2016 - Release Notes



This refers to our suite of external portal plugins: webform, application form, submission portal, and review portal.

All Portals:

  • Introduced error codes 
  • Fixed a bug with dropdowns, radio and checkboxes with special characters. 
  • Fixed a bug for field rules not working with checkboxes with a single choice selected 

Review Portal:

  • Updated the document viewer so that it now works on mobile. It will also work on desktop if Adobe Flash is not supported 

Submission Portal: 

  • Fixed a bug where duplicate column names were not allowed 
  • Fixed a bug where the parent form complete status was being changed incorrectly



This section refers to our core Zengine platform. 

Saved Views:

  • Views are now ordered alphabetically, instead of in the order they were created. This helps teams sharing a large number of views in a particular form.
  • Long view names can now be read via a tooltip. 

Additional Improvements:

  • When a record with a member field exists with a deleted member, that member can now be viewed in the form and on the grid. 
  • Browser tabs now display the record name and workspace name. 

Bug Fixes:

  • Numeric validation can now always be added to a text field when existing data will validate. 
  • The record overlay is no longer getting cut off on the bottom. 
  • Changing the data tab filter on page 2 or greater properly resets to the first page of results. 
  • Fixed a couple of issues related to the date picker in a record.


This section refers to our suite of external portal plugins: webform, application form, submission portal, and review portal.

Review Portal:

Configurations for the review portal submission view were updated to use the same format as the Application Form plugin. This configuration allows you to show/hide fields, re-order, and override the labels. 

Bug fixes:

  • Webforms were updated to disable the submit button to prevent duplicate submissions
  • Numeric field input was fixed to disallow digits before a minus sign
  • Field rules were fixed to evaluate numeric fields after decimal place formatting, and to handle values with single quotes. 

Numbers and Currency

  • A new number field was added to the form builder. Read more about this enhancement on our blog.
  • Using this new field you can set decimals, pick currency symbols, and even set minimum and maximum values. On the grid, numbers are also right justified for easier viewing. 
  • We have also updated all of our portals and plugins, including our dashboard, to reflect numbers with the proper formatting. 
  • Existing text fields that are validating as numeric can be converted to this new number field. 


  • A big update to import was introduced: You can now update existing records via import. 
  • You can now also import records in draft state, as well as import the folder. 

Other Enhancements

  • The workspace name is now visible in the browser tab and history. It’s particularly useful for users that have many workspaces - it makes it easier to know which workspace you’re working in. 
  • We introduced a limit of 25 installed and active plugins into a workspace. 

Bug Fixes

  • The roles screen was updated to display over 20 forms.
  • Date fields were fixed so that they are properly cleared out on save and create new record
  • File uploads were fixed so that uploading multiple files at once no longer appears as if multiple versions of each file were uploaded. 
  • We fixed an issue that affected field rules when saving and returning from a linked record. 


Field validations upgrade
When trying to add validation rules to a field within the form builder, users often would get the dreaded “existing responses will not validate” message, without knowing how to fix their existing data. We’ve introduced two things to help address this issue:

  • A new filter “does not validate as” option for text fields and linked fields on the data grid. This allows you to determine which records do not validate as alphabetic, alphanumeric, email, numeric, zip code, or unique for text fields, as well as unique for linked fields. The unique filter is also very useful for finding duplicates in your data. 
  • When in the form builder, error messages were improved to be more specific, and to include a link to fix the data that does not validate with the desired rule. 

Bug Fixes

  • View names now properly display when saving another view. 
  • Default views were fixed to load consistently. 
  • Line breaks in text boxes are now honored.
  • Convert text field to dropdown was fixed

For developers using the API

  • isComplete is no longer automatically set to true on a record update. 
  • File assets can be properly replaced. 
  • Multi-value fields (checkboxes and dropdowns) can no longer be validated using starts-with or ends-with


Submission Portal
With this update, we're excited to announce a very robust upgrade to our portal offering: submission portals. 

While application forms are meant to collect data from an applicant on a one-time basis, our new submission portals are intended for the full lifecycle of the relationship. Starting with application intake, through external review processes, award acknowledgement, progress reports and other follow up forms - all of the back and forth data flowing between an applicant and an organization can be managed via a submission portal. 

Subscribe to our blog, where we'll be featuring the submission portal in several articles over the upcoming months. 

Portal Bug Fixes

  • Fixed two issues with field rules: nested and's and or's were not being evaluated properly, and an issue with rules that depended on values of a checkbox or dropdown multiple. 
  • Reset password: new password cannot be too small

Portal Improvements

  • Removed autofocus on login page for better compatibility with embedding application forms in an iframe
  • We now allow field labels to wrap onto the next line, instead of getting cutoff, for improved readability. 

Platform Bug fixes

  • Fixed linked fields in read-only mode
  • Fixed export current view errors when no default view is set
  • Fixed issue with nested filters in field rules
  • Fixed an issue where sometimes the folder disappeared on a record
  • Fixed an issue installing private plugins
  • Fixed an issue with znFilter not returning the proper results for subfilters in plugins. 


Plugins Galore
Our Zengine Labs team has been hard at work on many plugins that enhance your Zengine experience. Previously, the majority of these plugins were hidden from the marketplace. With this release, you can now preview most of them, including screenshots and support materials. These plugins can also serve to inspire you to create or commission your own plugins, customized to your team's needs. Please note that many of these plugins do require a specific billing tier. 

Members Galore
Workspaces can now contain up to 50 members. Note, you must be an enterprise billing plan to take advantage of this feature.

Platform Delights

  • Longer form names are now allowed, reducing the need to create abbreviated form names. 
  • Column headers are also now taller, allowing users to view longer field names. 
  • Users are now notified when someone else (or another plugin or integration) updates the record as they are viewing it. Previously you were notified that a change was made, but you didn’t know who made the change. 
  • The form builder now provides a visual cue when field rules are enabled, making it much easier to assess the state of your existing form rules. 

Platform Bug Fixes

  • Fixed a bug where the default value was not populating on a multi-select dropdown field.
  • Fixed two issues where a user tried to add a second linked record when the relationship is set to only allow one: the form now displays a proper error message, as does the importer.
  • Fixed a bug on the record tooltip that would not show the name of the user that created the record
  • Fixed an issue that was preventing some people from saving changes in the form builder while a field was locked. 
  • API: The is_valid flag on the records endpoint is now kept up to date when changing field validation rules

Portal Bug Fixes

  • Fixed error messaging for required linked fields.
  • Fixed error messaging when saving to a form that has changed from the saved portal configurations. 

While preparing for some larger upcoming projects, we released a small number of feature updates, along with a large number of bug fixes this month:

Platform Feature Updates: 

  • Line breaks are now supported in presentational text, making them much easier to read. 
  • We removed presentational text from exports, as it is repetitive and not useful. 
  • Field rules were updated to apply a default value when the field is unhidden. 
  • Unique validation was updated to only apply when a record is marked complete (it is no longer checked when saving a draft)

Platform Bug Fixes:

  • Fixed an issue where bulk deleting records that had different linked records was improperly updating the related counter cache fields
  • Fixed an issue where having a “0” in a field was being saved as “null”
  • Fixed an issue where invalid default text was not resulting in a validation error upon saving a record. 
  • Fixed an issue where changes to fields in the form builder were not reflected in the filter panel without a refresh
  • Fixed several confusing messaging and experiences in the form builder related to unsaved forms
  • Fixed issue in a form builder where you could not save a form after deleting a field
  • Fixed bug with clear default view
  • Messaging fix on password update screen
  • Other updates to ensure a stable and reliable environment:
  • Users are now limited to owning or being a member of up to 100 workspaces. Users who currently have access to more than 100 workspaces will not be cut off. 
  • Disabled the ability to convert a field that has not been saved yet.
  • Disabled the ability to delete a field used as part of the formula in another calculated field 
  • Improved rate limiting and error handling for webhooks, which are used for integrations and or several plugins.

Portals Feature Updates:

  • Webform and application form help text accepts pseudo-markdown, allowing bold, italics, and hyperlinks. This is particularly useful for linking to an external website for instructions or file upload templates. 

Portal Bug Fixes:

  • Fixed bug where default values were being taken into account even if a record existed
  • Fixed bug with field rules depending on checkbox values


We continued to focus on bugs and usability issues across the platform in this release. 

Working with records

  • Changed multi-select dropdowns to remove the blank option, and improved messaging to describe how to select and deselect multiple options.
  • Fixed an issue saving records for cases where a field rule is hiding a required field and the record was first saved a draft without meeting all validation rules.  

Filters and Views

  • When saving a new view, fixed an issue that would cause the data view list to reorder by name instead of by created date.
  • The filter option for checkboxes and multi-select dropdowns was updated to more accurately handle “contains” filters on the value instead of the label.

Form Builder

  • If a field contains an error upon saving the form, the form builder now expands the field and scrolls you to that location.
  • When reordering forms, fixed an issue that would occasionally cause the forms not to stick to the new order
  • Fields used in permission filters can no longer be deleted. A message is displayed to the admin indicating the role that needs to be updated prior to deleting the field.


  • Fixed an issue where “export current view” was incorrectly exporting all columns when the current view had no filter applied.
  • Fixed the export all tasks feature.  


  • We explicitly link to our API licensing agreement from the developer tools. 
  • New clients created via the API also require the developer to agree to the TOS and API license.


This release focused on a number of bugs and usability improvements across the platform.

Form Builder

  • Added messaging to clarify that field rules can’t be added to a field until the form has been saved with that field.
  • In order to prevent accidental changes, the form builder will no longer allow you to make additional edits to the form until the previous save has been completed.
  • Fixed an issue where conversions were failing on checkboxes and dropdowns.

Working with records

  • Fixed an issue where clicking to view all linked records from the record overlay linked panel would show all records in the related form, instead of being filtered by that linked field’s value.
  • Fixed an issue with calculated field rounding inaccuracies
  • Fixed an issue where some linked counter fields were showing the incorrect value
  • Fixed an issue saving records where counter fields are disabled

Improved error messaging

  • In cases where another user changed the record while you are looking at it, we improved messaging from a generic “system error” to a specific concurrency warning error
  • In cases where a user attempted to save a record that would result in a unique validation error, we improved the error messaging from a generic “system error” to a specific unique validation warning error
  • In cases where a user tried to save a blank record that contains validation, we improved the error messaging from a generic “system error” to instead point the user to proper field validation error.

Higher Record Limits

With this release, forms can now have a record limit of 500,000 records, replacing the previous limit of 10,000.

Field Rule Updates

  • Field rules are now copied as part of a workspace copy
  • Field rules cannot use calculated fields


These projects are part of several planned releases that help administrators setup processes that collect submissions from external users, and allow external users to review that data according to rules setup by the administrator.

Program Manager - Multiple Processes

The Program Manager was updated to allow an administrator to add multiple processes for a single program. This is particularly useful when you require multiple rounds of review for a single application. 

Batch Assignments
Within a process, administrators can now batch assign submissions to external reviewers based on rules. For example, they can automatically assign 3 submissions in the "Round 2" stage automatically to each reviewer. This is a major time savings for making assignments within processes with many submissions or reviewers. 

We also made the following platform bug fixes:

  • Fixed an issue that prevented users from saving a new record with unique validation
  • Fixed drag and drop grouping for linked fields
  • Fixed an issue that prevented admins from adding required validation to an existing field

Webform and Application Form CSS

The webform and application form plugins were update to allow the user to change the form CSS. This allows administrators to do things such as changing the color and style of the form labels to better match their website.

Decision Making Plugin

We released a first version of a decision making tool for submission and review processes. This plugin allows you to setup review processes and scoring criteria, then display a table of submissions with their average or total review score.

Revert to Draft

We released a plugin that allows a user to revert a record to draft. This is particularly useful when you want external users to update the data via an application form.

Letter Generator Updates

The letter generator plugin was updated to:

  • Include folders as a mail merge field

  • If there are no children of a record, present an alternate message

  • Format numbers as US currency

  • Display children of parent records

We also made the following platform bug fixes:

  • Fixed an issue with filtering draft records

  • Fixed an issue in the form builder that was showing the wrong form name within the linked field configurations

  • Fixed an issue that was preventing private plugins from getting deactivated

  • Fixed an issue that was causing webhook_disabled events to go out multiple times for the same deactivation

  • Fixed an issue that was causing records with hidden required fields to not save properly.

  • Addressed a security bug


Program Manager and Feedback Portal Permissions and Assignments

We introduced two new plugins, and updated the feedback portal to allow administrators to handle permissions and assignments within a feedback portal. This project is part of several planned releases that help administrators setup processes that collect submissions from external users, and allow external users to review that data according to rules setup by the administrator.

The Program Manager allows you to set up rules that do the following:

  • If no feedback is to be provided, then the administrator can set permissions regarding which submissions a portal user can see.

  • If feedback is to be provided, then the administrator can assign one or more reviewers to each submission.

The Program Reports plugin works hand in hand with the Program Manager. From there, an administrator can also:

  • Export reports related to a feedback process, such as the average review score for each submission.

  • Initiate a bulk email to reviewers with incomplete assignments.  

Field Rules in Webform, Application Form, and Feedback Portals

Conditional field rules created in the Zengine form builder will now automatically be applied in the webform, application form, and feedback portal plugins.

Feedback Portal Updates

The feedback portal was further updated for a better experience for portal users:

  • Reviewers can now save drafts of their reviews

  • Long submission or feedback forms now scroll side by side

  • Files can now be viewed when the submission form is in “custom view” mode

  • Files are now consolidated under a single tab for easier navigation

  • Line breaks are properly honored in the submission read-only view

Webform updates

The webform plugin was updated to allow an administrator to add a header logo, so that it can be branded.

Bulk Email

The bulk email plugin was updated to allow users to email fields from linked records. This is particularly useful when emailing applicants who submitted via the application form plugin.

Automated Email

This plugin allows an administrator to setup a rule that will automatically send an email when a record changes folders. This is particularly useful for sending updates for data that is tracked through an approval or decision process.

Record Automatic Matching

This plugin is intended to make adding or importing related data a faster process.  When a new record is added, the plugin will search a unique field on a related form and search to see if the related data exists. For example, if a new communication is logged that includes the sender’s email address, the plugin could search the related “Contacts” form for that same email address. If it is found, then the communication record will automatically be matched to that contact, and the related linked field will be updated accordingly.

Field and Form Purpose Descriptions

Administrators and plugins that add fields or forms to a workspace can now add a description to the field or form. This is particularly helpful for workspace administrators when reviewing or deleting a field - they will now be prompted to review the description prior to deletion. This ensures that fields that are required for a plugin to work properly are not accidentally deleted.

Export Improvements

We significantly increased the speed for exports, particularly when linked fields are included as part of the export.

Additional platform changes

  • We made several messaging updates throughout the platform to improve usability, including within: notifications, form builder, and data grid.

  • We officially added the following limits, to ensure performance: 30 forms per workspace, and 20 folders per form.

  • We removed the “currency” validation option on a text field. Existing fields with that validation were not modified. We will be addressing proper currency formatting and handling in the future. In the meantime, we recommend that administrators choose the “number” validation option to ensure proper filtering, sorting, and reporting.

We also made the following platform bug fixes:

  • Fixed an issue that was causing the importer to “stick” on the field mapping screen, occasionally resulting in duplicate imports.

  • Fixed an issue that was logging some users out on a daily basis.

  • Fixed an issue where workspace members and uncategorized folders were not populating properly in the filter panel.

  • Fixed several small issues with field rules.

  • Fixed an issue that was causing linked fields to sort improperly.

  • Fixed an issue that was causing linked field names not to show in read-only mode.

  • Fixed an issue for plugin developers that prevented setting response headers on a backend service

New Filter Panel

Filtering data is a great way to build reports and save views of your data sets. With our new release, we have upgraded our filter interface to make setting filters much more intuitive. All filter rules can now be read on a single screen. We have also added in the ability to create more complex filters via nested groups.

All of your existing filters will still work; you do not need to do anything to change them. But moving forward, creating new filters and modifying old ones will be done using this new interface. All plugins that use the filter panel, such as the dashboard, have been automatically upgraded as well.

Conditional Field Rules

You can now add conditional rules to your forms. Adding conditional rules allows you to show or hide a field based on the response to another field in your form. This is helpful when responses to certain fields are only applicable depending on the value of another field. A classic example is providing a dropdown of choices, with the last choice being “Other.” You can setup a followup text input to require the user to describe their answer when choosing “Other.”

Webform Changes

Webforms are forms you can deploy onto your website to collect information directly into the Zengine database. We have made a change to our original webform system.

Moving forward we are removing the ability to create new webforms from within the form builder section. Instead, the webform feature will be available through a new plugin. The plugin will soon automatically apply conditional field rules, and will evolve to become even more powerful and flexible over time.

Your current webforms will still work and can be edited, but you will not be able to enable field rules in forms that have this feature enabled via the form builder. If you want to create a new webform you will need to do that through the plugin.

We also made the following platform bug fixes:

  • Fixed an issue that was preventing notification emails from going out.
  • Fixed an issue in the form builder that did not allow a user to remove a text field validation. 


Feedback Portal

The feedback portal plugin got a major design overhaul, featuring a new view so that reviewers can fill out the feedback form as they view the submission form side-by-side.

Real-time Dashboards

The reporting dashboard was updated to allow for real-time calculations. There is no longer a 20 minute delay on dashboard widgets.  


Data Grid Improvements - Pagination & Faster Loading

Today we've released a highly requested upgrade that will improve the way you view and sort data.

The data grid now provides the ability to have a view that is not limited to 500 records; you can now have as many records in your view as you like. To accommodate larger lists we have also added paging to the bottom so you can scroll back and forth in 100 record increments. You can also see how many records match your filter. 

When you sort or group your data it will sort across the entire record set in the filter, opening up more powerful ways to work with and access your data. 

This update is part of a six month project to allow Zengine to handle more data and to improve performance. 

Higher Form Field Limits

We have also increased the form field limit from 50 fields to 100.  


Over the holidays, our team focused on cleaning up a lot of small bugs and user experience issues within the interface:

File Viewing:

  • Default size changed to stretch the viewer to fill a majority of the screen. 
  • Default zoom changed to start off with the width of the document consuming the amount of available width in the viewer.
  • Users with read-only record access can now view file uploads with the file viewer.  

Form Builder:

  • Calculated fields are now more intuitive to add: we now offer additional help text, and the formula builder has been moved so that it is always visible. 
  • Dropdowns, checkboxes, and radio fields can now use “0” and “1” as the choice values. Fixed a bug that was causing issues with field reordering. 
  • Fixed a bug to properly handle adding a linked field to a newly created form 

Adding and Editing Records:

  • Linked fields now show the first 100 options as a dropdown, with the option to search for more if there are additional linked records. This makes it easier to find the related linked field. 
  • Fixed a bug that was occasionally causing concurrency errors when creating a new linked record from the add/edit record panel. 
  • Fixed a bug that was occasionally causing server errors when creating a record on a recently created form. A warning message was added to member fields that are set to a deleted member to indicate the record as invalid and won’t save as is. This ensures that no data is lost when a member leaves a workspace, but also ensures the integrity of your data moving forward.
  • We improved the date calendar picker display sizing so that it does not cut off on smaller screens. 

Grid Controls:

  • Updated the column selector to list linked field’s fields in the proper order.
  • Fixed a bug that would revert column ordering upon saving or updating a view.
  • Fixed a bug where clearing the filter on an existing selected view cleared the view itself.
  • Fixed a bug where the filter wasn’t showing on the filter panel if the user arrived from a linked panel. 


  • Fixed a bug with data filters that have multiple joins and multiple levels of nesting (e.g. show me all data where Users.Company => Companies.Regions => Region.name = 'East')
  • Filtering via the API now allows redundant filter operators Fixed a bug with filters to account for null values.
  • Fixed a bug that restricted some users from viewing and editing their own records, even when they had permission to do so. 
  • Fixed a bug that would sometimes cause filtering by folder to not apply properly.
  • Fixed a bug that was causing error messages when trying to use subfilters with linked fields that were limited by a one to one relationship with the parent record. 


  • Fixed a bug to remove checkbox and multiple choice dropdown fields from getting inappropriately exported with a current view. 

Plugin updates:

  • Search by field plugin now allows you to search by a linked field.
  • Letter generator now properly handles line breaks in text box fields.
  • Users with cookies disabled will now receive an error message when attempting to login or upload files to application portals, notifying them that cookies must be enabled.

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