Overview of the Entity/ Organization Feature
If you have workflows that applicants have to fill out repeatedly, such as a contractor that requests multiple permits per week or month, or a workflow where you want to make sure the exact same information (about the business name and associated information) is added to all the related processes the same way, then the Entity/ Organization feature is for you! (To keep people from having to enter the same data every time for the same annual license or permit, use the ClearForms Renewals feature.)
The Entity/ Organization feature is also a good choice if you have a list of reference data (for example, all the information about the parcels in your town or all your employees' data) that you'd like to be able to use consistently in workflows.
For each Team in ClearForms you can customize one Entity. The default name the system uses is Organization, but once you set this feature up the name you choose (for example "Business" or "Parcel") will appear for admins and applicants when this feature is in use.
Setting up Entity fields for the first time
Here's an overview of where to find and how to customize the group of fields associated with each Entity (each Business, Parcel, or Employee grouping).
Here's how to set it up:
Customize the Entity name. Change it to "Business" or "Parcel" or whatever works best for your information. We recommend using something that will make sense as a plural with an "S" added to the end!
Decide which information you want to include for each Business/ Parcel. For example for Businesses you might have the Entity fields include "Business Location" "Contact Name" and "Business Phone".
Heads up: the first field (Name) can't be edited. This is what your applicants will use to search for their Business/ Parcel etc. in the form. Check out how this will work in your forms after you've set it up here.
For each field in your Entity data you'll decide whether applicants can View and/or Suggest Edits on each field. You'll always control whether or not those edits are accepted. In most cases you'll want to leave View/ Suggest edits both on (to help make sure your data is as up to date as possible). However with some data types such as land parcels, you may want applicants to View the data but never be able to suggest edits.
How to get data into your Entity list
Once you've got your fields set, there are two options as to how your Entity "list" will get populated.
You can have applicants add in their information the first time they apply for a permit or license (when you add the field type to your forms, be sure to turn on "Allow Applicants to Create New Businesses". (More on these settings here). In that case, you're done!
However if you already have a reference list (for example a spreadsheet of all your existing licensed businesses, current employees, or land parcels) the ClearForms team can upload this data into the system for you. Just get in touch via our online chat or email and we'll help you get the data into your Team.
A couple of things to note:
Currently you can't set data validation types on entity fields. So you can't enforce a date or email format.
You can't have "File" field types or file uploads as part of Entity fields.
Viewing your Entity Data in the Directory
ClearForms is organized around Teams, and each team has a Directory associated with it. Your directory is automatically generated by the ClearForms system and you can view all your Entity/ Organization data there.
When you click on the Directory link at the top right of your home page or Dashboard, you'll land on the People tab by default. There you'll see a list of all the individuals (ClearForms accounts) who have completed applications on workflows related to that Team. Next to each name you'll see how many applications they've submitted.
If you click on the Organizations tab (this will say "Business" or Parcels" once you've changed the default settings), you'll see your data. Here's what it looks like full of Organization data:
Please note: if you have updated the name of your teams entity, the word "Organization" will be whatever you named the entity. For example - Business.
You'll see the number of Contacts (user accounts) associated with that organization, and the number of processes they've completed. If you click on an individual organization, you'll see even more detail - contact info, data in standard and custom fields specific to your Team, and links to each application the organization is associated with.