This article is considered appropriate for administrators or workspace users with an advanced level of knowledge about submission portals. If you are a beginner, we recommend reading the following article first:
For more information about suggested learning paths, see Introduction to Submission Portals: START HERE.
- The Purpose of Profile Mapping
- Where to Find the Profile Mapping Configurations
- Setting up Profile Mapping for a Step/Form
- Considerations when Using Profile Mapping
Profile Mapping is a Submission Portal feature that automatically copies selected information from a portal user’s Profile form to designated fields on a Step form. This happens when a portal user accesses that corresponding Step in a submission portal for the first time. Profile Mapping can be set up for any form that is tied to a Step in a submission portal workflow.
This article will describe why Profile Mapping may be used, how to do so, and describe some considerations to keep in mind when using this feature.
The Purpose of Profile Mapping
There are many reasons a program may need to copy information from the Profile form to other forms as a portal user progresses through Stages and Steps in a program process. Here are three common use cases for this feature:
- A relatively simple use-case for Profile Mapping is to make the job of an administrator easier. For example, an administrator may wish to view information submitted by the portal user on the Profile form when examining forms completed later in a workflow process. Profile Mapping can be a way to get all relevant information on one form for easy access. In this case, the mapped fields could be hidden from the portal user if desired, as they are mainly for administrative purposes. (For more information on hiding fields from portal users on a submission portal Step, see the article Showing or Hiding Fields for a Step in the Submission Portal.)
- A second use-case for Profile Mapping is to allow a portal user to confirm or change their contact details later in the program workflow. While the Profile form can be edited at any time, some portal users may forget to update their information. This can be a problem if, for example, program administrators wish to mail award checks to successful applicants, but an applicant’s address has changed. Profile Mapping can be set up at the Award Stage in a submission portal to allow portal users to confirm their address details without requiring them to enter that information again if it hasn’t changed.
- Finally, Profile Mapping can be useful for creating data views on forms in the administrative workspace that are later in the process. For example, one relatively specific (but not uncommon) requirement for some programs is to compile necessary information for disbursing awards payments to a form, and exporting that data to finance teams or payment processors. In such a case, information entered on the Profile form (such as name, address, and social security number) may be critical to ensuring payments are made correctly.
Data views in the workspace can include fields from linked parent fields, but most forms related to Steps later in a program workflow are linked to the Primary form, not to the Profile form. That makes adding those fields to a data view as columns impossible. However, Profile Mapping can seamlessly copy important information from the Profile form to the primary form. The result is that this data can be added to a Disbursement form data view from the primary form, enabling administrators to export this information with the necessary data.
For more information on data views, see the following articles:
Many similar situations could arise and Profile Mapping can be a great problem-solving tool.
However, note that this feature is one-directional: it cannot be configured to copy data from a Step later in the workflow to update a Profile form, nor can it be used to copy data entered into a non-Profile form to another form.
--- IMPORTANT ---
Profile Mapping must be configured BEFORE there are records in the system to work properly. It will not retroactively copy information to configured forms for records that exist before Profile Mapping is set up.
Where to Find the Profile Mapping Configurations
In the Submission Portal Settings, the option to configure Profile Mapping can be found on the Profile Mapping tab of the Step Settings page for the specific Step to be configured.
To find the Profile Mapping configurations:
- Logged into a program as an administrator, navigate to the Settings & Tools section by selecting the cog wheel icon in the top navigation bar.
- Select the Submission Portal tile from the Plugin Settings section.
- Select the Edit button to the appropriate submission portal.
- In the Portal Sections pane on the left side of the screen, select the link for the desired Step that will be optional to portal users. (Steps are associated with a Stage, and are shown on the Portal Sections pane as indented further to the right.) Multiple Steps are highlighted in the screenshot below to show there may be more than one to choose from.
- Selecting a Step in the Portal Sections panel will change the contents of the right panel and display the Step Settings.
- Select the tab labeled Profile Mapping. A table with a list of fields that are currently on the form associated with the Step being configured will appear in the left column. (Note that the appearance of this page will look different from the example below, depending on the Step selected and the fields on that associated form.)
Setting Up Profile Mapping for a Step/Form
After navigating to the Profile Mapping tab for the Step to configure, follow the instructions below to configure Profile Mapping for this Step/Form.
- If Profile Mapping is being set up for the first time, the right column will be blank (as in the image above). Select the gray Profile Mapping Disabled button above the right column.
- Select Enabled from the dropdown menu.
- A dropdown option will appear for each row in the right column upon doing so. These dropdown options contain the fields from the Profile form that can be mapped to the field on the current form being configured. Select an option to map that field on the Profile form.
In the image above, the fields have been mapped as follows:
- The First Name field from the Profile form to the Customer Name field on the current form;
- The Email Address field from the Profile form to the Customer Email field on the current form; and
- The State field from the Profile form to the Please select the state in which you reside field on the current form.
This means that the data which the portal user has entered into those fields on the Profile form will be pre-filled with that information when the portal user accesses this Step in the submission portal. That information will be saved to the form in the administrative workspace when the portal user saves the form, unless they change the information in one of the mapped fields.
To prevent a portal user from changing data that has been mapped, those specific fields can be set to View Only or Hide on the Details tab. (See the article Showing or Hiding Fields for a Step in the Submission Portal.)
- If certain fields should not be pre-filled with data from the Profile form, simply leave their dropdown options blank.
- Select the blue Save all settings button in the lower right corner of the screen to save the changes to the Profile Mapping configuration.
Considerations When Using Profile Mapping
While Profile Mapping can be quite robust and useful if used correctly, to avoid confusion, there are a few considerations to keep in mind.
- Profile Mapping will copy the information from the a field on the Profile form to the designated field on the Step form being configured. This means three things are true:
- First, Profile Mapping will copy this information over to the mapped fields when the Step form is accessed for the first time by a portal user in a submission portal.
- Second, Profile Mapping does not work retroactively; if Profile Mapping is set up after a Step form is submitted, the data in those fields will not be copied to the Step form after the fact.
- Finally, the form record does not update automatically if the information in a mapped field on the Profile form is changed by the portal user.
- Profile Mapping is a Submission Portal feature, meaning that it only works if a form is accessed as a Step in the submission portal. Form records created by administrators in the workspace will not have information copied over, unless that Step form is later accessed by a portal user.
- When selecting which field to map on the Profile Mapping tab, all fields from the Profile form will appear as options in the dropdown menu for each row/field. However, mismatched field types on either form involved in this process can prevent the information from copying correctly. For example, a text field can be mapped from the Profile form to a date field on the selected Step form, but that data won’t copy appropriately.
- Similarly, any validation options that are configured on either form can also prevent the Profile Mapping from copying information correctly. For example, if a text field from the Profile form containing a short phrase is mapped to a text field on the Step form that is validated as an email field, the validation rules will prevent the data from copying correctly. The Step can be saved and submitted (as long as the field is not required), but the field will be left blank.
- Calculation fields, Summary fields, and Linked Form fields cannot be mapped.
- Be sure to check the validation options and field types before setting up Profile Mapping for a Step form.
- A field does not need to be editable for Profile Mapping to work; data from fields that are set to Hide or View Only in the submission portal will also be copied (regardless of whether they are configured as such either on the Profile or the Step form being configured).
- Profile Mapping does not work for Request Steps, in which portal users are sending requests to external collaborators (such as for letters of recommendation).
- There is no option for administrators to configure when the automated data population occurs (e.g., on a folder change, such as when an Application form is submitted). The data population will occur when the Step is first accessed by a portal user in a submission portal.