How to Use ViewsFlash

This documentation is designed to be read online, in one window, with the software running on another window, ideally side by side. A PDF version is available in the Support section of

The software is designed to be largely self-documenting. Each screen includes instructions on its use and available options. This guide focuses on explaining concepts and operational information in greater depth.

In this documentation, the term "questionnaire" is used as shorthand for survey, poll, assessment, or form. From ViewsFlash's point of view, these are all variations on the same theme of asking one or more questions, tabulating the answers, and displaying results. Sometimes "poll" is used for its brevity.


The software deals with Places, Questionnaires, Styles and Invite Lists. A place is where a user creates a series of questionnaires, protected by Access Controls. For instance, a company might have HR, Marketing, Sales, and Public places, where different users create surveys that run independently of each other. All questionnaires in each place must share the same Styles; a user who wants to create questionnaires with different styles needs to use more than one Place.

The ViewsFlash application user interface

The HTML user interface is simple, with a trail-crumb along the top and a menu bar down the side. To navigate, use the links at the top of the page or on the side of the page. Actions are performed by filling out the form fields on a page and pressing the Go, Submit or other buttons. For example:

This page is used during questionnaire creation. This questionnaire is called Service, and it is hosted in the Examples place. Clicking on Examples in the crumb trail at the top of the page navigates to the Examples place. The links on the left-side menu bar vary from page to page.  The Help link opens up this documentation at the corresponding page. The links with and open up further options. In this case, the Setup option is open, showing seven pages that are used to set up a questionnaire. The current page is highlighted in orange. Pages also use links to illustrate the most common next steps, like this:
Clicking on Next will go to the recommended next page.

Skills needed
There are three sets of skills needed to use the ViewsFlash software. In a large organization, they will usually be represented by the IT department, the Design and Production department, and the users who construct and analyze questionnaires. In a small organization, they might be one or two people. In this documentation, we personify these skills as the Administrator, the Designer, and the User, respectively. Here are their respective responsibilities and skills in more detail:

Person Administrator Designer  User
Responsible for Installation, configuration, web server, directories, permissions, security, backups. Interoperation with databases, JSP pages, and web services. Look and appearance of polls and surveys; integration with content management system, if any The questions to ask, when to ask them, what to do with the responses and results
Skills System administration, database administration HTML, content management system knowledge Editorial, analytical
Effort required Moderate, one-time. Depends on degree of customization desired; one-time Ongoing
Further reading

System administration, dealing with installation and setup,  how to set configuration parameters, and databases.

Production is recommended.

Production, dealing with the production cycle, creating Style Templates, how to embed them in containing pages, how to interface with content management systems Creating questionnaires, where the creation process is explained in this and subsequent pages.

Everyone should read the Architecture White Paper for information about System Architecture, Performance and Requirements.

Next: Dashboard