Once a process is created and the forms are built in each stage, the process can be copied and used as the template to create other processes in your site. We strongly recommend that you copy an existing process to create new processes, as this plays a vital role in your ability to easily build data sets, reports, and merge templates. This method also saves you time, preventing you from needing to build each form and process from scratch.
Why Copying Processes is a Best Practice
When you add a question to a form, the system gives the question a unique field code in the background. The code serves as the identifier for the question throughout the entire system. If you make copies of forms and processes, the field codes in the background are also copied.
The system uses the field codes when pulling questions and their responses into reports and merge templates. If a question is built from scratch, even if it is identical to a question that exists in another process, the questions will not have the same field code and will be identified as two different fields. This is because the system reads the code in the background, rather than the question’s label.
Let's say in the application for your Fall Process you've added an "Amount Requested" question. The system automatically gives that question a field code, for example "R123." If you copy the Fall Process to create your Spring Process, the "Amount Requested" question on that new application also has the field code of "R123."
Now let's say you're building a report to look at requests from both your Fall and Spring processes, and one of the fields you've added to the report is "Amount Requested." Because the field code for "Amount Requested" is "R123" for both processes, the system will put all the amount requested data into one column in your report. This makes it simple to build a report showing how much was requested across all processes.
If you did not copy the Fall Process to create the Spring Process, and instead built a brand new process from scratch, the "Amount Requested" question for the Spring Process will have a different field code. When you build a report to look at requests from both processes, there will be a separate "Amount Requested" column of data in the report for each process. Those fields can be combined in the report, but it is an extra step and can become tedious if it must be done for many fields.