Although we have made every effort to make your experience with Splatforms.com as simple and efficient as possible, there is still a certain amount of work required to get things set up so that you can take advantage of the service. The very first step in that process is to sign up for a new account. Completing this process will generate an e-mail message that will be sent to the e-mail address that you used when you filled out the registration form. Within this e-mail, there will be a link which you can click on to activate your account. At this point, you will have access to the Getting Started guide, which lays out the steps remaining in your initial set-up process:
- Download and install the *forms Local Agent
- Enter your site credentials on your *forms Local Agent
- Set up your *form preferences
- Set up your web browser with any *form Loaders that you would like to use
- Fill out a *form and submit to verify that your account set-up is complete
It’s actually not necessary that you take all of these steps in precisely that specific order, but you do have to complete at least the first three before you can jump down to the bottom of the list and make sure that everything is working as it should.
For the sake of simplicity, let’s just take one simple example from start to finish so that we can get to the point where we can make something happen. We’ll limit our activity for now to just one type of *form, the Text *form, and just one Task, the one that takes that text and sends it out as a “tweet” on Twitter.
First of all, we’ll need the *forms Local Agent downloaded, so let’s hop over to the *forms Local Agent page and get that going.
You can set up your preferences on the web site at any time, before, during, or after you download and install your *forms Local Agent. For each type of *form that you intend to use, you will need to identify the specific Tasks that you would like to run each time a *form of that type is submitted. For the purpose of our little demo, we are going to select the Text tab, and then click on the “Add New” button to bring up the list of Tasks associated with the Text *form. Scroll through the list until you find the Tweet Task, and then click on it to add it to your preferences. That’s all we have to do here. From now on, whenever we submit a Text *form, the text entered on the form will be shipped over to Twitter to be sent out as a Tweet, unless we override our preference at submission time.
By now our download should have completed, so we can launch the installer and step through through the installation process, which should activate the service and put a little splat icon down in the bottom, right-hand corner of your screen. You should be able to right click on that icon and bring up a little menu with the following options:
- Site Credentials
- Refresh Site List
Click on Setup to begin, enter your Splatforms.com username and password and then click on the “Save” button. This will allow your Local Agent to access Splatforms.com on your behalf. Now bring up that menu once again, only this time select Site Credentials so that you can enter your credentials for your Twitter account. Scroll through the list of target sites until you find Twitter, and then click on it to bring it up in the main panel. Enter in your Twitter username and password, and then click on the “Save” button. At this point, you should be all set up and ready to go, so let’s try it.
We could get fancy and automatically fill out our first *form using one of the various *form Loaders, but we’re trying to keep things simple this time around, so we are just going to do it by hand. Log in to the Splatforms.com web site and select the *forms tab to fill out your first *form. The Text *form comes up by default, but you can click around on that first row of radio buttons to see the other types that are currently supported. For our test, we are going to use Text, though, so be sure to select that before typing in your words of wisdom that you would like to Tweet to the world. When you are done, click on Submit, which will submit your text and take you over to the Pending tab where you should see your Task queued up for processing.
Eventually, your *forms Local Agent will pick up this work and process it, but if you’re impatient and you want to speed up the process, you can right click on the local agent icon and select Send/Receive from the context menu, which will initiate the process immediately. When all is said and done, you should see the results in the Processed tab to let you know how everything came out.
That’s it. You are now set up for *forms. At this point, you can go back into the site and add more Tasks to your preferences for each type of *form that you intend to use, and update your local agent with the credentials for each target site to which you intend to post *form data. You can also go back into the Tools tab and add one or more *forms Loaders to your browser, which will allow you to fill out a *form using information harvested from surfing the web. And as always, if there is Task that you do not see, but would like to have, please let us know. We’re always looking for ideas for Task Developers.