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Export Manager module: Feature Requests
Please use this thread to post all feature requests for this module.
1. Option to be able to download an entire export group and/or type (maybe XML format?) and a corresponding "import" option to be able to add the information to another FT2 installation - or even overwrite existing data. This would have several benefits:
- encourage sharing of export types. So if someone, say, comes up with an SQL export type, they could just share a file to allow others to use the type.
- allow for upgrading of DB data. This is a currently limitation with the upgrade script. We can't overwrite the export types/groups when upgrading for fear of overwriting custom changes.

2. Add an option like with Views & Emails to be able to create new groups/types based on existing group/type.
Maybe some sort of Stats Sheet page for API developers. This would list all IDs in the system - export group IDs and & export type IDs. It's a drag having to click through the various pages looking the the ID you want.
Is it possible to have export to mdb? So that it could increase a bit of possibility to merge with word document?
It would be really cool to be able to generate a "report" on a particular form's responses... like with bar graphs for multiple choice responses, a table with all of the different answers for open-ended questions, etc.

Even better would be the ability to edit your report, with options like
  • Choosing which questions from the form that you would like to include
  • Choosing how you would like to display the results for each question (bar graph, pie chart, answer matrix, etc.)
  • Grant permissions for viewing/editing specific reports (or groups of reports) to FormTools user accounts

Similar to Wufoo's report builder: - although I was very displeased with Wufoo's report builder. I think they went too far with the javascript-driven interface (it's very buggy), and their pretty flash-driven pie charts eat up a lot of resources, so you're limited to a small number of charts per report. Simple image files would be better.

I'm currently working on building a survey with, but it would be awesome to be able to use FormTools instead.

I'm thinking that this might even be better suited as a separate module. What do you guys think?

Cheers, and thanks for such awesome software!
Hey jvcrawford,

I totally agree. In fact, earlier this year I started working on a Flex-based "Report Builder" module that does exactly this: generates custom pie charts, bar charts, line charts etc based on your custom form field data. I got it working very minimally, but it needed a lot more work and frankly I didn't have time - plus I couldn't afford the pricetag of Flex Professional + graphing options at the time.

I actually rather like the Wufoo script, but I know what you mean about the JS overkill.

Anyway, thanks for the idea. I'll definitely keep it in mind.

- Ben
Hey Ben,
It's exciting to hear that you've already thought of this, and have even put some work into it.

Do you think you'll pursue building the module? Do you think you would do it in flex, javascript, or simply PHP? I actually love javascript-driven interfaces, it's just that Wufoo's report builder was pretty buggy. Their form builder, on the other hand, works beautifully.

It alarms me that Wufoo has built their reports in flash/(flex?), and they limit their reports to an almost useless number of questions (something like 6 or 8 I think)--because, they claim, the flash charts are too resource-intensive. However, it would be acceptable if they could just split the reports into different pages, to allow for unlimited questions/answers..

Perhaps you could use some of the source from the UCCASS survey system, as it's GPL'd. It just uses PHP to generate bar graphs, which I think is perfectly acceptable most of the time.

Well in any case, I would be ecstatic and enthused to see a "Reports" module for formtools. Maybe I could try to convince my boss/client to contract with you if you're available, and the pricing is right?

Best Regards,
Hey Kevin,

The solution I was working on also used Flex. Flex Professional comes with some really attractive and usable graphing components, which - even though they're pretty sizable (generally >150KB per file) - I thought it was a better approach to a JS one. At the time I couldn't find a really decent JS-based library for generating attractive graphs and I wasn't about to develop my own [plus the other reason was that I wanted to play around with Flex - this gave me a good excuse!]

But unfortunately no, I won't be able to take on any other contract work right now. I actually have a full time job and a few small contracts I take on in my spare time. That, plus Form Tools-related work and my time is pretty full.

I'm very close to finishing the Form Tools Wordpress plugin, then I'll be more in a position to size up what needs doing. This is pretty high on the list, but I won't beat around the bush - I may not get to it for another couple of months at least.

All the best!

- Ben
Hey Ben,
Totally understandable - you obviously already put a huge amount of time into FormTools, even helping people get it installed (I sent you an e-mail by the way, heh heh).

Did you know that Google has two different charts APIs? I just stumbled upon them this morning.

The first is called Google Chart API, and it simply generates a PNG chart based on the URL in the <img> "src" parameter. It looks pretty easy to implement -

The second is the Google Visualization API, which is a lot more robust and feature-rich. You access it via javascript, and it generates charts based on images, SVG, flash, or other methods.

Thanks again for all of your help and great work.

Hey Kevin,

I just emailed you - all fixed. Smile

And thanks for posting the links - very cool! I came across the Chart APIs a long time ago, but they've gotten a lot better. Thanks very much for the link - I'll definitely keep them in mind...!

- Ben

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