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.


62 thoughts on “PHP : Form Builder / Generator

  1. Eh, kalo kita hosting gitu bisa gak ya install2 package PEAR? KAlo bisa gimana ya caranya?

  2. It has been over a year since you posted this article and (presumably) started working with this form solution. How has it worked out? Are you still using it? I have a similar need – I am simply tired of writing code for handling forms. The one key component I want out of these tools is the ability to display data that may already be present in a database. In other words, I want to be able to edit data rather than simply performing data entry.

  3. Hi Olaf, thankfully there are many solutions for your forms needs nowadays in PHP.
    The most complete one is by installing Joomla, and then installing one of its many Forms modules (or also called extensions).
    By this way, you instantly get rapid form building ability, complete with other needs provided by Joomla framework (security, authentication, CMS, etc)
    If you’re going to build your own application, fear not, there are standalone form generators (not tied to Joomla). try searching for “dbqwiksite” and “phpmaker”.
    These 2 products will generate the CRUD (create-read-update-delete) PHP form codes just by you pointing then to the database table.
    Couldn’t be simpler. And at least dbqwiksite is highly customizable; they truly empower you.
    Hope it helps.

  4. Is there anything available similar to this but for WordPress? No I can see that joomla is much more flexible in this regard but its a bit late to change!

  5. Awesome! A customizable form that’s open source. I’m bookmarking this. This’ll come in handy in my consulting work. Thanks for the tip!

  6. This is awesome, don’t you love it when the program that will work best is open-source. I’m gonna keep this on hand in case I need it as well, thanks!

  7. I’ve heard lots of good things about joomla, but have yet to test it. I’m still undecided whether i want to invest time in joomla or drupal.

  8. Hello webmaster, Like your site some very useful information for joomla social bookmark and your post regarding PHP : Form Builder / Generator looks very interesting for me. Keep up the good work.

  9. Is there anything like this tool but for WordPress? I can see that joomla is much more versatile in this regard but its a bit late to change! Any thuoghts would be appreciated

  10. Good post.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.

  11. Great response.It is most flexible and so I still need to apply my own style / formatting. The solution must allow me to do this, while conforming to the second requirement above.

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  16. Wow It is very helpful for me. thanks a Lot! I will definitely try it and let me tell you, while reading your requirements I felt you were reading my mind!

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