head section. The src attribute of both the JavaScript and CSS elements contains the path to the resource, the path should be an absolute path from the root of the web application (but not including the web application context).
form
The form element represents a form to display. If the form element exists within a config element that provides an evaluator and condition, the form will only be found if the item being requested matches the condition. If the form element exists within a config element without an evaluator and condition, the form is always found. The optional id attribute allows an identifier to be associated with the form, thus allowing multiple forms to be defined for the same item. The submission-url allows the action attribute of the generated form to be overridden so that the contents of the form can be submitted to any arbitrary URL.
view-form
The view-form element allows the default template that auto generates the form UI to be overridden. The template attribute specifies the path to the template to be used when the form is in view mode. The value is usually an absolute path, which is relative to the alfresco/web-extension/site-webscripts package, normally found in the application server shared classes location. If this element is present, the field-visibility element is effectively ignored and therefore does not have to be present.
edit-form
The edit-form element allows the default template that auto generates the form UI to be overridden. The template attribute specifies the path to the template to be used when the form is in edit mode. The value is usually an absolute path, which is relative to the alfresco/web-extension/site-webscripts package, normally found in the application server shared classes location. If this element is present, the field-visibility element is effectively ignored and therefore does not have to be present.
create-form
The create-form element allows the default template that auto generates the form UI to be overridden. The template attribute specifies the path to the template to be used when the form is in create mode. The value is usually an absolute path, which is relative to the alfresco/web-extension/site-webscripts package, normally found in the application server shared classes location. If this element is present, the field-visibility element is effectively ignored and therefore does not have to be present.
field-visibility
The field-visibility element defines which fields are going to appear on the form, unless a custom template is used.
show
The show element specifies a field that should appear on the form. The id attribute represents the unique identifier for a field, for example, cm:name. The optional for-mode attribute indicates when the field should appear. Valid values for the attribute are view, edit, and create. If the attribute is not specified, the field will appear in all modes. If present, the field will only appear for the modes listed. For example, to only show a field in view and edit modes, the for-mode attribute would contain view,edit.
There are fields that can be optional for an item, and by default they cannot be returned by the server. The force attribute can be used to indicate to the form service that it should do everything it can to find and return a definition for the field. An example might be a property defined on an aspect, if the aspect is not applied to the node, a field definition for the property will not be returned If force is true, it would indicate that server needs to try and find the property on an aspect in the content model.
hide
The hide element normally comes into play when multiple configuration files are combined as it can be used to hide fields previously configured to be shown. The id attribute represents the unique identifier for a field, for example cm:name that should not be displayed. The optional for-mode attribute indicates in which modes the field should not appear. Valid values for the attribute are view, edit, and create. If the attribute is not specified, the field will never appear. If present, the field will be hidden for the modes listed. For example, to hide a field in view and edit modes, the for-mode attribute would contain view,edit.
The algorithm for determining whether a particular field will be shown or hidden works, as follows:
  1. If there is no field-visibility configuration (show or hide tags) then all fields are visible in all modes.
  2. If there are one or more hide tags then the specified field(s) will be hidden in the specified modes. All other fields remain visible as before.
  3. As soon as a single show tag appears in the configuration XML, this is taken as a signal that all field visibility is to be manually configured. At that point, all fields default to hidden and only those explicitly configured to be shown (with a show tag) will be shown.
  4. Show and hide rules will be applied in sequence, with later rules potentially invalidating previous rules.
  5. Show or hide rules, which only apply for specified modes, have an implicit element. For example, <show id="name" for-mode="view"/> would show the name field in view mode and by implication, hide it in other modes.
appearance
The optional appearance element controls the look and feel of the controls that make up the form. Unlike the field-visibility element, this element will be processed and the information available to custom templates defined with the view-form, edit-form and create-form elements, it is up to those templates whether they use the available data.
The configuration of what fields are present and how they appear has been separated to provide the maximum flexibility, and although it might be slightly more verbose, the separation allows the appearance to be defined for fields that are not explicitly mentioned within the field-visibility element.
set
The optional set element provides the basis of creating groups of fields. The id attribute gives the set a unique identifier that other set definitions and fields can refer to. The parent attribute allows sets to be nested, and the value should reference a valid set definition, previously defined. The appearance attribute specifies how the set will be rendered. The only supported and allowed values are fieldset and panel. If an appearance attribute is not supplied, the set will not be rendered. The label and label-id attributes provide the title for the set when it is rendered. If neither are supplied, the set identifier is used.
A default set with an identifier of "" (empty string) is always present, and any fields without an explicit set membership automatically belong to the default set. The default set will be displayed with a label of Default.
field
The field element allows most aspects of a field's appearance to be controlled from the label to the control that should be used. The only mandatory attribute is id, which specifies the field to be customized. However, the field identifier does not have to be present within the field-visibility element.
The label and label-id attributes define the label to be used for the form. If neither attribute is present, the field label returned from the Form Service is used. The description and description-id attributes are used to display a tool tip for the field. If neither is present, the description returned from the Form Service is used (this could also be empty).
The read-only attribute indicates to the form UI generation template that the field should never be shown in an editable form. Finally, the optional set attribute contains the identifier of a previously defined set. If the attribute is omitted, the field belongs to the default set.
control
The control element allows the control being used for the field to be configured or customized. If present, the template attribute specifies the path to the template snippet to use to represent the field overriding the default-control template. If the path value is relative, it is relative from the alfresco package. If the path value is absolute, it is looked up relative to the <web-extension>/site-webscripts package, normally found in the application server shared classes location.
The control-param sub-elements provide a mechanism to pass parameters to control templates. This template could either be the one defined locally or the template defined in the default-control element for the data type of the field.
constraint-handlers
The constraint sub-elements define the JavaScript function to use for checking that fields with constraints are valid before being submitted. The main purpose of this element is to allow aspects of the constraint to be overridden for a particular field. Each attribute effectively overrides the equivalent attribute.

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