Frequently asked questions

Is your data secure? Can In-Form be customised? What support will you get?...
and more of your questions answered





General FAQs

Why is In-Form cloud-based?


In-Form is a web based application, which means it runs completely online - or in The Cloud.

In the past, organisations ran software downloaded to a physical computer or server in their building. Cloud-based systems allow people to access the same kinds of applications through the internet. Cloud computing increases efficiency and allows you to increase or decrease your computing capacity as your needs change. For In-Form, this just means ordering new user licenses from us when you need them, without having to worry about additional software installations, network considerations and server capacity.

And because In-Form is Cloud-based, you only need to be able to access the internet in order to be able to use it. All your information and documents are stored in one location, but you can access any of it at any time via computer, tablet or smartphone.

Why is In-Form built on Salesforce.com?


We have developed In-Form on the Salesforce.com platform.

Salesforce.com is a customer relations management system used by thousands of companies all over the world. 30,000 of these are not for profit and higher education organisations supported by salesforce.org (formerly the Salesforce Fundation).

We are able to pass on the benefits of licence discounts and support from the Salesforce .org to In-Form customers.

Salesforce.com takes care of disaster recovery and software updates, and issues new releases three times a year.

Is our data secure on In-Form and Salesforce?


Absolutely.

Salesforce.com meets the highest international standards for data security. See the Salesforce Trust website for more information.

Security features include:

  • Unique username and password authentication with customised password rules.
  • IP restrictions, and SMS and email identity confirmation if the user logs in from an unknown IP address.
  • User profiles can control staff access to confidential information. Access to client data can be restricted if the client withdraws consent.
  • Secure socket layer/transport layer security (SSL/TLS).
  • Application logs record the creator, last updater, timestamps, and originating IP address for every record and transaction completed. All customer data is stored in secure data centres and is replicated over secure links to a disaster recovery data centre. Data is stored in a UK data centre.

Will you help us get up and running with In-Form?


Once you have purchased your In-Form system, we will set up a Salesforce system with In-Form installed and work closely with you and your colleagues to configure the system to meet your recording and reporting needs.

The implementation process and timetable is flexible, allowing you time to review progress and consult with colleagues.

Once the system has been built we provide training for your staff and continue to make further changes as you need them.

We understand life in the voluntary sector and how quickly your information needs can change. In-Form and Homeless Link are equipped to support you to respond quickly to these needs as they evolve.

Can In-Form be adapted to meet our needs?


Yes, In-Form Enterprise can be completely customised for you. With such a wide range of organisations using the system - some with more than 1,000 users, others with just 10 - we've worked hard to make sure we can tailor the system precisely to your recording and reporting needs.

We can customise your In-Form by adapting existing modules - or if you need a specific piece of functionality not already available, we can create new modules and screens to suit you.

In-Form Community and In-Form Essential are out of the box, standardised systems which can be customised, but you can upgrade to In-Form Enterprise when it’s the right time for you.

Will you provide support after our In-Form system is up and running?


Of course. Our trained and experienced team is here to help you with day to day support.

Our office hours help desk has quick response times, ensuring you get the technical help you need no matter how simple or complex your issue.

We offer two support contract options - Homeless Link managed or self-managed. If you have in-house expertise to manage your own system you'll receive a 30% discount on your annual licence costs - and of course you can change your support arrangements if your circumstances change.

To help you build your In-Form skills, we provide training on data recording, system administration and reporting - either at our London offices or at your service if that is more convenient. Users of In-Form also qualify for discounted training from Salesforce.

In-Form DataLab FAQs

What is the aim of In-Form DataLab?


The In-Form DataLab aims to become the central source of information about the changing profile and needs of homeless people in England and provide a true picture of the effectiveness of interventions in ending their homelessness.

What will our organisation get from joining?


Key benefits for your organisation for joining the In-Form DataLab initiative include:

• Your data will be a valuable addition to the In-Form DataLab, increasing knowledge and understanding of the sector, the people it supports and the difference it makes.

• You will receive insight reports and analytics about your data, as well as benchmark information about how your data compares to all organisations using the In-Form DataLab.

• Your organisation will be recognised as a valued contributor. Plus, joining the In-Form DataLab initiative is free and will not take much time.

What data will you need?


What data will you need?

The guidelines for the In-Form DataLab dataset are in line with the latest version of the In-Form application. This means that all the standard In-Form ‘objects’ (menus) that are part of the In-Form managed package are included. The combined objects and fields provide data on client demographics, client needs assessment, the support that clients receive and the outcome of this support.

However, not all fields on these objects will be in scope for the standard dataset. In particular:

  1. Standard fields are generally limited to picklist fields, multi-select picklist fields, check box fields, date fields, status fields, record type values and numeric fields.
  2. Fields not in the dataset will generally be free text fields, any address or contact information fields linked to clients or other contacts, any custom fields and functionality that isn’t part of the In-Form standard fields that individual In-Form organisations may have added.

The In-Form DataLab is only focused on clients receiving homelessness support services. The In-Form DataLab will enable your organisation to identify which individual projects/services are included in the In-Form DataLab.

What is the process of joining?


1.The first step is to sign the In-Form DataLab data sharing agreement.

2. The In-Form DataLab team will then connect your In-Form instance to the In-Form DataLab data warehouse.

3. Next is the process of mapping the In-Form objects and fields that you use with the In-Form DataLab standard framework. The In-Form DataLab team will then test the connection and mapping.

4. Once the testing has been passed, your In-Form instance will then be included in future In-Form DataLab collecting processes.

If your organisation is interested in joining In-Form DataLab you should contact inform.datalab@homelesslink.org.uk

What about data security?


The In-Form DataLab team is following the Anonymisation Code of Practice published by the Information Commissioners Office (ICO). This provides good practice advice around converting personal data into a form in which individuals are no longer identifiable.

By following the guidance in this Code of Practice we are confident that the In-Form DataLab is compliant with Data Protection legislation and current data best practice.

Is the In-Form DataLab GDPR compliant?


As In-Form DataLab does not hold any identifying data, as explained in the "What about data security?" section, it is therefore GDPR compliant.

What about our service user's rights?


Although it is not necessary to seek client consent to take part in In-Form DataLab, as a matter of good practice we suggest that you make information available to service users. This should include information about the In-Form DataLab project, as well as explaining their anonymized data may be shared within it.

Can we opt any of our data out of In-Form DataLab?


If your organisation doesn’t capture all of the In-Form DataLab standard data points, or would not be able to share any specific data points, these can be missed out during the mapping stage and they will not be part of any data collection processes.

Who in our organisation needs to be involved?


• In-Form lead contact

• Signatory for data sharing agreement

How much work will we have to do to join?


As a participating organisation your roles and responsibilities will be as follows:

• Populate and sign off the 'In-Form DataLab Mapping Table'

• Nominate a dedicated person in your team as the key contact for any questions/requests from the In-Form DataLab team

• Maintain the Field Mapping Table if further developments carried out

• Maintain In-Form DataLab in-scope check boxes

• Answer any potential In-Form DataLab questions from internal staff or clients

We estimate this will take around half a day's work with you to help ensure a smooth process.

Can we control what data is shared with In-Form DataLab?


The data shared with In-Form DataLab is controlled at the project/service level. As a participating organisation you will be able to determine which of your projects/services will be in-scope to be shared with In-Form DataLab.

If we join can we leave at a later date?


Participating organisations have the right to opt out of the In-Form DataLab agreement at any time, giving a minimum of three months’ notice of your intention to cease participation. After opting out, no future data will be collected from your In-Form system.