Plone site comes with a standard contact form that allows site visitors to contact site owners. After form submission, message containing submitter notes goes to site administrator, whose email is specified in ‘Site ‘From’ address’ field at site’s Mail settings. This is the only one Plone online form. If you need to extend this form or add more Plone forms to your site - you have to install additional package, such as Products.PloneFormGen or collective.easyform.
PloneFormGen is a wonderful add-on for Plone that allows creating web forms easily and effectively. Such forms can contain as many and as different field types as necessary. With PloneFormGen you can create online forms of different types - easy contact forms as well as rich multiple-fields forms for collecting detailed info from site visitors. Plone forms can email results to someone, or store results on a website for later download.
Quintagroup offers new Plone product - collective.easyform for generation of web forms that save or mail form input. Easyform provides a Plone form builder through-the-web using fields, widgets, actions and validators. This Plone package is similar to PloneFormGen that is based on Archetypes. The main difference is that our product is based on Dexterity. Dexterity is a new platform for content types in Plone and will be used instead of Archetypes in Plone 5.
Plone Form Fields
There are 10+ field types that come with both PloneFormGen and collective.easyform, such as: checkbox field, date/time field (allows to select date and time), file field (enables file upload), lines field (input with multiple lines), multi-select field (allows selecting one or many options), password field, string field (standard input field), etc.
Apart from default range of form fields, there are some additional fields that can be added to forms after certain products installation, such as quintagroup.pfg.captcha (adds captcha field to prevent automatic form submission) or quintagroup.ploneformgen.readonlystringfield (adds readonly string field to the PloneFormGen forms).
Form fields can be grouped into fieldsets: field set folder contain fields, separated from other fields by special borders and common description.
Plone Form Actions
Depending on what adapters are used in the form and how they are configured, forms can perform different actions after submission.
The most common case is when mailer adapter is used. It sends data, typed into form fields, to the given email address(es). There can be several mailer adapters, that will send different parts of data, collected in the form to different email addresses. For example, PloneFormGem form can send one email to site administrator, another one - to a person who submitted the form. The template of the letter sent is configurable.
Another way of dealing with collected data - is its saving in ZODB with a possibility to view and export it in .csv format.
Plone Form ThankYou Page
After user submits the form and adapters execute their procedures, user will see a 'Thank You' page. It can display list of all or selected fields and provided values, and/or any other info.
Demo Plone Forms
Quintagroup prepared Plone 4 demo site, where you can try using PloneFormGen on a live website. There are 2 demo forms created - Demo Contact Form and Demo Questionnaire Form. It is possible edit/configure existing ones (find login info on site’s home page) or add new forms. The process of creating web forms in Plone looks like this: first - Form Folder should be created and fields should then be added as its contained content objects. After that you can configure different adapters to make form function the way you need.