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Capture values passed into flows, even if not collected in questions.
In a typical form flow, you only collect answers from questions that appear within the flow itself.
However, there are many cases where you might want to pass data into a form that would never be provided by the responder directly:
- Tracking information, such as unique identifiers, account IDs, etc.
- Configuration variables, which enable or disable certain functionality.
If you're familiar with HTML form semantics, this is the equivalent of a
<input type="hidden">field which is part of a form, but not provided by the user.
To capture an external variable for a flow, in the Schema tab, select Externally provided > Add External Variable, and set the name of the expected parameter in the Variable name field.
For example, if a user is being directed into your Formsort flow with a
utm_sourceas a query parameter appended to the URL, the URL will look something like this:
In order to capture the value of
utm_source, you should create an external variable called
utm_source. This variable will store the value when the flow loads.
Create an external variable called utm_source. See settings below
When a flow is loaded in Formsort, any URL parameters that match any variable defined in the flow will be placed into the variables and removed from the URL. To learn more about that, read about getting data in from URL parameters.
If you would like instead for a variable value to remain in the URL, enable Keep in URL if present on load. This might be helpful if you are matching up campaigns on a URL string, and want to keep things like the
utm_sourceconsistent across pages.
Anything in the URL will most likely be recorded by any analytics scripts you include in the integrations, so avoid using this setting for personally-identifying information.
Another option is to store answers in cookies. In cases where you are collecting more sensitive information, this might be a better option, since you might not want to pass sensitive information unencrypted via URL. In order to do so, you can enable Read/Write in Cookie option.
Configuring a domain is required to store answers in cookies.
If a default value is set, if a value is not present when a flow is loaded, the default value will be used.
A common use for this is to define control variables, similar to constants, that govern what parts of a flow are enabled, or function as a setting parameter.
By default, external variables passed in as query params can be overridden in the flow. If, for example,
zip_codeis passed in as a query parameter, but a question then asks the user to enter their zip code to a variable
zip_code, the external answer will be replaced by the submitted answer. If you want to ensure external answers passed in as query params are not overriden, enable the Prevent Editing? option.