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Each control setting property is explained below. Keep in mind that all controls do not have the same setting properties.


A control’s label is displayed on your form above the control. When you first drag in a control it is assigned an arbitrary and unique label, for example, "Checkbox 43." You will want to edit for more meaningful labels for your users. Change a control’s label either on the form itself (by clicking the control and selecting the label) or by replacing the arbitrary text in the Properties Label field.  Message controls are used for static text and do not need a label, so they are the only controls without labels. 

There are restrictions on what you can do in the label markup due to the incorporation of a whitelist approach to filter out XSS attacks. The whitelist allows a full range of text and structural body HTML: a, b, blockquote, br, caption, cite, code, col, colgroup, dd, dl, dt, em, h1, h2, h3, h4, h5, h6, i, img, li, ol, p, pre, q, small, strike, strong, sub, sup, table, tbody, td, tfoot, th, thead, tr, u, ul. This means that you can only use these tags in a label's markup. You can find information about XHTML tags at this websiteThese restrictions also apply to the Help property.

Let's say you want to underline (6 characters) in the label of a password field.

In the Label field, type this HTML: Password: <u> 6 characters </u>.

When typing labels you are free to use any special characters with the exception of the less-than sign (<).  If you need a less-than sign in your label, substitute the characters &lt (with no spaces between) for the less-than symbol.

Labels can also contain templates that will be replaced by values entered into your form as the form is used. See Templatized Strings for details.

Note that a control's name defaults to its label minus any spaces and special characters. Spaces and special characters are removed in order to make the name valid for use in rules and, for XML users, valid as an xsd schema element name. If the name begins with a numeral (for example,123Name), frevvo prepends an underscore to it (for example, _123Name) to make it a valid XSD element name. Control names will be truncated to 32 characters for all the controls except triggers and panels.

Also note that if you have two controls with the same label, the control's name will automatically be made unique. If you try to edit the name such that it would no longer be unique, frevvo will prevent the edit.


The < sign is not allowed in a label for Input controls. Searchable Fields with values that contain the < sign will not display completely in the Submissions Table.


On this page

Table of Contents


titleImportant Tips for Control Names
  • Do not name your controls action or method. These are reserved names. If you use these names your form will not properly submit or cancel and may cause an HTTP 404 error when the users try to submit or cancel. Also, avoid using JavaScript Reserved Keywords as control identifier names as these words have a special function in the JavaScript language. Click here for a partial list.
  • Do not name your controls form. This is a reserved word and may cause rules to fail and other unexpected issues.
  • Use English alphabet characters only when naming controls. For example, controls named with ó as in Póliza may cause issues when the control is used in a business rule and with submission data.
  • Control Names cannot start with a number. If you attempt to name a control starting with a number, such as "1Name" it will automatically be corrected to "_1Name." 
  • frevvo recommends unique names even if controls are in different nesting levels to improve clarity when using wizards and connectors. Controls with the same name, even at different nesting levels, will cause problems with
    • Rules based on or affecting the controls.
    • Templatized strings referencing the controls in Form Actions, Doc Actions, Properties, etc.
    • PDF Mapping of those controls.



The error message only displays when an invalid value has been entered. Required empty fields are always displayed with a yellow or orange background. If the Accessible property is checked, the error message "You can't leave this empty" - not the error message text configured by the designer - will display. The 'You can't leave this empty:' string can is included in the downloaded file used for form/workflow internationalization.

Refer to the Table control for information on error messages and columns in a table.


The Date Format property applies to Date controls and the Date portion of the Date/Time control. The default, recommended format is "Automatic", which is a locale-specific date format. The designer has the option to set a particular date format independent of the locale by using the format field, but this is not recommended. Read this documentation for more information about date controls and internationalization.  

Available Date Formats consist of three different separators (dash '-', slash '/', or period '.') and four date display formats (DD/MM/YYYY, MM/DD/YYYY, YYYY/MM/DD, or Mmm/DD/YYYY). European date formatting is supported. 


  1. A date typed into a form field will be reformatted to match the selected Date Format 
  2. A date entered into a form field will be translated according to the selected format. For example, if you choose a European format of DD-MM-YYYY and the user enters 10-05-2009, the date value will be translated as May 10, 2009. If you choose a US format of MM-DD-YYY the date value will be translated as October 5, 2009. 
  3. Any of the three separators will be valid for date entry but will be translated to the selected separator. For example, if you choose a format of MM/DD/YYY and the user enters 10-05-2009, the date will display 10/05/2009.
  4. Dates entered like Feb 3, 2001 will be translated into the specified format.

frevvo adjusts dates expressed with a two-digit year to be within 80 years before or 20 years after. For example, using a pattern of "MM/DD/YY" and the current date/time of Jan 1, 1997, the string "01/11/12" would be interpreted as Jan 11, 2012 while the string "05/04/64" would be interpreted as May 4, 1964. During parsing, only year strings consisting of exactly two digits will be parsed into the default century. Any other numeric string, such as a one-digit string, a three- or more digit string, or a two-digit string that isn't all digits, is interpreted literally. So "01/02/3" or "01/02/003" are parsed, using the same pattern, as Jan 2, 3 AD. Likewise, "01/02/-3" is parsed as Jan 2, 4 BC. frevvo will always format as 4-digit years.  


The date will be converted to the standard xsd:date format of yyyy-mm-dd in the submissions XML document. Here is an example: <Order Date>2012-03-06</Order Date>. Refer to Viewing XML Documents for more details.

Rules can be applied to the Date control in all variations.

Time Format

The Time Format property applies to the Time control type. The default recommended format is "Automatic", which is a locale-specific time format. The designer has the option to set a particular time format independent of the locale by using the format field, but this is not recommended. Read this documentation for more information about time controls and internationalization 

If you keep the default "Automatic" format, you can enter data into a Time control using any of the formats shown in the table. The Time control will accept and display the values as shown:  

Image Modified

The Time Format dropdown provides variations of military and standard time conventions, with either colon or period separators.



The time will be converted to the standard xsd:time format of hh:mm:ss in the submissions XML document. Here is an example: <Order Time>14:00:00</Order Time>. Refer to Viewing XML Documents for more details.



The local time will be converted to and saved in UTC format and the date will be converted to the standard xsd:datetime format of yyyy-mm-ddThh:mm:ssZ in the submission XML document. Here is an example: <OrderDate>2013-08-12T19:13:00Z</OrderDate>. Refer to Viewing XML Documents for more details. 



Setting Up Dynamic Options No Coding Needed

Checkbox, Dropdown, and Radio controls support the ability to dynamically retrieve options at runtime from a RESTful web service. The Dynamic Options feature will NOT work with SOAP web services. Using this feature with the ComboBox control is described below.

frevvo supports data returned from RESTful web services formatted in either XML or JSON. The frevvo Database Connector is an example of a RESTful web service.

The Dynamic Options feature requires:

  • The URL to the web service -  include parameters and mappings that the service requires in the URL
  • Value and Label binding properties - Path(s) to retrieve the option data from the web service results data. Designers determine the values for these properties by examining the results returned by the web service in the Debug Console. This method is described below and in the Dynamic Options Example.

Watch this 5-minute video example of setting Dynamic Options using the frevvo Database Connector.

Widget Connector

Follow these steps:

  1. Click on the selection control (Checkbox, Dropdown, Radio)
  2. Select Web Service from the Option Src dropdown

  3. Enter the URL of the RESTful web service that you are going to retrieve the option data from. Data is retrieved using HTTP GET. The URL can contain templates and the options will be automatically updated whenever the value changes of any control referenced by a template in the URL.

    Ex: /http(s):// - This URL returns a list of all customers from a database The _mediaType parameter specifies that JSON results are returned. In this example, the Database Connector integrates with the database to execute the query. The Database Connector is a Restful service that returns results in XML or JSON

  4. After entering the Options URL for your web service, click the  save and test icon. Examine the results in the debug console to determine the Value and Label Bindings.
  5. The syntax for selection control options is <value>=<label>. The <value> is what is saved as the selected value when the user submits the form or completes the workflow and the <label> is what will be displayed on your form/workflow.
    1. Enter the Value Binding - this is bind path of the option VALUES within the XML or JSON returned by the RESTful web service. Binding paths are specified with the '/' character used as a delimiter i.e. /resultSet/CountryID. The path locates the values to be extracted and set into the selection control options. If the data pointed to by the path is repeating, then the data extracted will be a collection of items. This is the value that will be stored in the XML submissions document when the form/workflow is submitted/completed.
      The Value Binding can be determined by examining the resultSet in the frevvo debug console.

    2. Enter the Label Binding - this is the bind path of the option display LABELS within the XML or JSON returned by the RESTful web service. This label is displayed in the selection control options in Use mode. The Label Binding can be determined from the debug console by examining the resultSet in the debug console.

      1. Type the URL to your WebService in the Options Source property then click the save and test icon. Examine the resultSet in the debug console to determine the Value binding.

        Code Block
        titleExample 1: Results returned in JSON format
        If this is the JSON Data returned:  "totalResultsAvailable":2,
        If the Value Binding property is set to /resultSet/CountryID - the country id of the selected country will be stored in the frevvo submission
        If the Label Binding is set to /resultSet/CountryName - the country names are what the user sees as the selection control options - Argentina, Aruba, Bahamas

        Code Block
        titleExample 2: Results returned in XML format
        If the results are returned in XML:   Notice that the XML uses namespaces and that they must be part of the bind path.
        <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
        <p0:allCountries xmlns:p0="">
        If the Value Binding and Label Binding properties are be set to the same path: /p0:allCountries/row/CountryName - the Country Name will be included in the submission and Users will see the Country Names as the options of the selection control: Argentina, Aruba, Bahamas

  6. Click the  save and test icon to test your form/workflow.
  7. The Example below uses the Database Connector to retrieve a Customer List from a database. It also shows to construct the Value and Label Bindings from the XML results returned in the Debug Console.


When using an _data parameter template in your options URL in a workflow, it may cause issues in steps that don't load the _data parameter and may even invalidate signed sections. One workaround is to store your _data parameter in a hidden control, and then use the template for that control in your Options Source URL instead.

Dynamic Options Example

Let's say you have a form/workflow with a Dropdown control named Customer. You want to populate the options of this control with a list of Customers Names. You also would like to store the Customer Number associated with the Selected customer in the form/workflow submission. We will use the Database Connector as our Web Service. For this example, the Database Connector is configured in Standalone mode to work with a MySQL database named classicmodels.

The Customer dropdown options can be populated with a business rule but you can also use the Dynamic Options feature. The frevvo Database Connector executes a query against a database named classicmodels that will return a list of Customers in JSON format. We will determine the Value and Label bindings by examining the results returned in the debug console.

Follow these steps:

  1. Click on the Customer control.
  2. Select Web Service from the Option Src dropdown
  3. The Options URL is: http://localhost:8081/database/BIRT/allCustomers?_mediaType=json  This URL points to an instance of the Database Connector running on the save server/port as . The results of this query will show the Customer NumbMaer and Customer Name for each customer in the Customers database table in JSON format.
  4. After entering the Options URL click the  save and test icon. 
  5. To determine the Value Binding, examine the resultSet in the frevvo debug console.
    1. Begin the path with the forward slash - / followed by resultSet.
    2. Add another forward slash - / followed by the value from the results that you want to be stored in the submission XML - in this case - customerNumber
    3. The Value BInding should be set to: /resultSet/customerNumber
  6. To determine the Label Binding, examine the resultSet in the frevvo debug console.
    1. Begin the path with the forward slash - / followed by resultSet.
    2. Add another forward slash - / followed by value from the results that you want to see as the option labels - in this case - customerName
    3. The Label BInding should be set to: /resultSet/customerName

  7.  Click the save and test icon to test the form. Note the options display the Customer Name.

  8. Click Submit.
  9. Navigate to the Forms and Workflows Home Page and click the Submissions icon. Open the submissions and view the Document tab. Note the Customer Number is the value stored there.

The images show the same form with a Radio/Checkbox control replacing the Customer dropdown.



Radio Control


Checkbox Control

Populating a Selection Control based on the Value of Another Dynamically Populated Selection Control

Options for Selection Controls (Dropdowns, Checkbox, Radio) are set up using the syntax: value=label. When these controls are used in a template, frevvo uses the option label when resolving the template at runtime. This is desirable when you want your users to see the labels as options. If you use a template in the Options URL, the template resolves to the label at runtime. This may cause the query to fail. Template syntax has been expanded to force the use of the true value as opposed to the option label if the template control is a Selection Control. Use {controlName.value} in place of {controlName} in the options URL to substitute the value instead of the label at runtime.

Consider this example:

Let's say you want to display customer orders for a particular customer in a form/workflow. You have created a form with two Dropdown controls configured to retrieve dynamic options from a database using the frevvo Database Connector. The first Dropdown, named sc for Select Customer, returns a list of customers. The second Dropdown, named so for Select Order, returns orders based on the customer selected in the first Dropdown.

The Options URL for the first dropdown is https://<server:port>/BIRT/allCustomers?_mediaType=json. The Value Bindings is set to /resultSet/customerNumber and the Label Binding is set to /resultSet/customerName. This returns a list of customers from the database showing the Customer Name (Label) in the Dropdown options.

The Options URL for the second Dropdown uses the templatized value of the first Dropdown - {sc} - https://<server:port>/database/BIRT/ordersByCustomer?cnum={sc}&_mediaType=json. The Value Binding for this Dropdown is set to /resultSet/orderNumber and the Label Binding is set to /resultSet/orderDate. This was intended to return a list of orders using the value (Customer Number) of the customer selected in the first Dropdown. Note the use of the Select Customer template - {sc} in the Options URL.


If your options will have spaces, append the URL with !encode=true to accurately list options. An example of the the syntax is {sc.value!encode=true}.

When you test the form, the Customer dropdown is successfully populated but when a customer is selected, the Select Order Dropdown does not populate.

The Debug console shows this error:

Code Block
ERROR 	WEB_SERVICE 	so 	Error calling web server end point: Cognac&_mediaType=json
Invalid uri ' Cognac&_mediaType=json': Invalid query

This happens because the second dropdown is using the label of the first dropdown (instead of the value) while executing the web service call.

Changing the Select Order template - {sc} to {sc.value} in the Options URL for the Select Order Dropdown forces to evaluate the template to the option value instead of the label and the query will return the expected results. Note the Select Customer template is {sc.value}.

Code Block
titleOptions URL for the Select Orders Dropdwon



Option URL for the Select Order Dropdown with {controlName.value}




Dynamic Option Runtime Support in the Debug Console

When developing a form/workflow with selection controls with dynamic options, the designer needs to see returned results from an entry point in order to determine bind paths, troubleshoot end point urls, etc. Logging available in the "Debug Console" in test mode includes Web Service events such as:

  • The web service call being made with fully the resolved end point URL shown (Options URL)
  • The web service data retrieved (JSON/XML)
  • Any errors received upon calling the web service.

If there is a runtime problem invoking a configured web service entry point, frevvo will log a warning statement with a reason to the <frevvo-home>\tomcat\logs\frevvo_YYYY-MM-DD logfile.  For example:

Code Block
08:03:55.177 |-WARN  [http-nio-8080-exec-3] [amicPropertyHolderAdapter] - Error calling web service end point:  Error: Service call failed with code: 404 (Not Found)

Timeouts for Non-responsive Web Services

A non-responsive web service call for dynamic options can hold-up a form/workflow indefinitely. Two timeouts have been added to frevvo for socket read timeout and connection timeout. Both timeouts default to 30 seconds. 

They can be overridden by adding these parameters to the URL: http.connection.timeout and http.socket.timeout. Both are specified in milliseconds. These timeouts apply to web service calls from rules as well as doc actions, etc.

Secure Web Services

frevvo supports Secure Web Service entry points that use HTTP basic authentication. The authentication credentials are entered in the HTTP Authorization Credentials section of the Edit Tenant screen by the tenant administrator. These HTTP credentials are used by the web service integration. Other authentication schemes in use by 3rd-party services are not supported.

Dynamic Options for the ComboBox Control

The ComboBox control supports three types of data retrieval: frevvo Users, frevvo Roles and Web Service. Select the data source using the dropdown in the Options Src property. Selecting Web Service makes it possible to use the ComboBox to retrieve values from a database and enable a list of possible partial matches. There is also a blank option. Pick this one if you are going to populate your ComboBox options using a business rule.

  • frevvo Users and frevvo Roles require security/authentication. When selecting frevvo Users and frevvo Roles as the Option Src, your form or workflow must be set to Authenticated Users (login required).
  • The Dynamic Options feature using the ComboBox will NOT work with SOAP web services.

Here's how it works:

Use the ComboBox to return a list of users/roles in the tenant where your form/workflow is located (current tenant). You cannot pull users/roles from a tenant other than the current one due to security restrictions.

  1. Drag the ComboBox control into your form/workflow
  2. Set the Options Src to one of two choices: frevvo Users or frevvo Roles.
    1. Selecting frevvo Users - returns a list of ALL users in the current tenant.frevvo constructs a URL:/frevvo/web/tn/{}/users?match= then replaces the template with the name of the current tenant. 
    2. Selecting frevvo Roles returns the list of ALL roles in the current tenant. frevvo constructs a URL:/frevvo/web/tn/{}/roles?match= then replaces the template with the name of the current tenant.

Image Modified

3. The ComboBox supports the ability to specify single or multiple values. Check the Single Value checkbox if you want to limit the choice to one value.

Image Modified

Users can typeahead to narrow the choices based on the letters entered. User ids and roles are case sensitive so remember to use the correct case when typing. 

Image Modified

4. Check the Options Value Only checkbox to restrict the ComboBox value to available options. Options Value Only is only available when Options Src is set to frevvo Users or frevvo Roles.


You cannot test the ComboBox Options in the form/workflow designers. Click the  save and test icon for the quickest way to verify that the ComboBox is working as expected.

Populate Dynamic Pick Lists from a Database with the ComboBox

The ComboBox control can be used to retrieve values from a web service and enable a list of possible partial matches. This is helpful when you have database queries that return a large number of options. You can filter the number of options returned from a query based on the text typed into the ComboBox. Users typeahead and are only presented with the matching options as choices.

  • Your web service must be able to filter results and accept parameters that drive filtering
  • A dynamic Options URL that contains the {<combobox control name>.matchText} parameter. As the user types text into the CombBox, the text will be substituted into the URL. The web service returns only the options matching the typed in text as choices.  
  • The ComboBox control shows up to 100 matching options. If the web service finds more that 100 possible matching options, only the first 100 are to be shown. Informing users that there are additional matches that are not shown is not supported.

Set the Options Source property of the ComboBox to Web Service then provide the Options URL and Bind Path properties:

  • Options URL - The URL of the RESTful web service that will retrieve matching options. Be sure that the URL contains the  {<combobox control name>.matchText} template parameter. 
  • Bind Path - The bind path of the matching options within the XML or JSON returned by the RESTful web service. The Bind Path property determines the selected value that is included in the submission and what the user sees.


It is very common to pull options for a typeahead control such as the ComboBox from a database. If you are using the frevvo Database Connector to integrate with your SQL database you already have a Restful service that returns data as resultSets.

Let's say you have a classicmodels MySQL database with a Products table that contains 121 records. You have a form with a ComboBox control named NameofProduct and you want to populate the options from the query results. However, you do not expect your users to scroll through 121 choices until they find the one that they are looking for. Ideally, you would like to filter the results coming back from the query based on the characters inserted into ComboBox. Users can then typeahead and select a value from the filtered choices.

For this example, the frevvo Database Connector is installed on the same machine as frevvo and configured in Standalone mode running on port 8081.

  1. You will need a query to run against the database. This query, which is included in the BIRT queryset in the configuration.xml file, uses the MySQL Like and % wild cards, to return all the products that match the value in the template (pname}.

    Code Block
    <query name="productsByName">
                    <!--maps to HTTP GET -->
                    <statement> SELECT * FROM Products where productName LIKE '%{pName}%' order by productName </statement>


  2. Click on the ComboBox control to display the Properties panel. Select Web Service as the Options Src.
  3. Provide the URL to the datasource - in this case the URL to the database query in the BIRT queryset- productsByName. Add the {<combobox control name>.matchText} parameter to specify the value of the variable - pname - in the query as the matching text typed into the Name of Product control.

    Code Block


    If your options will have spaces, append the URL with !encode=true to accurately filter options. Using the example above the syntax is {NameofProduct.matchtext!encode=true}.

  4. Click the Image Modifiedsave and test icon. Enter a value into the ComboBox. Determine the Binding Path from the resultSet. In the image, the number 1 was entered into the ComboBox.
    Image Modified

    Code Block
    titleBinding Path Example

  5. The ComboBox Properties panel should look like this. If you want to limit the user selection to one value, check the SIngle Value checkbox.
    Image Modified
  6.  Users will see all the returned options that match the number 1 when it is entered in the ComboBox. Adding 8t into the ComboBox will further filter the options and display the choices that match 18t . Each time a character is entered it is added to the URL and the Web Service is invoked. Only the matching results is displayed to the user.

ComboBox Control Properties for Business Rules

The following ComboBox properties can be used in rules.

optionsUrlAllow designers to specify more complex dynamically determined end point urls that cannot be built using control templates within the URL.
matchTextRead-only. As the user types in the combobox, any rule referencing the matchText property will fire and determine/set options that match.
matchingOptionsWrite-only. Array of strings. The rule can set the options that match and should be presented to the user as choices. Typically used in conjunction with matchText.


You are not permitted to disable grouping controls such as panels or repeats. However, there is an Enabled property for Sections, each of the columns in a Table and each tab in a Tab control. If "enabled" is set on Tab or Section, controls inside of these group controls would be enabled. Conversely, if the property is unchecked, controls inside of a section or tab would be disabled. This property will make it easier to write Business Rules

You can enable/disable the selection controls via rules thereby enabling/disabling all the selection control options. It is not possible to enable/disable individual options.

Disabled tabs are still selectable and disabled sections can still be expanded and collapsed. This is as designed. If you are trying to show/hide the contents of a tab/section, use the Visible property. 


Another is the showhelp CSS Class that is built into the Tight layout. For example, you can reduce white space even further with the Tight layout so that you have virtually no space between controls by selecting the hide label property on each control. This can be a way to implement a grid type layout as shown in this sample form below. 

When controls are this tight together there is no room to display the help icon for controls with help text. Notice that the first row of controls does display the help icon. This is done by putting the string showhelp into the css class property for each control in the first row. This is a useful way to have help at the top of each column.

Image Modified

CSS Class to Set Font Size for the Table and Message Controls



If you are using frevvo On Premise, Cascading Style Sheet code that was used in themes applied to forms/workflows in previous frevvo releases, can be added to a newly created style.css file in the frevvo.war file. The context parameter, frevvo.css.url, in the web.xml file must be changed to point to it.


This property applies only to Submit controls. By default, frevvo disables the form's submit button until all required fields are filled and contain valid data. See Valid Forms for details of this feature. However, sometimes you may wish to override frevvo's default behavior and allow the user to submit a form even if it is invalid. To do this, uncheck this property.

When "Enable if Valid" is checked and you click on the Submit button in a form that contains invalid data or required fields that are empty,  the form will not submit and the invalid fields will be highlighted with an orange background color. The designer can also display a message instructing the user what to do.

This approach is very helpful to users when trying to determine why a form does not submit. Refer to this Invalid Form Notification for the details.

If "Enable if Valid" property is unchecked, you can control the Submit button behavior in a business rule using the Submit.enabled = [true,false] property.

Prefix Property

Custom groups with rules included when dropped back onto the same or another form, will contain a special "Prefix" property. The property will automatically be given a unique value if you drop the group onto the same form 2 or more times. This ensures that the group controls have unique element name. You can view the impact the prefix has on the element names by viewing the form's schema or the control's property panel. Using the prefix property, you can write a separate rule to manipulate the 2nd or greater instance of the custom control. Refer to this documentation for the details.