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Jira Form Design

ADF Forms: Confluence-like Formatting in a Jira Environment

by Jenny Choban on April 2, 2020

The wait is over! The new ProForma form builder is now available in Early Access. You can start creating new forms today – with tables, columns, colors, and all the formatting options you want.

Introducing the ADF Form Builder for Jira

The new ProForma form builder uses the Atlassian Document Format (ADF), allowing you to create forms for Jira with the formatting abilities you enjoy in Confluence. Features of the ADF Form Builder include:

  • Rich text formatting
  • Tables and page layouts that you can embed your questions in 
  • Ability to include quotes, statuses, dates, dividing lines, etc.
  • Formatted insert panels (information, notes, success, warnings and errors)
  • Default values for form question
  • Ability to preview and test your forms
  • Nested conditional sections

It’s like having Confluence design capability in a Jira environment. Now you can create beautiful forms that collect exactly the data you need. Arrange your questions in a way that's most efficient for your space and most clear for your users. Nest conditional sections to ensure you're asking the right users the right questions. Add information or warning boxes to improve user understanding, and rather than linking to a Confluence page, include your instructions on the form itself.

Sample Form

ProForma Forms for Jira: Then and Now

The original ProForma form builder, launched in 2016, allowed you to create forms using sections, questions and information areas. The new ADF form builder allows for expanded formatting options that were not available in the original (Plain) ProForma form builder: 

The Plain form builder allows you to create forms using three basic elements: Questions, Sections and Information Areas. You can add formatting, images and links to information areas using HTML.

Original Form Builder Options

The ADF form builder differs from the Plain form builder in that:

  • There is no insertable element for Information areas. Instead, the entire background of the form/document can be used for providing information and instructions.
  • More formatting options, for the page layout and the text, are available.
  • In addition to the Build and Settings tabs, there is also a Preview tab that allows you to view and test your form and to see how it will appear to the user.

ADF formatting options

How Can I Use the New Form Builder?

For the next month, you'll be able to opt-in to using the ADF form builder. Simply go to the ProForma configuration page (Jira Settings > Apps > ProForma Configuration) and use the toggle to enable the new form builder in Early Access.

ProForma configuration

Once enabled, you'll be given two choices when you create a new form:

Try the new form builder button

Submit will open the Plain form builder. Or you can select Try the new form builder to create an ADF form.

But be warned - once you go ADF you won't want to go back!

After the end of April, the original “Plain” form builder will no longer be available for creating new form templates.  We will continue supporting Plain forms, fixing bugs as needed, for the foreseeable future. However, new development will be focused on the ADF form system which will be the foundation of ProForma forms for years to come.

Existing ProForma Forms

What about my existing Forms on Jira issues?

Your existing forms on issues will not be changed and will continue to be supported.

How can I convert an existing form template to an ADF form?

To convert an existing (Plain) form to an ADF form, you will need to copy the form as an ADF form:

  1. Go to Project Settings.

  2. Click on ProForma Forms.

  3. Click on the Create Form button.

  4. Click on the Existing Form.

  5. Use the dropdown menus to select the source form It could be a Plain form in the same project, or a form from another project.  

  6. Give your new form a name. Note that the name should allow you to differentiate the new ADF form from the original form

  7. Click Create ADF Form. The form will open in the ADF form builder.

  8. Make any desired changes.

  9. Save the form.

  10. You can now delete the Plain form template. Deleting the template will not impact existing forms on Jira issues.

Note that forms created in the ADF format, or Plain forms that have been edited in the ADF form builder, cannot revert to being Plain forms.

What will happen with original scripts that I've created to work with my ProForma forms?

Any scripts you have written to interact with your existing forms will also continue to function. However, after the end of April, you won't be able to make any changes. The new form builder includes a "Issue JSON" tab that will allow you to see how the data is stored, so you can begin updating your scripts.

What Can I Do with ADF Forms in Jira?

Just about anything! Create JSD request forms, checklists that record progress made on an issue, or documents such as acknowledgement letters. Need some ideas? Checkout our instant access demo. And if you haven't tried ProForma, now is a great time to get started.