Google Forms File Upload-not meeting my need

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I was excited about this feature. Being able to upload files in a form. This could really help the automation process for the services I’m offering.

Summary

On setting up the form I found out that people are only allowed to upload files if they have a gmail account and are logged in. Also there is a limit size of 10 files. This does not really meet my requirements. I suppose I could ask them to zip the files up.

So after trying to setup and automate this I’ve decided to re-think the process.

Process so far

Automated quote to enquirer

I have the automated process for sending out a quote for people making enquiries for my services.

The response gives them a clear idea of the cost for their query. If the service is seen as good value for them, then there needs to be a next step to get the process working.

My services are generally arranged around taking information from them, modifying it to make it more usable, then sending it back to them.

Examples are

  • turning Revit models into 3D PDF’s,
  • taking their images and linking them to a plan to view in a browser ,
  • extracting Drawings & PDF’s from a model and making them easily viewable and downloadable so Facilities teams can readily access their information.

So there needs to be a common location for them to upload files to and where they can download completed folders with files structured to meet their need.

I was looking to use Google Drive to share folders with clients for specific projects.

Follow up for Services

After the person emails me expressing interest in the service I need to follow up. In the initial form I asked for basic information of name & email so they could give a private email if they wish.

Now I’d like to have a formal information gathering at the beginning of form with information on company, company email address, person and title.

Next, I can get a clear description of their information by requesting they upload the files.ย  These files, by the video above will go into a folder based on the Form title.

I’d also like to validate some of this information and this video demonstrates a method on how to use Regex to do that to tailor the validation:

Challenges

Google Driveย  share folders with clients for specific projects.

I’ve just done an exercise with that and the other person will need a Gmail account to be able to download the files from a shared folder, so I’ll need to do a bit more investigation as to the best method to share resources. So this is a bit disappointing.

Forms folder all files downloaded go to one place

So you can only differentiate by date/time of when the download occurred and check against form submission spreadsheet to see who downloaded what file when (timestamp &

And although Timestamp indicates when the files were uploaded from the form, the file links on google drive do not show the names of the files. Only by clicking on them in the spreadsheet can you identify the file. You can see the files by time and date though in the google drive viewer above.

Limit to file uploads

There is a maximum number of files you can upload at one time through the form upload process, this is 10. So, for a project where you are uploading lots (say 50) image files for a panorama browser view then you’d need the client to zip the files up to keep below this limit.

The file size is good, it is about 1GB and you can allocate as much space to that upload area eg 100Gb.So that is a positive.

Create shared folder

I’ll need to move files across to a shared folder with an Folder name based on Quote/Job ID and Client and send a link to the client. The client will need to have a Gmail account to be able to download files. With the email link they can view/edit & upload files to this folder, but will require a Gmail account to download files.

So the shared folder on Google Drive only works if they have a gmail account.

Microsoft OneDrive has the same issue, you need a Microsoft account to be able to download from OneDrive.

I considered making an automation process for creating a shared folder and moving files across to it but it seems I’d need to do it programmatically with app Scripts, which would only be justified if there was enough work coming in to require it.

End comment

It is worth trying out tools to see if they meet your requirement. This one didn’t, I was having to look at alternatives if the person did not have a gmail account and then other scenarios.

The number of files that they were allowed to upload is pretty limited too.

I did look at the free service for cognito forms , they upload files to their server then email you with file attachment, that looked way too complicated.

I will need to look at alternative methods of getting their files and sending them files. I was hoping for a shared environment but maybe just a good mechanism for them to upload files somewhere and me to send them a link to a zipped file in say Firefox Send for them to download.

Sometimes features make you think of a more elaborate process than is necessary. I’ll review and come at this in a different manner.


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