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Using Transform to Process Web Forms

This documentation was adapted from the Web Form with Transform 3.0: the Users' Guide

Table of Contents

Before You Begin

The following assumptions are made and guidelines are provided in this tutorial:

  1. You are comfortable with HTML and web design.

  2. You have previously created a Web Form. (If you have not, see Creating Web Forms for more information.)

  3. You are comfortable with either creating files on the IUPUI Champion server with the Pico editor, or with using an FTP application to upload files to your Champion account.

  4. You are running your web pages from the www directory from your home (~networkid) account on the champion.iupui.edu server.

  5. You are comfortable with basic UNIX commands, such as mkdir and cd.

  6. There may be other ways to handle directory structures, etc., when working with forms, but the methods outline below provide the simplest way to maintain your files and directories.

  7. Commands you are directed to type should be followed by pressing ENTER.

  8. Transform template examples are based upon the sample form.

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About Transform

Transform is a utility written at Indiana University for processing HTML/Web forms. It does not create HTML files. Using this utility, you can direct form data to an E-mail message or to a file. You can specify the format the form data takes, the response to the user who submits the form, and check for incomplete form items.

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Overview of Transform

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Installing Transform in your Account

  1. Logon to champion.iupui.edu.

  2. Change to your www directory. Type: cd www

  3. Create your forms directory. Type: mkdir Forms

  4. Change to the new forms directory. Type: cd Forms

  5. Type: tf_install

    1. Transform will create a new directory called tf_support in your home directory (~networkid).

    2. Transform also copies a file called transform.cgi into your www directory. Because this is a special file used by the Transform program, it will be automatically updated whenever a new version of Transform is released.

      NOTE TO ADVANCED USERS: You may install multiple copies of transform.cgi in separate directories if you have a need for special access control mechanisms such as password protected web pages.

    DO NOT DELETE either the tf_support directory or transform.cgi file as long as you wish to process web forms through your account.

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Creating A Simple E-mail Response Form

based upon the sample form

Remember, both your HTML file and your Transform template file must reside in the same directory in your account on champion.iupui.edu. You can either use the Pico editor on champion to create this file, or create it on your local workstation, then FTP the file to champion.

Your template file must have the same name as the accompanying HTML file, but should have an extension of .tpl rather than .html.

NOTE: The first four (non-comment) lines of the *email-response* section MUST be:

  1. *email-response*

  2. To: your E-mail address

  3. From: the reader's E-mail address

  4. Subject: a subject message

As you create the template file, type the information requested exactly as it is shown in the sample below. In the case of italicized text, replace the information requested with your own information. For example type your E-mail address here should be replaced with the E-mail address to which you wish the form responses sent.

# begin template
# *email-response* section
*email-response*
To: type your E-mail address here
From: [email]
Subject: Question from [name]

[name] submitted this Ice Cream survey

Submitted information:
E-mail address: [email]
Phone: [phone]
Address: [address]

[name]'s favorite ice cream is [favorite] [other].

[name] has a [entry].

[name] discovered his/her favorite place to each ice cream from one or more of the following:
*[cindy]
*[talk]
*[man]
*[droveby]
*[kid]—identify: [whatkid]

Additional comments:

[suggestion]


# Now let's add a section which describes a successful form submission
# Note the *success-response* section header
# Since this response is being returned to the user's www browser it
# must be a correct html document
*success-response*
<HTML>
<HEAD>
<TITLE>The Ice Cream Survey</TITLE>
</HEAD>
<BODY>
<P>Thank you, [name], for your submission</P>

<P>I have recorded the following survey information:</P>

<P>[name] submitted this Ice Cream survey</P>

<P>Submitted information:<BR>
E-mail address: [email]<BR>
Phone: [phone]<BR>
Address: [address]</P>

<P>[name]'s favorite ice cream is [favorite], [other].</P>

<P>[name] has a [entry].</P>

<P>[name] discovered his/her favorite place to each ice cream from one or more of the following:<BR>
*[cindy]<BR>
*[talk]<BR>
*[man]<BR>
*[droveby]<BR>
*[kid]—identify: [whatkid]</P>

<P>Additional comments:</P>

<P>[suggestion]</P>

</BODY>
</HTML>

# end template file

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