Validation Fields or No Help Tips...

User 490675 Photo


Registered User
8 posts

I have a client that wants an entry validation page before visitors being able to get into the "real" website (not a password protected page). It's for travel agents who all have an 8-digit industry ID number. They need to enter their ID number to enter the site. Since all ID #'s are 8 digits, I was hoping for a validation field that had a minimum number of characters and maximum number of characters. I went over this a couple months back, and again 2 weeks ago, with customer support and they assured me this new upgrade would 1) provide that capability (i.e., I wanted a minimum number of characters as 8 and maximum number as 8) and 2) be "HTML only". However, playing with it for the first time Friday, I see that is not the case.

I see that I can create a number field and designate the minimum and maximum numbers (not characters) so I thought I'd be able to accomplish it this way and enter a minimum 10000000 and maximum 99999999 (which is the range all the ID#'s would fit within). However, if a person enters a number below 10000000, the form automatically displays to the user that they have to enter a number above 10000000. And, if a person enters something above 99999999, it tells them to enter a number below that. That means anyone with any sense would figure out how to get in without knowing a valid ID. I even tried to turn off the "help tips" in the form, but that didn't stop those from displaying.

I wish that if we turned off the help tips, it would turn this off as well. That would completely solve my problem.

Or ... even better ... have a minimum number of characters and maximum number of characters as a validation (like the customer service assured me).

Can you provide a workaround?
User 486215 Photo


Registered User
78 posts

The problem you describe is part of of a much more general problem in Web Form Builder.

The product is great for building beautiful forms and has sufficient options for the server-side processing on these forms. The part that is woefully lacking is client-side form validation. Field validation is confined to very basic field format checking: numeric, email, date, and web address fields, and/or simply “required” input fields. This is okay for most general purposes. But, it would be almost impossible for the product vendor to provide validation for all the specialized field formats that might be required by form designers.

Unless, or until CoffeeCup can add hooks to the form validation mechanism in the future so that users can add in their own field validation routines, some other mechanisms need to be used to solve the problem of special format fields.

Your problem is a simple example of a specialized format field. I came upon others when designing and trying to verify a simple Contact form. For example, how do you check for a valid ZIP code format?

I found on the web two form validation packages plus several tutorial examples that use JavaScript to perform specialized field validation on the client side before the form data is transmitted:

http://rickharrison.github.com/validate.js

and

http://www.javascript-coder.com/html-fo … tion.phtml
http://www.javascript-coder.com/html-fo … tion.phtml

The tutorial scripts, however, all report errors using JavaScript “alert” boxes making them not very useful for professional form validation processing. I have made my own versions of these free tutorials that will and do work in conjunction with a Web Form Builder generated form. Post another entry in this thread if you are interested and I will attach them to a new forum posting.

Now there are caveats on using any of these packages with a Web Form Builder form:
    All fields in the form should be defined as “Text Fields” regardless of what type of input should be entered into them.
    All Web Form Builder options on all fields should NOT be set, not even “Required”.
    You will have to know at least some JavaScript to be able to use them.

All packages above modify the JavaScript DOM and cause problems with the Web Form Builder validation mechanism. So we do not want to engage the WFB routines at all.

Now to the solution to your problem.

The second package above is easier to use, has better built-in options and has numerous examples in the download file. This package allows a JavaScript “regular expression” for a field validation. Simply add these lines to the form validations for your realtor id field:

frmvalidator.addValidation("ID","req”);
frmvalidator.addValidation("ID","regexp=^[0-9]{8}$","Invalid ID");

This will insist on an 8 digit field and tell the user if it is bad without revealing the actual required format.

BTW, the solution for that ZIP code validation would be:

frmvalidator.addValidation("ZIP","regexp=^[0-9]{5}(\-[0-9]{4})*$","ZIP Must be nnnnn or nnnnn-nnnn");

I have tested both of the packages above, plus some highly modified versions of several form validation “tutorial” schemes on the web. They all work with WFB if the caveats above are followed. My custom versions of the tutorial scripts were made to avoid the use of “alert” box messages and report all errors at once in a single area on the web page.

I hope this helps and that this posting is not too late for your purposes.

User 399197 Photo


Registered User
46 posts

I, too believe that the CC Web Form Builder needs to go to the next level with form validation, now that the forms are HTML-based. I've shared some thoughts on other threads. CC Web Form Builder is definitely not there, yet, and I'm a bit puzzled at CC's seeming reluctance to even talk much about the possibility of adding more robust validation capabilities.

Don't get me wrong. I'm a big fan of CC—I own and use a lot of their programs— and, I think their current effort at revamping their form builder is definitely a step in the right direction. That being said, I think CC Web Form Builder right now can at best be considered suitable for only the very basic form needs.

I'm currently in the process of porting a number of my existing Flash-based forms into "HTML-land" using the CC Web Form Builder. However, my need for serious form validation has me doing some sideline research.

Along that line, I just purchased Simfatic Forms 3.2 Professional (regular $100, but they are experimenting with pricing elasticity, and were recently offering it for $50). It has very robust validation capabilities. I'm just now experimenting with it, and am (for now) very impressed—its validation wizard is quite good. In fact, SFP's approach to form validation is PRECISELY how I have prior suggested to Scott and the CC gang that they might incorporate more robust validation into the CC Web Form Builder.

SFP's validation wizard has met all my needs to date. Importantly, it also includes the ability to include one's own custom regular expressions—readily available on the internet, too—for more esoteric needs.

Importantly, SFP includes the ability to import ANY HTML form and then develop custom validation for it. HOWEVER, I have just begun experimenting with that on one of my CC Web Form Builder-based forms, and although SFP sucked it in OK and seemed to do everything fine, it puked on the last step when I went to build the code. I reported that circumstance to SFP just last night (1/3/2012).

I'm also playing with SFP 4.0 beta, which takes form building to the next level, with conditional processing and display, multi-page forms, and a whole host of other stuff.

Hope this is of some use.

Dick
User 103173 Photo


VP of Software Development
0 posts

Dick Raymond wrote:
I, too believe that the CC Web Form Builder needs to go to the next level with form validation, now that the forms are HTML-based. I've shared some thoughts on other threads. CC Web Form Builder is definitely not there, yet, and I'm a bit puzzled at CC's seeming reluctance to even talk much about the possibility of adding more robust validation capabilities.

Don't get me wrong. I'm a big fan of CC—I own and use a lot of their programs— and, I think their current effort at revamping their form builder is definitely a step in the right direction. That being said, I think CC Web Form Builder right now can at best be considered suitable for only the very basic form needs.

I'm currently in the process of porting a number of my existing Flash-based forms into "HTML-land" using the CC Web Form Builder. However, my need for serious form validation has me doing some sideline research.

Along that line, I just purchased Simfatic Forms 3.2 Professional (regular $100, but they are experimenting with pricing elasticity, and were recently offering it for $50). It has very robust validation capabilities. I'm just now experimenting with it, and am (for now) very impressed—its validation wizard is quite good. In fact, SFP's approach to form validation is PRECISELY how I have prior suggested to Scott and the CC gang that they might incorporate more robust validation into the CC Web Form Builder.

SFP's validation wizard has met all my needs to date. Importantly, it also includes the ability to include one's own custom regular expressions—readily available on the internet, too—for more esoteric needs.

Importantly, SFP includes the ability to import ANY HTML form and then develop custom validation for it. HOWEVER, I have just begun experimenting with that on one of my CC Web Form Builder-based forms, and although SFP sucked it in OK and seemed to do everything fine, it puked on the last step when I went to build the code. I reported that circumstance to SFP just last night (1/3/2012).

I'm also playing with SFP 4.0 beta, which takes form building to the next level, with conditional processing and display, multi-page forms, and a whole host of other stuff.

Hope this is of some use.

Dick

Dick, we have commented about this many times, so we are not reluctant at all. Just regurgitating the same information over and over is tiring. ;)

It is something we do plan on adding. You always have to start at someplace and what we have right now is only starting point. We also only have so many hours in the day, so adding features takes time. Things like multi-page forms, payment integration and calculations we feel are more important right now. Once these are included, we will start tackling other things.

The software has only been released for about 45 days now and since the first release, we have already added quite a few new features. This will continue.

While I also appreciate your glowing review of SFP, maybe that should be posted in their forms instead or at least go over to the forums and post a glowing review of our software. ;)
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User 486215 Photo


Registered User
78 posts

I knew I would stir up the larger issue about form validation when I entered my last post.

My suggestions were meant as a work-around for Amber's immediate problem although it has possibilities way beyond that for all the form validation one would like to do until CC adds new capabilities.

And, did I mention that the software I suggested was FREE and it works with WFB, if used the way I stated. (BTW, I've always liked "FREE".)

(Scott) I'm looking forward to more robust CC built-in form validation routines and better hooks for users to add their own. I am also awaiting additional server-side form processing options as I anticipated a need for these after my form validation problems appeared to be solved.

But, in the meanwhile other users might consider my suggestions...
User 399197 Photo


Registered User
46 posts

Scott, for what it's worth, I've apparently missed the threads where you have commented on CC's plans for more robust form validation. Sorry.

Perhaps you are reading more than I intended into what I'm trying to share. For those who desire to use CC Web Form Builder Full—I am one of those, by the way—but need that next level of form validation NOW, one can either bone up on building regular expressions and include their own scripting, OR let SFM (or others of which I may be unaware) build the scripting for them. That's all I'm trying to convey—no more, no less.

There is no doubt in my mind that CC will rise to the occasion—you have a marked history in doing so. Until that time, however, folks probably need to understand that they CAN use CC Form Builder for their more demanding forms—it just needs a bit of a crutch in the near term.

I am extremely eager to see how CC rises to the occasion.

Dick

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