Chapter: jForms: automatic forms
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jForms is a form system which makes easier the creation of forms. Forms are described in an XML file, and used throughout an API and template-plugins. it allows you to automatically:
- generate the HTML form, by displaying required fields, help etc, and in a flexible manner
- display labels in an accessible manner
- validate data in the server side
- display verbose error-reporting and helper messages
- manage several instances of a form at the same time - allowing to edit several records at the same time
- initialize a form from one or several DAO's data (with inputs, listbox, radios etc ...)
- save data with DAOs
- save uploaded files.
- generate other types of forms (with ajax, XForms etc ...) using some jforms plugins
- support complex field like native captcha-fields, Wysiwyg editing field, groups, complex choices and so on..
- modify dynamically the form (add, remove, modify some controls)
jForms includes three distinct parts:
- XML files describing the forms,
- server-side API to manage a form and it's data,
- template plugins to display an instance of a form.
jForms generates an object (which inherits from jFormsBase) from the XML description, allowing to initialize the form's contents, to save it, to add/remove some controls etc ... The object contains all the input in it's properties.
The jFormsBase object is also used by template-plugins to display the appropriate HTML elements.