What is it?
The External Gateway enables you to build a bridge between your application (where access is only given to authorized individuals) and a public community (individuals with no access to your system). Via this bridge, you allow such a public community to, for instance, submit an idea or feedback. They just need a URL to access the gateway - for instance, the gateway can be placed on a public website.
In fact, submissions via the external gateway will create a new content element in your system. You can then process this content element further within your application and along a specific workflow. This is highly relevant for allowing external partners (e.g., start-ups/universities/the crowd) to submit their proposals and ideas for collaboration.
How does it work?
Please note: This feature needs to be activated by ITONICS. Please contact your Customer Innovation Success Manager for further assistance.
Activating and accessing the gateway configuration page
For using the External Gateway, please navigate to the Settings Wheel > Entity Configuration > Entity Configuration and open the entity for which you want to configure it by clicking the Edit (pen) icon.
Look for the External Gateway card (1) under the Modules/Features section and check the box on the left corner of the module card. When the checkbox is marked the card should change the layout color from light gray to the system color. Don't forget to press the Save button (2) at the bottom of the page.
After enabling the module you can configure it according to your preferences. Go again into the edit mode for the respective entity and find the Manage External Gateway menu (1).
Click the Add new Gateway button (2) in order to create a new external gateway. You can configure as many external gateways as you want for each entity. All existing gateways are listed in the table below the button (3). In the table, you see four columns:
- Name of the External Gateway
- URL through which the External Gateway is accessible
- Fields that are used in the Gateway
- Action icons to Edit (pen) and Delete (bin).
To edit an existing External Gateway, click the Edit icon (4).
Configuring an external gateway
After opening the create or edit mask, you will be able to:
- Define the Gateway Name. The name will be shown as the title on the input form and is used as an identifier in the ITONICS system. (1)
- Define the Gateway URL. Choose your desired path, e.g. https://innovation-os.demo.itonicsit.de/startup. If you want to use a page with your application's URL, the page will be automatically created. You can then share this link with your audience. (2)
- Define Automated mapped fields. If you want to set default values, select a field from the Field Name list. Next, select the desired value from the Field Values list. You can define multiple field mappings by clicking Add more fields button and repeating the previously described field and field value selection. If you want to remove a field mapping, click the x on the right-hand side of each field mapping. (3)
- Define Related Elements. Type in the title of related Elements or double-click in the search field to get suggestions. You can add multiple Elements. Check out the article on Related Elements for more information. (4)
When configuring the external gateway for campaigns, you can select which campaign the submission should be assigned to. The submission then follows the workflow of the assigned campaign.
Furthermore, you can define the following Additional Options:
Define the Status of the content element after entering your application.
The status can either be Published or Draft. (1)
- Define Redirect Link. The Proposal Submitter will be redirected to the defined URL after his/her submission. The URL must start with http:// or https://. (2)
- Activate Captcha. Define whether a CAPTCHA (Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart) must be solved before saving a new Element or not. (3)
- Show Terms & Conditions. Define if privacy and policy documents should be activated. If Yes is selected, define which of the existing documents should be shown in the form and must be accepted in order to save a new Element. (4)
- Confirmation Mail. Define if an email will be sent to the submitter. If Yes is selected, define which of the existing email templates should be sent. Select one from the E-Mail Template dropdown field. You can also configure your own messages. (5)
- Notify Gateway Responsible/s. Define if an email will be sent to the responsible/s for the Gateway. If Yes is selected, define which of the available e-mail templates should be used. Select one from the E-Mail Template dropdown field. You can also configure your own messages. (6)
- Define Page Headline. The headline is shown on the input-form, below the title and could serve as a guide for the user; for example, Submit your Startup application. (7)
- Please note: Next to the page headline, fields for the first name, last name, and email are set. To receive any submissions, do not take them out of the gateway form configuration
Customizing the Gateway layout
Click on the Edit icon (pen) of your external gateway and select the tab: form configuration next to the general settings.
You can configure which fields will be shown in the External Gateway form, i.e., which information you want to retrieve from the user.
Please note: To receive any external submission via the gateway, the following fields need to be present in the submission form and should not be removed from the form configuration:
- First Name
- Last Name
- Email Adress
The fields will be automatically created when a gateway is added. You will also find these fields in the field manager of the entity. Based on these fields, follow-up communication with the external submitters is possible and can be sent out directly from the system.
The gateway form configuration can thus be different from how your system users are asked to submit content although both content intakes are of the same entity. This means you can configure different content intake forms for your external gateways and one for the creation within your ITONICS system.
However, please note that you cannot use the following field types in the external gateway:
- User Search Fields
- Location Search Fields
- Group Fields
You can also work with different tabs, and place the fields under different tabs. To do so, hit the tab "+Add tab" above the form configuration. By using drag and drop, you can add fields from the right-side menu to your form. Only fields placed in the left drag zone will be displayed.
Second, you can also use the Code editor to style your gateway according to your preferences . The code editor is located at the bottom of the general settings tab within the manage external gateway page of an entity.
As soon as you add something in the HTML code editor, the default will be overwritten. Make sure that you place at least the token for the gateway-form in the code editor. By the token [gateway:form], the form - as configured under the tab form configuration - will be displayed on your gateway page.
if you also want to display the headline, use the token [gateway:headline]. This token will add a headline above the form on the gateway page and will display the text that was added to the field page headline.
Note that the external gateway by default displays the login page background + the top wrapper. In order to hide the top wrapper and set the background to non-repeated add this code snippet:
In order to set the Headline centered, the color white, and add some spacing to the top and bottom, add this code-snippet.
When ready, click the Save button. (9)
Staying connected with external submitters
After successfully setting up your gateway, soon first proposals will come your way. Now, it is all about management and communication. Ideally, you have already defined a Stage-Gate Process to push the incoming proposals down the funnel. For that purpose, you can design your own workflows in the ITONICS application.
If you use your own workflows, you can tie messages that are sent to the external submitter to the different actions happening along the workflow.
For this, you need to design your own action buttons, select the trigger type Notification on such an action button (1), choose the respective E-Mail Template to be sent (2) (if there is no fitting template you can design your own E-Mail templates), and add the Persona External Submitter as Recipient (3). Finally, save your configuration (4).
If you want to inform the external submitters at various phases with different templates repeat the steps above.
Running multiple Gateways in different languages
When you run your Innovation OS across multiple regions, and you want to provide the same external gateway page by the different languages your system is set up with (e.g., German and English), you can generate two (or more) different links for the same form.
You can then use the different links to provide those language-specific pages to different user groups.
For instance, for the same gateway, you can create the following two links:
This page will display the External Gateway in German (if German is activated as a language for your system, and your properties are correctly translated). Please note the slug /de.
This page uses the same Gateway but displays the information in English (if English is activated as a language for your system, and your properties are correctly translated).
Please note the slug /en.
Besides German and English, ITONICS supports French and Spanish by default.