This week we had a Form Builder and Search Kit sprint in Otterlo, The Netherlands. The aim of this sprint was about sharing knowledge and ideas around search kit and form builder.
Sharing, Sharing and Sharing...
We started with sharing use cases from clients from CiviCooP and civiservice.de. Christophe shared how CiviCRM is used at Mediwe. Coleman from the Core Team shared the story behind Search Kit and Form Builder.
Andreas, Detlev, Alain, Erik Brouwer and Erik Hommel worked on the user documentation of Search Kit. Their improvements can be found on GitLab and will be published soon.
Integrating extensions with Search Kit and Form Builder
Coleman, Klaas and Jaap started out with development where they tried to integrate the following extensions with Search Kit and Form Builder:
- Expenses: The expense extension is used to manage expenses and grants. They checked whether the API version 4 was implemented correctly so that the entities from this extension can be used in Search Kit and in Form Builder. Which is very cool as it is possible to create a form for submitting or updating existing expenses with Form Builder. And it is possible to create a search with inline editing of expenses.
- Search Action Designer: The search action designer is an extension to create search tasks within the user interface. You don't need coding skills. They integrated this extension with Search Kit so you can now create your own actions for Search Kit.
- Form Processor: The Form Processor is used to retrieve data from a remote website. Both Drupal Webform and Caldera Forms can submit data to a form processor in a remote CiviCRM. Again no coding skills needed. This extension is used quite a lot at at clients of CiviCooP and civiservice.de because it makes it easier to separate CiviCRM and the website. The reason for integrating form processor with Form Builder is that it opens the door to create forms in CiviCRM and publish them on a remote website. The latter is not possible yet so as a group we had a discussion on this where Tim Otten joined remotely.
What is next? Defining a form definition standard
CiviCooP and civiservice.de wish for a tool for designing forms in CiviCRM and then display it on a remote website. We can already do this with Form Processor, Caldera Forms and Drupal Webform. However we experienced that we are then locked into a certain CMS and Plugin (be it either Caldera or Drupal Webform). For example a typo 3 implementation is missing.
We dream of something which looks like form builder to design the form and then use some sort of library (similar to how CiviMcRestFace is implemented) to present the form on a website.
We identified that we need a specification describing the form and its behavior. We will probably plan a sprint to work on this. But we don't know when and how yet. So any input on this is very welcome!
Sounds great! Thanks for sharing, Jaap.