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PHP : Form Builder / Generator

My work is involving more and more PHP-based forms, so I decided today to find a good form generator to save my time.
Here’s my requirements :

  1. Willing to pay : I’m willing to pay for the right solution.
  2. Easy to use : Some of the script actually make life harder for you, go figure. I was looking to save time, not to spend more of it
  3. Flexible : I still need to apply my own style / formatting. The solution must allow me to do this, while comforming to the second requirement above
  4. Saving to database : some PHP form makers / generators will only allow you to submit the form to be send by email.
  5. Validation : surprisingly, quite a lot of the (even) commercial solutions out there are missing this.
  6. Source available : I need the source code available to me, in case of problems / need for further customizations. Some packages doesn’t give you this.

Too picky ? Well, my needs are quite advanced indeed.
Anyway, I spend almost two hours browsing around with no joy, until suddenly …. to my surprise (again), it seems that the best solution for my needs is an open source one – the HTML_QuickForm PEAR Package.

It’s easy to use (see the tutorial for yourselves).

It’s definitely very flexible; it provides 8 renderers and support several template engines ! It allows you to process the submission however you chooses with the process method – by email, to database, or you can also process it straight away in the same script.

And validations… it’s really sweet. You can choose whether to do it on the server or client side. When you choose to do it on the client, it automatically generate the needed Javascript codes for you. Awesome is not descriptive enough word for it.
There are many ready-to-use validation rules; alphanumeric, lettersonly, maxlength, minlength, etc – and the regex rule fulfill any other needs that’s otherwise not available.

With the source also available, it’s really hard for me to look for anything else. But if you think you’ve found something better, feel free to let me know.


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