The CivicPlus Form Center module can integrate with external systems using web requests to send and receive information to and from an external server. This functionality is useful if you would like to use Form Center to capture user input, and send that information to an external database. This functionality can also be used to retrieve additional information from an external source, and display that information on the form while the user is filling it out.
There are two methods for interacting with an external system through Form Center:
- External Integration: The External Integration command is a two-way communication protocol, which requires that the user filling out the form to click an additional button on the form. When the user clicks this button, Form Center will send all fields he or she has filled out to a remote server, and use the information received from the external server to populate other fields on the user’s form. This is done without a page refresh. An example application of the external integration command is to retrieve water billing information based on a custom ID the user enters into the form.
- External Submission: This is a one-way communication protocol (Form Center will send information only), whereby the user submits the form as normal, and Form Center sends the fields he or she filled out to the external web service. When the user submits the form, he or she sees the standard form center confirmation page. An example application of the external submission command would be sending the information used for a licensing application to an internal or third party system.