Discussing ProcessWire CMS Infrastructure And Configurations

Episode 3: ProcessWire Commercial Module: Form Builder (Part 1)

Podcast Show Transcipt: PDF Version


Episode 3 - ProcessWire Commercial Module: Form Builder (Part 1)

Hello, this is Charles Stevens, the Editor of the PW Review.

In Episode 3, we will take an initial and introductory look at Ryan Cramer’s Form Builder Commercial module. For those that don’t already know, Ryan Cramer is the developer, maintainer and originator of ProcessWire.

Form Builder is what I can best describe as being a well thought out rock-solid construction kit of form management tools. Form Builder makes the process of building a variety of different types of forms a very simple task.

When you configure the Form Builder Module Settings, you specify what ProcessWire fields can be used within the Form Builder environment.

Once the module is installed on a website, you manage your forms via the “Forms” entry on the Admin Setup Menu. Website Administrators can enable different access control requirements by clicking the “Access Control” option under the Form Builder Settings configuration screen which is located on the Site tab within the Admin Modules Menu.

Forms are created by clicking on the “Adding A New Form” button. You will then give the form a name. The form is then built by clicking on the “Add New Field” selector and then providing a field type and a Label. The Label is the primary label text the user will see for this field.

Within each individual form, Form Builder has extensive Actions options that can be taken such as Filter Spam, Save To Entries Database, Send An Email To Administrator(s), Send An Auto-Response Email To Submitter, Send Duplicate Copies To Another URL or 3rd Party Service, Save to ProcessWire Pages and/or Submit To Another URL (Bypassing Form Builder Processing).

Within each individual form, Form Builder has extensive Output options that can be configured such as Picking An Output Framework, Selecting a Form Style, Selecting An Input Size, Selecting The Submit Button Type, Selecting The Submit Button Size, Choosing whether you want to have a full size Submit Button or not, Specifying what your Mobile Breakpoint will be, Configuring custom text on the Submit Button, An ability to custom configure what your Success Text will be, An ability to Redirect to a particular page or to display text from a field on another page and an ability to have custom text that is displayed on a form submission error.

Once your form has been completed, Form Builder gives you 4 different ways to put your individual form on your website. I have taken the text that explains these options straight from an individual form Embed Tab description:

- Option A: Easy Embed. “Paste a tag into your text where you want the form to appear. This is the easiest method and requires you do nothing other than edit a page and paste in (or type) a tag.”
- Option B: Template Embed. “Paste an embed code into your template file. Use this option if you want the form to be loaded from a template file rather than from a field. This provides you with more defined placement options than option A, but requires editing a template file.”
- Option C: Custom Embed. “Render the form markup directly from your template file (no iframe). This option is recommended for those that are already using a compatible CSS framework, or those that do not mind resolving potential CSS conflicts between your site styles and those used by the form. It renders the form markup directly in the page, which is either a good thing or a bad thing, depending on what you want. If already using one of the compatible CSS frameworks (Uikit, Foundation, Bootstrap) you may find embed method C to be ideal, as the markup will be ready for your framework.”
- Option D: Custom Embed + Custom Markup. “This option lets you have full control over the markup in your form and it outputs directly in your template file(s). It is best use this option only after your form is "final", as you will have to apply any further changes to your form markup manually after using this option.”

What is very important to know is that after each option, Ryan Cramer has provided detailed instructions that will guide you in utilizing the particular embed method. You can choose the embed method for each individual form. That is amazing!

There are a multitude of additional configuration and individual form setup options that will be discussed, in detail, in a number of future Form Builder Podcast Episodes.

The Form Builder Commercial Module will also be discussed in many upcoming Bi-Monthly Technical Issue Series articles and PW Review Blog Series postings on the PW Review website.

The Form Builder Commercial Module has been around since September 2012.

This module can be purchased on the ProcessWire Shop/Store, located on the main ProcessWire website. When you purchase this module, you are given a product key that you will input when installing the module on a website. Your purchase will get you updates and access to the Form Builder VIP Support Forum for 1 year. You will have access to any new Form Builder versions within the VIP Support Forum.

It’s important to understand that the product key does not expire. You can continue to use the version of Form Builder that you have forever. If you want continued access to the Form Builder VIP Support Forum and any new Form Builder versions after the first year, you can renew your access to the Form Builder VIP Support Forum. You access this option by going to the “Manage Your Purchases” selection within the ProcessWire Shop/Store.

There are currently 4 editions of Form Builder that can be purchased:

- Single Edition at $49. This edition can be used on 1 website. The renewal price is $10 a year.
- Professional Edition at $99. This edition can be used on up to 3 websites. The renewal price is $19 a year.
- Developer Edition at $179. This edition can be used by a single Developer on unlimited websites. The renewal price is $39 a year.
- Agency Edition at $289. This edition can be used by a Web Development Agency or Firm on unlimited websites. The renewal price is $89 a year.

One of the many time-saving features of this Commercial Module is that you can easily export an individual form configuration. You can then use this form setup to save time when creating another form or you can use this form setup on another of your websites where Form Builder is installed.

In conclusion, Form Builder is a very useful and productive tool for any website builder. The Form Builder VIP Forum has a wealth of information about custom form configurations with many code examples provided by Ryan Cramer.

That’s it for this episode. In Episode 4, I will discuss the Non-Commercial ProcessWire Upgrades Module.

Thanks for listening.