About Forms

Forms provide access to information in primary and auxiliary items through three views:

For each type of view, you can use the default "quick" form or a custom form. When a different form is needed, you can override the default form for each state and transition in SBM Composer. You can also use SBM Application Administrator to override forms for individual projects or states and transitions in those projects.

Quick Forms

Quick forms are automatically generated by the system and initially assigned to workflows, states, transitions, and primary and auxiliary tables. They use field privilege sections to determine field placement and security. Quick forms use standard formatting and require little maintenance.

Custom Forms

Custom forms offer great flexibility for changing the appearance and the behavior that users experience as they work with primary and auxiliary items. You can:
  • Organize fields regardless of their privilege section.
  • Change the form's visual appearance. For example, you may want to match forms to your organization's color scheme. You can also add your own images, hyperlinks, static text, buttons, and JavaScript files to custom forms.
  • Use form actions to add dynamic behavior, such as hiding one field when a certain value is selected in a different field.
  • Remove or modify transition buttons or the Actions drop-down list.
  • Add widgets. For example, use the Embedded Report widget to add an SBM report to your form, or use the REST Grid widget to access external data through a REST service and display it in a tabular format in an application.

You can create a custom form with pre-populated sections or auto-sections. You can also base the custom form on another form or start with an empty form.

For details, refer to Customizing Forms.


A custom form with auto-sections is automatically populated based on field privileges. With auto-sections, you can:

Security vs. Design

Custom forms enable you to control access to data and customize design and layout through two mechanisms: privilege sections and visual sections.

Privilege sections control access to fields placed on forms; visual sections control field placement on forms. For details, refer to Controlling Access to Data.

Modern Forms

Modern forms, introduced with SBM Composer 11.1, use technologies such as HTML5 and .css properties to achieve greater stability in layout and less reliance on scripting overall. Modern forms make it possible to offer the advanced features listed below:

Also, some of the historic defects present in legacy forms have been fixed with modern forms.

Legacy forms will continue to be supported; however, you will not be able to use the advanced features mentioned above. You may want to continue to use legacy forms if:
  • You want to base new forms on existing forms that contain custom JavaScript, .css, or other page layout tweaks
  • You are using solutions provided by Serena, or you have created forms based on solution forms
  • You want your existing forms and new forms to be consistent

To convert your forms to modern forms:

  1. Make sure the Enable HTML5 features check box is selected in the Form Options tab of the SBM Composer Options dialog box.
  2. Create a new form based on your existing form, and make sure the Legacy mode check box is cleared.
  3. Validate the process app and check for form errors.
Note: If your forms contain custom JavaScript, .css, or tweaks to currently-deployed page layout, they will need to be reworked in order to convert them to modern forms (some new features such as headers/footers/sidebars may replace existing script). If your forms contain simple customizations such as form actions, or custom JavaScript use is limited to supported JSAPI functions, you can convert them as described above.