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JotForm is a free online form builder which helps you create online forms without writing a single line of code. No sign-up required.

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    How to send form data to an external database?

    Asked by Tom on June 27, 2012 at 09:07 PM

    You have a terrific GUI for building forms.  Everything that's there is great.  What you don't seem to have is any way to drop the information collected through the form(s) into a conventional database (e.g., MySQL, Access, whatever); nor do you seem to have any way to have the information posted to a web page.  Other, similar programs do include those capabilities, even if they don't have the nicer front-end for input.  I have absolutely NO interest in getting involved with any of the service providers with which you do "integrate," and would like to retain the data in a more straightforward way.  Should I use somebody else's software?

    building forms integrate
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    Answered by jeanettebmz on June 27, 2012 at 09:26 PM

    Hello Tom

    I understand your point. Actually there is a way to post submission data into a MySql Database using PHP. Please refer to this guide

    Let us know if you still need further assistance

    Best regards

    Jeanette

     

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    Answered by Tom on June 27, 2012 at 09:30 PM

    Well, that's all nice and everything, but where you're sending me is exactly where I DON'T WANT TO HAVE TO GO!

     

    The other programs to which I refer which do the posting to databases and web pages do it automatically.  That was the WHOLE POINT.  (If I could program PHP, why would I be here in the first place?)

     

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    Answered by jeanettebmz on June 27, 2012 at 09:40 PM

    I apologize for the misunderstanding, I thought you knew something about web programming

    To my knowledge, there is no such automatic way to post submission data without some sort of server side programming language  to process the data into your own database

    Best regards

    Jeanette

     

     

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    JotForm Support

    Answered by NeilVicente on June 27, 2012 at 10:04 PM

    @Tom

    To reiterate my colleague's answer, there is no automatic method of passing form data onto an external database, due to a simple reason -- not all databases and forms are created equal.

    I guess it can be made possible but would require creation of an extremely intricate (probably requiring more that 10 steps) form-to-database wizard -- something which JotForm does not have right now.

    What we can offer you now is the option to manually export form submissions to an Excel or CSV file. It is also possible to create a live and updated Excel report.

    You may also take a look at our Google Docs integration. In a nutshell, it is the same as the live Excel report, the difference being that the spreadsheet resides on your Google Docs account so it is easier to share to your colleagues.

    As for displaying form submissions - we actually have solutions for it, albeit simple and non-customizable.

    Here's an example: https://sites.google.com/site/gbsampler101/

    Please refer to this guide for more information:

    http://www.jotform.com/help/105-Grid-Listing

    Kindly notify us if you need further information on any of the solutions I suggested.

    Thank you very much for you interest in our product!

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    Answered by Tom on June 27, 2012 at 10:27 PM

    Before I looked at JotForm, I spent some time trying to build the same form using Simfatic's system.  Theirs has a crappy GUI and, as far as I could tell, extremely limited design flexibility.  On the other hand, their forms DO output "automatically" to a MySQL database (you have to create it, of course--that's not difficult).  Likewise, while I didn't pursue it that far, Simfatic says they can do the same thing with a web page, which would make the program that much more useful.

    Finally, with regard to being or not being a "web programmer," I've built some quality sites and I know a little about programming in general.  But where everything breaks down is in the (in)ability of the programmers to communicate with normal human beings--or anybody else at all except other programmers.  (Goldfish maybe?)  There's an exception once in a while, and JotForm does some things extremely well.  It's clean, intuitive, and visually strong.  But make the other stuff "automatic," too.  If the Simfatic folks can do it, why can't you?

     

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    JotForm Support

    Answered by liyam on June 28, 2012 at 02:42 AM

    Indeed, it's possible to develop what Simfatic has done, but it also takes time.  Not to mention there are a lot of security issues involved and not all web servers allow calls of MySQL statements coming from other web hosts or domains.  Having such feature can let your MySQL database be prone to injections, and thus wiping out your database or getting all the information in it stolen.

    Since JotForm is a web based application and not an downloadable/executable software solution which you can download, install, and run on your computer, patching vulnerabilities can be far more difficult and expensive for the user than what currently JotForm can do and its current feature has to offer.

    But nonetheless, I also have forwarded a feature request to them regarding your concerns.  But as they are extremely busy, I cannot guarantee that such a feature can be considered for implementation anytime soon.  But as soon as it is available, we'll sure to let you know.

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    Answered by Tom on June 28, 2012 at 10:58 PM

    Okay, another approach that seems to make some sense is what Zoho is doing.  They start with a database and use the fields to structure the form elements, which obviously makes it easy to create integration between the form and data.

    I honestly don't see why this has to be so freakin' complicated.  I worked with databases 25 years ago and the logic was straightforward.  You created a database containing all the elements you wanted.  Then you filled in the data and merged it with a form in any of an infinite number of ways simply by incorporating data requests ("form fill-ins") at appropriate points in an output document.  It was also possible to capture input from completed forms and merge it back into the database, and it was possible to build in a complete range of functions, arguments, calculations, loops, etc., so forms could generate derivative information.  Database information could be combined in the same form output with data entered via the keyboard in response to prompts.  Even WordPerfect offers a fairly sophisticated merge feature which allows the user to create forms according to a specified set of parameters and merge the data into a recompiled report format.

    Please note that the BEST database program I ever used was built into the software for a dedicated word processing system marketed by Dictaphone in the 1970s-80s.  It would do everything any database can do now (except be relational), and could be completely integrated with accounting functions, etc.  There was a learning curve, but the system was logical, intuitive, and extremely easy to "code"--NOTHING LIKE PHP!!!!!!!!!!!

    In sum, it looks like it's going to take the current crop of software engineers another ten or fifteen years to catch up with what was being done 30 years ago.  Anybody out there got a freakin' clue?

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    JotForm Founder

    Answered by aytekin on July 02, 2012 at 12:55 PM

    JotForm is designed for more lightweight use. Create a form and get responses for that. I think you are a too advanced user for our product. That's why you are frustrated. Loading data into Mysql is not something 99% of our users would like. And we have a small development team. We have to pioritize features for our mainstream users.

    But, we will certainly keep this request in mind for the future. Thanks!

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    Answered by Tom on July 02, 2012 at 10:53 PM

    I guess I'm damned if I do and damned if I don't.  One of your earliest responses was a condescending remark about my lack of web programming skills vis-a-vis PHP.  Now I'm "too sophisticated."

    What you've got is wonderful.  If you built it out to include some real data management capabilities and the ability to create real tools to do real things (empower the user, don't try to lead him around like a whipped puppy), it would be much better and you'd have a much bigger market.  In fact, you'd have the WHOLE FREAKIN' MARKET because apparently nobody else wants to do that, either.

    The issue of whether I am or am not a "sophisticated user" in a way is at the heart of the problem.  I'm smart enough to work with logical tools when they're available, so in that way I'm "sophisticated."  What programmers invariably try to do is protect some piece of knowledge that they think is special and unique and, therefore, the key to their power and ability to charge money for something.  It keeps them from writing good software.

     

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    JotForm Support

    Answered by liyam on July 03, 2012 at 01:13 AM

    We understand your concern, Tom. 

    One does not need to be a programmer to be very well sophisticated with technological features.  In my opinion, the end users with technological inclination are the greatest innovators.

    We also appreciate your compliment with the current system and things that you have in mind to make JotForm better.  Rest assured, what you have shared with us is not neglected and we put in mind what users share to make a better user-friendly product.

    Thank you for your advice and suggestions.

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    Answered by coffeeadelaide on July 03, 2012 at 01:28 AM

    Just to add to OP's inital post. I too would love to be able to have the filled out information on the form automatically added to a webpage. The feel, ease of use, options, flexibility is really good at jotform but for me I require some sort of a method whereby the info is then automatically added to my webpage. 

    If only that was a option.

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    Answered by Tom on July 03, 2012 at 10:26 AM

    The previous comment reiterates part of what would make your product dimensionally better.  What I'm out to do here is help a small non-profit animal rescue build a clean, solid information management system for its own needs.  We're using WordPress to start a new website, and it would be great if people could create and log into an account where they could post information and media according to a specified set of parameters and in a pre-determined output format.  (For example, we might want to have an area where people can post lost or found animals.  We'd want a form that asked the relevant information and created a post that was consistent with the existing layout, etc.)  Let them do the fill-in just like for a contact form but drop the result directly into a designated area on a webpage.

    Being able to retain the data, or at least selected parts of it, would seem like a no-brainer.

    Finally, as noted before, I just plain don't like any of the service providers you've affiliated with, or whose products you "integrate" with.  I wasn't familiar with all of them before--after looking at what they offer, I wouldn't do business with any of them, and don't want to have to open a side door to my business for anybody without a really compelling reason to do so.  I don't trust those people, period.

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    Answered by Tom on July 03, 2012 at 10:52 AM

    Related thought:

    The fill-in to webpage loop would also be EXTREMELY HANDY TO THE POINT OF BEING NAUSEATING for internal needs, too.  For instance, this animal rescue gets kittens and takes care of them until they're adopted to responsible homes.  Every kitten gets listed on the website as being available for adoption as soon as images are available, and we'd like to maintain a current listing of adoptable kittens that includes a picture, basic historical and factual data, and a way to express an interest in adopting--the latter is accommodated by WordPress, so that wouldn't have to be integral to the app.  Being able to key all the info once (you know, like for a database) would obviously be beneficial to the whole flow of things, but if you just streamlined the page-building process, that in itself would make a huge difference.  I don't know of anything exactly like it--among all of WordPress's thousands of plug-ins, that's not one of the options so far.  There is no question that people would jump on a well-coded app that did those things.  It could simplify any of a number of page-building routines that people have to go through to maintain or update a website.  Somebody would probably build a shrine to you folks.

     

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    Answered by Tom on July 03, 2012 at 10:57 AM

    Just to clarify--if you built an app that let people construct boilerplate sections within specified webpages, you wouldn't necessarily have to incorporate the upload part of the process.  You could just let people build a page off-line, then upload it themselves--the uploading part would be a nice "integral" function, but not a critical one.

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    Answered by Tom on July 03, 2012 at 11:11 AM

    Okay, one more observation.  What I'm talking about would work about like this posting system I'm using, except there would be a series of information requests instead of a big white box, and when it was all said and done, what would get uploaded to the server would be pre-formatted according to the wishes of the site manager.

    You can have that available when?

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    Answered by vrsioffice on March 15, 2013 at 09:18 PM

    I have to agree with the responders of this post...mySQL integration is really a very much needed feature these days for form creation software, whether it is cloud based or locally installed.  I would absolutely love to see this feature added as an automated feature.  Whereas I am familiar enough with PHP to follow the "work-around" many of your users are not. 

    Aytenkin I have to strongly disagree with your statement "Loading data into Mysql is not something 99% of our users would like".  This simply is not true!!  There have been MANY post asking for this feature.  I believe there is a LARGE number of your users who would like this feature.  As you indicated earlier, most of your uses are not programmers so they do not understand your "work-around" for posting to a mySQL database.  Adding this feature would greatly extend the JotForm family. 

    You could make this a feature only available to paid clients to help recoup the cost to develop this function.  Adding it as a paid feature would certainly increase your number of paid accounts!!

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    JotForm Support

    Answered by jonathan on March 16, 2013 at 09:37 AM

    @vrsioffice

    Hi, thank you for your inputs.

    Your detailed explanation and suggestions have reach the appropriate people involve.

    You will be notified via your email also when this thread is updated with response.

    Thanks.

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    Answered by khrisell on July 04, 2013 at 06:27 PM
    Greetings!

    We are happy to announce that we have released Jotform Webhooks,  this feature would replace Send Post Data + Custom URL Thank You Page workaround in order to help you transfer forms data to your own database using your own script codes.

    To know more about Jotform Webhooks, please click here.

     

    Thank you for using JotForm. :)