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ryan

ProcessWire Form Builder

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I wanted to give you a little preview of a new module I've been working on recently: the Form Builder module. This module lets you create simple-to-complex forms and place them in your site without any need for development.

In this video we show how we can create, publish and test a simple contact form in less than 5 minutes. Then we take a quick look at a more complex form (already produced).

I recommend viewing the full screen + HD 720p version so that you can see it more clearly than in this small forum embed.

(note: there's no sound, so no need to adjust your volume)

More about the Form Builder

The Form Builder has many options for the developer to customize output and create their own themes, markup, etc. But the goal here was to build something that could enable you (or your client) to publish a form in less than 5 minutes, so that's the focus of this video.

This tool is literally easy enough for your clients to create and manage their own forms. Or from a developers perspective, it takes something that used to consume hours and makes it happen in minutes.

Form results save in the database and optionally can be CC'd to you by email. Result entries and be viewed, filtered by date, and even edited in the admin. You can export results to a spreadsheet as well. I'm working on the ability to export to pages, though that isn't quite ready yet.

How the Form Builder will be licensed

This module will be individually licensed on a per-site basis for a small license fee. It will also be available for free personal use to established forum members. Basically, I want to see if I can substitute some of my client work to focus on ProcessWire instead. And in order to do that, I need to have an income (I have a family to support). So I thought that building a special tool like this would be a way to make a go of it.

A lot of you have asked to make donations to the ProcessWire project, and while we still won't be able to take donations, you will be able to support the ProcessWire project by purchasing and using the Form Builder in your own client projects. So a lot of motivation for this module came from wanting to provide something really special for all that had wanted to support ProcessWire.

After a few months of work, I'm pretty happy with how this module has turned out -- it's already saved me tons of time in my client projects. So I'm thinking and hoping you guys will really like it too. I look forward to your feedback.

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Although I already played around with it some. BUT I'M STILL AMAZED! Thanks Ryan, some more of these ingenious strokes and PW is taking over world.

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Ryan,

This is incredible! Looks amazingly well thought out and super intuitive.

I can't even begin to tell you how much I will use this — we have dozens and dozens of forms, and get requests for new ones all the time.

I'd press the *like* button 100 times if I could.

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It's alright I suppose ^_^

On a serious note, it's definitely a good thing that I can think of half a dozen uses for it already, so good work! :D

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This might be the endgame. The sole reason for me to use WordPress is Gravity Forms. Great work and I'm sure a lot of people will use (and therefore pay for) this.

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WOW! Really, really nice work! But where the themes come from? and how to create a custom one?

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jQuery UI also means you can roll your own themes very easily.

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Thanks guys, glad you like what you see so far.

The product will be relatively simple in the first version (like what you see in the video), but I'll continue to expand it to be more and more capable. Things like multi-page forms, double-post URLs (like for Salesforce integration), multi-language forms, publish to pages and more are already planned and getting attention. But much of the direction will also come from what the audience wants most.

Making themes is really easy. You just go here to do it. Then click "download" theme. Rename the CSS file included in the theme to jquery-ui.css and place it in /site/modules/FormBuilder/themes/[your-theme-name]/. Copy the /images/ directory that comes with it too. I'll include more detailed instructions with it, but just wanted to get across how simple it is to theme it. That's all assuming that you decide to even use jQuery UI for theming. You can certainly disregard jQuery UI output entirely and style it yourself with your own CSS. But I prefer the quick and easy Themeroller for most cases. Also, if you are using Datepicker or asmSelect inputs in your form, then you'll probably prefer jQuery UI css as I think it would be less fun to style those things manually. :)

The Form Builder uses the same Inputfields as ProcessWire, so you can download more input types (like Soma's color picker, for example).

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Pinch me. And, I think I need a hug.

Edit: Forgot to ask: is there an eta on when this will be released?

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Things like multi-page forms, double-post URLs (like for Salesforce integration), multi-language forms, publish to pages and more are already planned and getting attention. But much of the direction will also come from what the audience wants most.

Multi-page forms and publish to pages — those 2 features would let me rebuild this beast of an ASP application I inherited sooner rather than later.

:)

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This is the greatest thing ever! Yes, I will more than gladly pay for this. Just debit my bank account directly. hahaha

Couple of thoughts... Can I access all that data with the API just like I do with pages? I create a lot of forms and I would love to use the API to manipulate and display my form data... guessing yes.

I would love to see a main navigation item for forms in the admin. Because site administrators would be looking for the form data and I don't want them poking around in setup.

Just off the top of my head I am thinking that I would love to have forms and submissions as part of my main page tree.

Fantastic Work Ryan!!! I am amazed by PW every single day. This is probably the number 1 feature ever. You just saved me thousands of hours. Again! Thank you!

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Ryan, you're insane. In a good way, but still insane. This is … wow. Just wow.

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This is really amazing! Would it be possible to use custom styling (css, jquery) besides/instead JqueryUI?

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This is really amazing! Would it be possible to use custom styling (css, jquery) besides/instead JqueryUI?

Ryan wrote earlier:

You can certainly disregard jQuery UI output entirely and style it yourself with your own CSS.

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excellent work, will definitely buy it. hope that enough people opt for it, so ryans plan will work!

btw. why don't you accept donations?

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This is just amazing! I'll will check it as soon as I fly back to Russia. Can't wait to try it!

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Thanks for all the great feedback. Much more enthusiasm than I expected!

Couple of thoughts... Can I access all that data with the API just like I do with pages? I create a lot of forms and I would love to use the API to manipulate and display my form data... guessing yes.

Yes. The FormBuilder adds a new $forms API variable to your installation from which you can grab forms, results, etc. However, they aren't initially as comprehensive as something like the $pages API var.

I would love to see a main navigation item for forms in the admin. Because site administrators would be looking for the form data and I don't want them poking around in setup.

It initially creates the page in Setup, but you can move the page to be wherever you want it in the admin. This is exactly what I did for a client this week, I dragged /processwire/setup/form-builder/ to /processwire/form-builder/, so that it shows up as a "Forms" nav item in their top admin nav.

btw. why don't you accept donations?

There are a few reasons, but I worry that taking donations might give a one-man project impression and discourage others from getting involved. We will probably be able to take donations once ProcessWire is incorporated as its own company/organization, and donations would then go specifically towards predefined operating costs and marketing, rather than some individuals wallet. :) Basically I want to make sure we've got the right structure in place.

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Thanks for the answers Ryan.

Do you have an ETA on this? I can plan a job with it right now and I will happily buy a license. I would love to try this and get familiar with it. Just excited :P

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