Recently I was asked to retrieve a lot of information of a group of users. Where Google Sheets and the related forms where suggested.
However I also have some experience with PowerApps. I wanted to convince the business with a product similar to Google. Therefore I started diving into Microsoft Forms.
Microsoft Forms is a part of Office 365. With Microsoft Forms you can create surveys, quizzes, and polls, and see results as they come in. When you create a quiz or form you can invite others to respond to it, using any web browser, even on mobile devices. As results are submitted, you can use built-in analytics to evaluate responses. Form data such as quiz results can be easily exported to Excel for additional analysis or grading.
A lot of new products that I worked with lately are in preview or beta. Basically, not general available. Microsoft Forms is generally available to Office 365 Education and Office 365 commercial subscribers.
Just show me how it works
It is almost just opening site https://forms.microsoft.com.
However, in a business environment you should first understand what the implications are. And yes, you can disable the use of forms for your users.
And that starting point is also not the same everywhere. The above URL is the web URL. There is also a OneDrive for Business menu option and an Excel Online menu option as a starting point, however on the time of writing this article these options are in preview and in maintenance.
We have 2 options now:
- Forms on the Web
- Forms for OneNote
The web based form can be created by going to https://forms.microsoft.com. Under My Forms, click New Form to begin creating your form.
The OneNote based form can be created by OneNote Online.
To get started with building a form, follow these steps:
Sign in to Office 365 with your school or work credentials.
Open the OneNote notebook in which you want to insert a form.
On the Insert tab, select Forms.
After that it is basically the same for creating a form. Just add the questions. After that create a branching logic behind the question if applicable. The most important part is of course how they can fill out a form and how to make it more intelligent.
As an example, I will show you how to create a simple registration form with a simple dependency in it. In the video I will also demo how it looks when an end user fills out the form.
All sounds great, however... is it ready for business?
There are more questions to be answered first.
Can you manage the use of forms?
As with all new Office 365 features, Forms is enabled by default. It's a useful app, but an immediate concern for some organizations may be the external collaboration feature, which is also enabled by default. You can find this setting in the Office 365 admin portal under Settings -> Services & Add-ins.
You can export the form... at least a sort of. You can export the results... and on the top of the list you can see your questions. (not the branching logic, images, etc.) And you'll see the answers.
If you want to share the form as a template, there is also an option for that.... with a secret link anyone (within the same tenant) can use that form template and select duplicate as own to add the copy to their own set of forms.
It is really targeted as an "external way to gather information" in a basic way. If that is enough... it is a great product. After a while I found out that it is built upon PowerApps. (I will blog more about PowerApps on my blog in the future. If you don't know what it is check https://powerapps.microsoft.com) I expect that we see a lot of features that now are available in PowerApps will be available in the future in Microsoft Forms.