Form response back-up on server

I think at least part of my question has been answered here before - but I can’t find it the answer in the search terms I’ve used. So here we go again.

I am nearing completion of a fair sized website, using WebYep as the CMS element on specified pages, so I don’t really want to alter the main structure too much. However, the client has just made a request that he has alternative access to responses from two enquiry forms, should the e-mail result not be received (which has been a former problem). On the current website (using an unknown CMS), you can log in to a page that lists recent enquiries and so pick up information that would otherwise have be missed.

Had the client asked for this at the start, I would have considered using a different CMS approach, but what I now need is a bolt-on script, if one exists, to copy the form responses to a server side database, with a means of accessing them from a browser. Purging ‘collected’ responses would be another consideration, but is not essential.

I am a non-coder (although I understand some of the basics and have done some work on databases (though not MySQL) in the distant past), but prepared to get my hands dirty on adapting a script or following instructions to add code in the appropriate place. The only thing I don’t want to do is change from WebYep to another CMS at this late stage, for the main body of the website.

The forms would be fairly simple name/company/telecom/e-mail capture plus a message area and three or four radio buttons and I would normally use either PHP Feedback Form or easiForm for this, plus a ‘Captcha’.

So, can someone point me in the right direction, please, either to where on FWTalk something like this has appeared before or to where I might find an existing, adaptable script. And if it means learning some PHP, so be it. I just hope my aged brain can cope!

Colin


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I’m not really a ‘coder’ either so don’t know a script based answer…

However, I just found this http://www.jotform.com/ and it seems like it might do what you want. Just check how many submissions you think you’ll get because if it’s over 100 a month then you’ll have to pay!


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Thanks Fergus, http://www.jotform.com looks interesting, but is not
quite what I’m after. I’m happy building forms, but in this case I
need a bit of technical wizardry of the Walter/Keith/Dave et al type
that will both send a standard email and add the enquiry to a server
side database.

I have thought of a possible work around to duplicate the form
response to a second e-mail account on the same host, which will then
be accessed only via ‘webmail’, but this is a little amateurish
compared to what the client currently has, where he can view responses
in a properly laid out database format. Nevertheless, it may do the
job until something more professional comes along.

Thanks again for initial response

Colin


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Well, you could try building this yourself. It’s actually a pretty
straightforward proposition.

I would start with MyActiveRecord, naturally. This Wiki page explains
the basics of using it:

http://wiki.github.com/walterdavis/myactiverecord/basics

and you can download a recent version here:

The example on the Wiki page gives a pretty close example of what your
admin page would look like. The only thing left is to send mail.
Luckily, PHP makes that pretty simple (as long as you’re not hosting
at GoDaddy, for reasons only they can explain).

There’s one part of the script that handles a form submission (starts
with if(isset($_POST[‘save’])){). You extend that to include an
autoreply message and a “tickler” message to your client:

You’ll need to make the constants (stuff in all caps) into something
real for your needs. If you leave the all-caps parts there as I have
written them, you just have to add one line per constant to your
script, preferably near the top of the script, that looks like this:

define(‘CONSTANT_NAME’,‘This is the value that this constant expands
to be.’);

If you want to use line-breaks or tabs in your constant value, then go
ahead and type them literally. If you need to use a single-quote (as
an apostrophe? shudder…) then you have to escape it with a
backslash. THANKS_PAGE can be a relative URL, but some versions of IE
have trouble with redirects like that, so it’s safest to use a
complete canonical URL: http:// and everything.

I’m sure you’ll have questions, I’ll be happy to help if I get the
time. Todd has also used MyActiveRecord a fair bit, and may be able to
help as well.

Walter

On May 30, 2009, at 8:53 AM, Colin Alcock wrote:

Thanks Fergus, http://www.jotform.com looks interesting, but is not
quite what I’m after. I’m happy building forms, but in this case I
need a bit of technical wizardry of the Walter/Keith/Dave et al type
that will both send a standard email and add the enquiry to a server
side database.


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On 30 May 2009, at 15:05, Walter Lee Davis wrote:

Well, you could try building this yourself. It’s actually a pretty
straightforward proposition.

Thanks Walter, that looks just what’s needed. Though what’s
straightforward to your agile brain may not necessarily prove the same
to my addled one!

I’ll have a play sometime over the next week and let you know how I
get on. Luckily I’ve a couple of weeks to sort this out (makes a
change!), while I write additional copy, load more content and await
new product images from the client.

Colin


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Walter’s right, MAR is absolutely perfect for what you want. I used it
to build a db for a client that does exactly this, complete with admin
area. The client loves it. I have a working demo of MAR which I hope
to have back online eventually.

Todd

On May 30, 2009, at 9:05 AM, Walter Lee Davis wrote:

I’m sure you’ll have questions, I’ll be happy to help if I get the
time. Todd has also used MyActiveRecord a fair bit, and may be able
to help as well.

Walter

On May 30, 2009, at 8:53 AM, Colin Alcock wrote:

I’m happy building forms, but in this case I need a bit of
technical wizardry that will both send a standard email and add the
enquiry to a server side database.


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I appreciate your comment, Todd. It will be a day or two before I
attempt it (although I’ve taken a look at Walter’s example script
already and can see the sense of it) and, not being very conversant in
PHP, it may take me awhile to get something working and online.
However I will post back what I achieve.

It would be good to have your working demo online, though, for others
to see, even If I get my project finished before that’s possible.

Colin

On 30 May 2009, at 20:39, Todd wrote:

Walter’s right, MAR is absolutely perfect for what you want. I used
it to build a db for a client that does exactly this, complete with
admin area. The client loves it. I have a working demo of MAR which
I hope to have back online eventually.


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