Need for Form Building With Advanced Functionality in SAAS Systems

The evolution of technology has led to many changes in various transactions and activities over the internet. In recent times, data collection and management has been transferred from paper work to print media in which case paper work has been reserved mainly for hard-copy reference and backup. Data collection in print media is mainly done in forms with components like text boxes and text areas, radio buttons, date-pickers, etc. It is then processed by intermediary software mainly for security purposes and then stored into a database. Web applications apply technologies like HTML/CSS for front end, JavaScript and Php for form processing and databases systems like MySQL and Oracle.

However, many business applications have chosen to apply Software as a Service, abbreviated as SAAS, for their business activities which range from office and messaging, accounting, payroll processing etc. Each of this activities require data collection and management from the people being involved in them. Software as a Service is where a software applications are centrally hosted by a vendor and then made available for access over the network to users of the software. The SAAS model utilizes more server interaction technology tools like Ajax.

SAAS has several advantages which include easier application administration, easy and automatic updates, compatibility owing to the fact that the application is being accessed on a common platform, wide accessibility scope since it is being accessed over the internet. It also abstracts the technicalities of software complexity which are affordability, deployment and installation and maintenance.

These days most development tools and frameworks feature one or another form builder with advanced functionality but form building is not just about displaying it. When creating a form for any online application, the following issues are to be put in consideration:

Target Devices

According to smart forms, the components have various different features e.g. text box width and height. A form should have its components coded in a way that can fit any computing device that can access the internet, based on the screen size. One of the main ways of doing this is making the form layout fluid. This means that it can compress itself or utilize vertical and horizontal space in a device and still maintain its legibility.

Component Labeling and Restriction Measures

For easier data management, forms and their components have to be labelled appropriately. If for example you want users to fill in their names, you can have two text boxes labelled First Name and Last Name or have one labelled Full names.

Components like check boxes with several optional checks should be able to disable the rest of the check boxes if the user checks the required boxes or the required number of boxes.

Data Validation

This is also crucial for data interpretation where the users must input the right data in the right text boxes, e.g. an email should have the -@- symbol as the conventional way of denoting an email addresses. Months with 30 or 31 days should not exceed that count.

Data Security

This is the most fundamental issue to put into consideration. Forms are one of the main ways through which hackers gain illegal access to a system. The tools used for data processing should be able to disregard and ignore any invalid data. Special characters like <, /, and-?-should be stripped off entirely to avoid database injection.


SAAS systems allow the application special security features ranging from access to user audit logs. Different users are given different privileges of access to the system using log in systems. Most SAAS systems do not have comprehensive audit logs but his is highly recommended for non-repudiation purposes. Authorized management is key to SAAS systems where if a user is terminated from a particular company or organization, their access should also be revoked. The only major drawback to SAAS systems is that the vendor has full control of the data. This is majorly a problem for the enterprise utilizing the SAAS because the system's data is vulnerable to mining and manipulation. It is therefore recommended that when considering SAAS for your enterprise, go to trusted vendors with good testimonials of trust.

In conclusion, SAAS is the best delivery model for commercial applications since it covers a wide scope of users as it greatly minimizes cost of installation and deployment of the systems. Its security is guaranteed because the enterprise owners have full control of access over the system.

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A post by Kidal D. (3323 Posts)

Kidal D. is author at LeraBlog. The author's views are entirely his/her own and may not reflect the views and opinions of LeraBlog staff.
Chief editor and author at LERAblog, writing useful articles and HOW TOs on various topics. Particularly interested in topics such as Internet, advertising, SEO, web development, and business.

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