CVTC Form Software Guidelines

Need an electronic form for your department? There are several form solutions recommended by IT for use by CVTC departments. IT has developed some guidelines for which solution may work best for you. Please contact the CVTC IT department if you have any questions.

Form Applications commonly used, or recommended at CVTC are:

  • SharePoint List Forms - forms for students or employees with active CVTC accounts
  • Adobe Sign - forms that need signatures
  • Cognito Forms - forms where a CVTC account is not required to submit
  • Google Forms - quizzes, surveys and feedback
    • cannot be used for CVTC business or collecting personally identifiable information - no IDs with names, etc.
  • Microsoft Forms (Lite) - for surveys, quizzes and feedback
  • Microsoft Power Apps - Very powerful tool for not only creating forms but also for creating stand alone applications with no code or low code.

Table of form options and features:

CVTC form software comparison chart
Adobe Sign
Cognito Forms
Google Forms
Microsoft Forms (Lite)
SharePoint and Power App Forms
Best for when form needs public access
Yes Yes
Best for when form needs legal signature
Best for surveys, feedback and quizzes
Yes, but not for Pii, not to be used for CVTC business Yes
Best for complex forms (sections, repeating fields, hiding fields, conditional required fields, field based notifications)
Yes Yes
Best for non-legal CVTC business
Yes, if non-CVTC account holders also need access Yes, for student and staff only
Secure - FERPA, HIPPA, GDPR Compliant, and uses data encryption
Yes Yes Not GDPR Compliant Yes Yes
Public Facing (no login needed)
Yes Yes Yes Not Sure
Can send data to Teams or SharePoint Online lists
Yes Yes (uses power App flow) Yes Yes
Has verified signatures
Yes (legally accepted) Not as good as Adobe Sign Digital
Conditional logic for form fields
Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Robust form logic
Yes Yes Yes
Approval workflows
Yes Only 2 stage Uses Power Automate

When to use SharePoint Online list forms

  • When you need a form for routine college business use
  • When you need a form for current staff and student use
  • When you need to share or lockdown submission data
  • When you need workflows for notifications and processes (Uses Power Automate)
  • When you need data to be shared in Teams, One Drive or SharePoint Online (Employee Site)
  • When you want a form that will automatically collect who submitted the form (CVTC user)

When to use Adobe Sign PDF forms

  • When you need to send official PDFs or PDF forms that need signatures or approvals, then track them at different steps, and then archive them. 
  • When you need to deliver the right PDF documents to the right people, and ensure they complete them in the right order with identity verification.
  • When you need to allow recipients to complete, sign, and return PDF forms from anywhere.
  • When PDF document signatures and approvals need to be tracked and create an audit trail

When to use Cognito Forms

  • When you need the form to be accessible to the public (people without login to CVTC can fill out the form).
  • When you need to collect data and review summary data. Can connect to SharePoint Online/Teams.
  • When you need to report on or export accumulated data from many form submissions. Output to Excel as .csv file.
  • When you are designing for forms to be used on mobile devices. Designed to be responsive.
  • When you want to be able to display data on a web page, or share collected summary data with co-workers. (SharePoint or Cognito cloud submission documents and data folders)

When to use Microsoft Forms

  • When you need do create a simple survey.
  • When you need to create a quiz.
  • Data is secure
  • When you are designing for forms to be used on mobile devices. Designed to be responsive.
  • When you want to be able to display data on a web page, or share collected summary data with co-workers. (SharePoint or Cognito cloud submission documents and data folders)


  • They are device agnostic
  • They can have individual or group access and permission control
  • They save documents securely in the cloud

Advantages of using SharePoint Online List Forms

SharePoint Online Forms are really just regular SharePoint lists within our Teams and Employee Website

  • The data is automatically stored in the list you create in Teams or SharePoint. Easy to share or easy to lock-down.
  • Simple forms can be created quickly and easily.
  • The Microsoft tools are powerful and can create complex forms with logic and workflows.
  • Secure and contained within CVTC's environment. HIPPA, FERPA and GDPR compliant.
  • Export data to Excel.
  • Data can appear in Teams.
  • Create choice drop downs from other lists.
  • 'In-form' calculations.
  • Email notification.
  • Attachment uploads.
  • Customizable submission confirmations that can include form data.
  • Can capture information about the person who submitted the form automatically.

Advantages of using Adobe Sign

Adobe Sign is an e-signature solution to authenticate and formally sign agreements sent through the Sign Service

  • Electronic solution for official documents or forms in which signatures are required.
  • Adobe Sign enhances compliance with e-signature laws and standards for official documents.
  • Can configure and track the process of requiring multiple signature requirements. Example: Ability to send the PDF to other approvers or return the PDF to the initiator and other appropriate participants. Similar to how documents get passed around in interoffice mail to gather signatures.
  • Tool is best suited for getting PDFs signed, and/or getting a series of signatures or approvals.
  • Has methods to authenticate via a signing service.
  • Convenience of saved signature is able to be configured by signor.
  • Acceptable replacement for ‘Faxable’ forms or paper forms.
  • Can be filled out or signed outside of the CVTC organization.
  • No special software or CVTC account needed to be able to sign documents or fill out forms

Advantages of using Cognito forms

Cognito Forms is an online form building tool

  • Collects form data and stores it in a spreadsheet-like format in CVTC Cognito Enterprise folders, or it can also send data to SharePoint lists in our Current SharePoint, or SharePoint online.
  • Can export data to other applications like Excel.
  • Forms can be saved as PDFs.
  • Forms can have a signature field where a mouse or finger signature is recorded. (However. no out of the box authentication via a signing service is present like Adobe Sign does. But signatures can be legally binding if certain steps are taken
  • 'In-form' calculations
  • Email notification
  • Attachment uploads
  • Customizable submission confirmations that can include form data
  • Redirects upon completion
  • Integrates with Microsoft Power Automate and Zapier (Zapier is an online automation tool that connects your apps and services. You can connect two or more apps to automate repetitive tasks without coding or relying on developers to build the integration.)
  • Secure
    • SSL Encryption - Cognito Forms uses SSL encryption and is always accessed over HTTPS 100% of the time for all users. SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is the standard for ensuring data is encrypted when being sent to a web server from a browser.
    • Data Encryption - Protect your form’s entry data with the click of a button. Read more about our Data Encryption feature.
    • HIPAA-Compliant - Sign our HIPAA Business Associate Agreement to enable additional security measures, like automatic form encryption. Learn more.
    • GDPR-Compliant - Sign our Data Protection Agreement and use Cognito Forms as part of your GDPR-compliant practices for collecting personal data from users in the EU.
    • Privacy Shield Certified – Cognito Forms has an active Privacy Shield Framework certification so you can transfer data from the EU to the US under the latest data protection requirements.
    • Hosting Environment - Cloud-based, secure hosting environment uses Microsoft Azure and is both BAA (HIPAA) and PCI (DSS) level 1 compliant.
    • Helps prevent spam with Smart Captcha
  • Google Analytics ready for tracking things like Demographics, On-site behaviors, devices used, referral sources, and user geography.
  • Lookup or Choice Fields
  • Repeating sections
  • Responsive for mobile devices
  • Save and resume functionality
  • Forms can be embedded within websites and linked within emails or texts.
  • CSS can be applied to embedded forms

Keywordscvtc form software soft ware guide line lines guideline guidelines hipaa forms adobe sign pdf option options cognito sharepoint share point e signature e-signature electronic formally sign   Doc ID50776
OwnerJessica C.GroupChippewa Valley Technical College
Created2015-04-22 15:03 CSTUpdated2022-05-26 06:36 CST
SitesChippewa Valley Technical College
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