Friday, 9 November 2012

Creating a usable object from a form submission

The action of submitting a Google Form is an event with an associated array of values corresponding to an ordered list of the user's responses. If you're anything like me and find it easier to work with named variables rather than numbers, creating your own object might help. This way you will be able to reference the values without constantly having to count which question they are taken from - which can be especially confusing as we learnt in the previous tutorial that JavaScript is zero-based. I have found that this makes it much easier to work with the data from forms in slightly more complicated situations.

I have borrowed the test email code from before to show that the code is easier to interpret when it's more obvious which values are being referred to. Here, I have referenced properties of the NewSubmission object in the body of the notification email using square bracket notation which can be provide greater flexibility than dot notation.

Now imagine that our form is collecting a large amount of data? A quick way of creating the same object as we have above is to create an empty object and then add properties to it. We already have an array of values so we just need to create an array of property names and a loop which combines the two and adds them to our submission object. It may seem trivial in this case as we only have tree properties but perhaps when we look at larger forms taking more data, this will seem more worthwhile.

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