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  • Question

  • I know this is an off topic question but I am a heavy EW4 user, read the forum regularly and have a lot of respect for the knowledge and experience of those who provide the help. Does anybody have first hand experience with Coffee Cup Formbuilder?  HTML forms using FormMail don't cut it for me any more and my limited to non-existent knowledge of php is hampering my form building efforts and a tool like Coffee Cup seems very appealing.  Does it use Flash for the forms or just for the app itself?  If the former, is this not a major disadvantage as not everyone has Flash installed on their PCs or can it build forms without needing Flash?
    Thursday, January 27, 2011 1:42 AM

All replies

  • The Coffee Cup software looks like fun and should make short work of getting user data into a database. I write my forms with HTML, PHP and Javascript from scratch. The two hardest parts are qualifying the user input and preventing robots from filling out your form and submitting garbage. I usually qualify with javascript before submitting to the server. It's not clear how Coffee Cup handles that from my casual reading of their web page. They do offer a Captcha box which should protect your form from spammers and bad bots.
    • Edited by Time Bandit Thursday, January 27, 2011 4:59 PM
    Thursday, January 27, 2011 2:46 AM
  • I use it. It's a cinch. Uses asp.net or PHP, has captcha for protection, you can upload files to a server or attach them to e-mails. It does validation on some types of data, if you want, custom acknowledgement pages or auto replies. The forms look clean and they work.

    I think of forms as very utilitartian items and as long as they work, that's all I need. Nothing fancy; just send the information. I can't see wasting any time on something like that. Create the form, upload the files to the server, bingo. Done.

    But I do feel a little dirty taking the shortcut. ;-)

     


    Eschew obfuscation.
    Thursday, January 27, 2011 3:27 AM
  • Bill,

    No need to feel dirty for using Coffeecup form builder. Consider it a productivity tool.


    MS MVP Expression Tutorials & Help http://by-expression.com & Expression Web forums
    Thursday, January 27, 2011 3:54 AM
  • Heh. It's weird; if WebAssist made the same product I wouldn't feel this way. But the name Coffee Cup (and the user interface) just gives it a cheesy aura like the old Print Shop or Calendar Creator or Resume Maker or 3-D House Designer. You know?

    But it works well and I crank out nice clean forms quickly (just don't use their clip art!).


    Eschew obfuscation.
    Thursday, January 27, 2011 4:30 AM
  • Clipart is something that should not be used in 99.9999% of the cases it is used.

    IMHO the Coffee Cup stuff generally works better than the Webassist ones doing the same thing, at least their Dreamweaver add-in for forms to email.


    MS MVP Expression Tutorials & Help http://by-expression.com & Expression Web forums

    Thursday, January 27, 2011 4:35 AM
  • *Heh. It's weird; if WebAssist made the same product I wouldn't feel this way. But the name Coffee Cup (and the user interface) just gives it a cheesy aura like the old Print Shop or Calendar Creator or Resume Maker or 3-D House Designer. You know?*

    Hey, I resemble that remark! I have used Calendar Creator since 1995 or 1996!  :) I'm heading out for Coffee Cup now, although it'll be awhile before I'm proficient enough to start using it.

    Nancy Ward
    Windows 8 BetaFerret


    Nancy Ward
    Thursday, January 27, 2011 4:39 AM
  • Bill if it does what you need it to consistently and frees you up to be more productive I would say that should make you feel smart.  Besides some of us clean up pretty good!!! He he
    "It's like déjà vu all over again." — Yogi Berra
    Thursday, January 27, 2011 4:46 AM
  • Heh. It's weird; if WebAssist made the same product I wouldn't feel this way. But the name Coffee Cup (and the user interface) just gives it a cheesy aura like the old Print Shop or Calendar Creator or Resume Maker or 3-D House Designer. You know?

    But it works well and I crank out nice clean forms quickly (just don't use their clip art!).


    Eschew obfuscation.

    Yeah, I'll have to second that. Feels like you're working in Windows for Workgroups 3.11. Want to multi-select your labels and change the font? Well, you can multi-select, but the change is only applied to one label(?). It's a quirky interface, that doesn't seem to have been updated in two or three versions that I've used.

    Despite that, however, it's incredibly productive at what it does. You can turn out really nice, flexible, powerful, feature-rich forms in no time at all compared to doing it "by hand." Use your own graphics if you or the client wants to embellish and you're good to go. It's a tool in my arsenal that I wouldn't want to do without. It basically pays for itself with the first form you create, given the man-hours and hassle saved.

    cheers,
    scott


    Please remember to "Mark as Answer" the responses that resolved your issue. It is common courtesy to recognize those who have helped you, and it also makes it easier for visitors to find the resolution later.
    Thursday, January 27, 2011 5:07 AM
  • Thank you everybody, seems Coffee Cup is generally recommended.  However, I did not see an answer to my query about the need for clients to have Flash installed for Coffee Cup generated forms to function?  WHat about clients who do not have Flash or can Coffee Cup create forms that don't use/require Flash or am I being unnecessarily concerned about it?
    Thursday, January 27, 2011 6:23 AM
  • Flash is just for graphics animation stuff. Flash has nothing to do with forms processing.

    They have a free trial. Why don't you just download it and see for yourself?

    And Paladyn's right; it does pay for itself the first time you use it. (If they could just make it look less like My Little Form Builder.) ;-)


    Eschew obfuscation.
    Thursday, January 27, 2011 12:33 PM
  • Bill,

    When you make something marketed towards those who don't want to learn anything more than click click then that's the sort of interface you create. Their WYSIWYG web editor is the one I recommend to people who don't want to learn and are willing to settle for the limited choices that it (and every other WYSIWYG editor) allow. Of its type their web editor is one of the best.

    If you biggest complaint is that the interface is too cutsey then that's pretty good. I haven't looked at it for a long time. I've got licenses for several of their programs so I should check and see what version of their form builder (if any) I have since I didn't know they were offering asp.net backend processing now. Last I looked it was php only.


    MS MVP Expression Tutorials & Help http://by-expression.com & Expression Web forums
    Thursday, January 27, 2011 3:59 PM
  • Flash is just for graphics animation stuff. Flash has nothing to do with forms processing.

    True, the form processing is done by PHP or Classic ASP, depending on your choice. However, the form itself is displayed as Flash. If Flash is missing/disabled, all you see on the page is the words "Form Object."

    It's easy to test this in FF. Just go to Tools|Add-ons|Plugins and find Shockwave Flash. Click the disable button, no need to restart FF. Go to your form page and you will see what I mean. Re-enable Flash and refresh the page, bingo, your form is back.

    FWIW, I have told each client for whom I have used FormBuilder about this. All have concurred with its use, so far. Standard obfuscated email links are also provided for contact purposes, of course, and the clients are happy to have the visitor use those if they can't see the form. It may become an issue at some point in time, and if so I'll just use Chris's simple PHP form that I have used for a couple of clients. No biggie...  ;-)

    cheers,
    scott


    Please remember to "Mark as Answer" the responses that resolved your issue. It is common courtesy to recognize those who have helped you, and it also makes it easier for visitors to find the resolution later.
    Thursday, January 27, 2011 4:53 PM
  • Ahhh, it's all coming back to me now. I have very few clients who use forms, and I always use PHP for them. My version of the program is a couple of steps behind, and I thought I read that they now support asp.net. Possibly not.

    And, yeah, I always have an obfuscated e-mail address on the page anyway, so Flashlessness is not something I worry about.
    Eschew obfuscation.
    Thursday, January 27, 2011 5:26 PM
  • My concern is that many of my forms are quite complex and not easily replaced with a simple email - hence my Flash issue. Have been using html and FormMail which is provided and controlled by my hosting company.  I would prefer to be unleashed from FormMail and to take advantage of the added features available by using php.  Does anybody have any recommendations for a form builder tool other than Coffee Cup that might be worth considering?
    Thursday, January 27, 2011 8:25 PM
  • Thursday, January 27, 2011 8:44 PM
  • We use Coffeecup Form Builder just about on a daily basis. In Configuration under Advanced it gives you this option.

    USE PHP (Linux Servers)

    Use ASP Script (Windows Servers)

    You can let your imagination run wild as how you want it to look and what background to use.

     

    We also use their Web Access Manager,  Password Protect Wizard, Photo Gallery, Web Jukebox, Site Map Builder, Pro Shopping Cart Builder.

     

     

     

     

    Thursday, January 27, 2011 10:53 PM
  • "USE PHP (Linux Servers)

    Use ASP Script (Windows Servers)"

    Well, that should be

    "USE PHP (Linux and Windows Servers)

    Use ASP script (Windows Servers)"

    Most Windows hosting supports PHP, too.  :)

    Thursday, January 27, 2011 11:28 PM
  • Thanks Kathy and understood..In the form builder it gives these two options in configuration under advanced tab.
    You put put a check mark by the one you want to use.

    USE PHP (Linux Servers)

    or

    Use ASP Script (Windows Servers)

    My suggestion for anyone is to download the trail and try it out and see if it fits your needs.

    Thursday, January 27, 2011 11:45 PM
  • I know the form builder gives those options.  I'm saying it should not assume that Windows only uses ASP.  :)

    In fact, ASP is old.  PHP is kept current, ASP.NET is kept current.  ASP is not.  Given a choice of PHP or ASP, one might prefer PHP.

     

    (As for me, no, it doesn't meet my needs.  I don't want a form that displays as Flash.)

    Thursday, January 27, 2011 11:56 PM
  • I know the form builder gives those options.  I'm saying it should not assume that Windows only uses ASP.  :)

    In fact, ASP is old.  PHP is kept current, ASP.NET is kept current.  ASP is not.  Given a choice of PHP or ASP, one might prefer PHP.

     

    (As for me, no, it doesn't meet my needs.  I don't want a form that displays as Flash.)


    Do you write your own forms Kathy or do you use a different tool?
    Friday, January 28, 2011 1:31 AM
  • I use the free tool for asp.net forms that has been mentioned a few hundred times in this forum, http://www.ctrfx.com/form/, and modify it as needed.
    Friday, January 28, 2011 2:21 AM
  • Any any of these form to SQL applications able to handle autocomplete inputs? I would like for a user to be able to enter business names and addresses quickly.
    Monday, January 31, 2011 1:26 AM
  • These applications? What these ? There is CC FormBuilder, and there's CC Formbuilder. Everything else we've discussed have been generalized solutions such as Chris's PHP scripts, the ctrfx ASP.NET form generator, and hand-coded forms. Read the entire thread, and, you know, maybe take a glance at the thread topic.

    As for your question, no, nothing that has been discussed will do that. In point of fact, that is pretty sophisticated behavior that will probably require hand-coding, either in PHP or ASP.NET, along with the necessary normalized database backend, containing the necessary data, and the structured queries and onChange event handlers to provide auto-complete functionality.

    I know of no turnkey solution right off-hand that will provide the described functionality out of the box, and if one does exist, I'll take wagers that it will cost more than Expression Studio does by a handsome chunk of change... ;-)

    cheers,
    scott


    Please remember to "Mark as Answer" the responses that resolved your issue. It is common courtesy to recognize those who have helped you, and it also makes it easier for visitors to find the resolution later.
    Monday, January 31, 2011 5:15 AM
  • Autocompleting forms would not be a function of the form itself (how would your form know anything about the user's name, etc.?).  Browsers (IE, for example) can have autocomplete functions if the user enables them.  That's up to the user, not your form.  Roboform (my favorite) can certainly autofill a form - but that's, again, a function of what your user has set up, not your form.
    Monday, January 31, 2011 5:59 AM
  • Not form builders per say but sample forms & processing scripts http://veign.com/development-category.php?type=web&catid=42 and http://www.jamesshuggins.com/h/hefs/huggins-email-form-script.htm
    MS MVP Expression Tutorials & Help http://by-expression.com & Expression Web forums

    Thanks Cheryl.  Have been experimenting with James Huggins script this weekend.  Excellent tool and I believe will do the job for me just fine.  I don't mind working at the code level when it is all explained so well - as James does.  Great learning experience too.
    Monday, January 31, 2011 6:05 AM
  • James likes to document because he hates when there is no manual. Fwiw, James has been unemployed since a serious car wreck over a year ago so if you are finding it useful let him know. Thanks will career oheer him up.
    MS MVP Expression Tutorials & Help http://by-expression.com & Expression Web forums
    Monday, January 31, 2011 3:54 PM
  • "Thanks career him up."

    Cheryl, your tablet gremlins have been very friskly lately.  :)

    Monday, January 31, 2011 4:19 PM
  • Heh, heh... "career," "cheer," schmeer, what's the difference, eh?  ;-)

    Although that might be an inadvertent double entendre, since if he could get "careered up" again it would certainly cheer him up. I know he hates like hel being out of work, not to mention the economic consequences attendant upon that status.

    BTW, it is the errors and inconsistencies such as this which keep me from both handwriting recognition and voice recognition. I do have a tablet that I use for Photoshop, Illustrator, etc. when I want to do painterly effects, but after repeated trials, I have found that my typing skills enable me to be far more accurate, and faster, than any recognition software I've found. When you add in the time necessary to edit out the errors, or consider letting them go through and possibly committing verbal faux pas, they're both still not-ready-for-prime-time technologies, IMO. YMMV... ;-)

    cheers,
    scott


    Please remember to "Mark as Answer" the responses that resolved your issue. It is common courtesy to recognize those who have helped you, and it also makes it easier for visitors to find the resolution later.
    Monday, January 31, 2011 4:50 PM
  • Combination of tablet gremlins and being tired enough not to proof read very well. Yesterday was a long day starting at 6 am and it didn't end even after I got off a plane at 11:25 pm last night.
    MS MVP Expression Tutorials & Help http://by-expression.com & Expression Web forums
    Monday, January 31, 2011 5:12 PM
  • On the subject of voice recognition I have an EVO Andriod Mobile device and I am quite amazed at the accuracy of it voice recognition capabilities.  I use one program in particular "Vlingo" and it is great for sending emails and text with out typing which is a big plus when you you can see the keyboard but cant see indvidual keys and even though I remeber the general location of the keys I have "Fat Finger Syndrome" an affliction I have had all my life.  Any how the VRS makes it possible to send e-mails, text and create list.  It also reads for you . Sorry if I went to far off topic. 

    All the Best,

    MIKE E


    "It's like déjà vu all over again." — Yogi Berra
    Tuesday, February 1, 2011 8:27 PM
  • FWIW, I've been very pleasantly surprised by BING's voice search on both my iPhone and my son's Win 7 phone.
    Expression Web Tutorials & Help http://by-expression.com
    Expression Web forums
    Tuesday, February 1, 2011 9:36 PM