Fabrik gives you the power to create forms and tables that run inside Joomla without requiring knowledge of mySQL and PHP. Then feed your data into Google Maps, Charts or an AJAX based calendar
With Fabrik you can create applications that range in complexity from simple contact forms to complex applications such as a job application site or bug tracking systems.
Creating a basic form is as simple as pointing, clicking and setting a few obvious options. Create a Form. Create a Group. Add Elements to the Group. Associate the Group with the Form. Associate the Form with your Joomla menu structure. Done.
But that is just scratching the surface. Lets say you are building a Contact Us form, and want to preset the "Your E-mail" Element if the user is logged in. Just go to that Element in the GUI, select "Eval this text" and enter any valid PHP to fetch the standard Joomla $my->email variable, like this:
return $my->email ? $my->email : "Enter your email address";
Of course, you can do the same for the "Your Name" Element using $my->name.
A slightly more advanced example might be building a custom order query form for VirtueMart orders, so you need a dropdown with the logged on users unfilled orders. This is as simple as adding a 'database join' Element which pulls in the relevant details from the VirtueMart tables. The GUI easily lets you create the necessary database JOIN and WHERE clauses to populate a dropdown with anything you want.
As well as reading SQL data, Fabrik also lets you store submitted form data back into the database, as well as (or instead of) emailing it. You can use this for simple things like keeping a record of all your Contact Us submissions. Or you can use it to control the flow in multiple "chained" form submissions. Or you can get as creative as you want, using the intuitive 'database join' features, and (say) allow users to change their main profile details from a custom form.
Fabrik also lets you define SQL table 'views' in the front end, as well as simple forms. And of course everything can be access controlled using the standard Joomla group features. So it's trivial to build a front end admin interface for viewing, adding and removing table rows.
I've had Fabrik installed for exactly 24 hours, and I have a very professional looking, working custom form for querying the status of VM orders, and a front end admin interface for processing the requests.
And I don't even have the Fabrik documentation. I accidentally used a PayPal e-check, so I have to wait a few days to get access to the site. I'm like a kid waiting for Christmas Day, I can't wait to see what I can do once I have the docs, examples, plugins, etc.
Summary ... yes it helps if you known at least a little about SQL and PHP. But not essential. Get this extension, and invest a few hours in it - you won't regret it!
I have not looked at any documentation, whatever and I have had very few problems implementing this extension. Granted, there are a few items fully documented on the Fabrik Forum during installation. I had no problem finding these an implementing them.
Once in the package, there are plenty of helpful tooltips, etc. When used with the forum search, it is rather easy to use. But, I speak from a different perspective and if I was an end-user with minimal to average skill sets the package has a steep learning curve. If you do not understand enough to further research how to Create tables in a database, specifically, MySQL, then you will need to learn from Joomla tables as you can create simple, database-driven applications from them.
If you want to create powerful applications with this extension, the following minimums are essential:
1. Create tables in a MySQL database, using the Joomla database is okay and the Joomla tables may be used to enhance your application.
2. Be familiar with the basics of creating and using Cascading Style Sheets(CSS).
3. Understand basic concepts of HTML.
4. Be familiar with the rudiments of the Document Object Model.
I would say this is not eyond the scope of a super-user. Developer skills are needed to use some of the advanced concepts such as using CURL and PHP, etc.
In short, a truly amazing extension that answers my issue of needing tools like this, with my arsenal of tools to enhance it, to cut down my application development time to weeks instead of months, using traditional methods, without the Joomla framework.
KUDOS to Rob Clayburn and anyone else on the Project Team that may have been involved.
I've installed FacileForms, and am very happy with the results. Not a fan of Fabrik, not at all.
All downloads of the core component, modules and mambots are freely available on the site, registration (even the free version) is not required.
If the fix is available they need to publish it!
I have an undefined variable allElementData. Searched the fabrikar.com forum. Same type of problems turn up several times over several months but no answer or fix given.
just to be clear - you dont need to pay to get the bug fixes - the code in the SVN is available to everyone and releases are released to everyone at the same time.
Subscription gives you priority support, which will get any issues you have dealt with before non-subscriber issues
1) When you install the component when it asks you to continue STOP!!! there will be an option to install example data. DO IT. this will give you something to play around with
2) To see a published form you have to link to the table. to do this go to edit your table and in the 'link to menu' tab select a menu and then enter a menu name, click to link to menu. This will publish the item so you can see it in your preview.
3) In creating a new form you have to create your table using MySQL before you can attach your form to it.
The rest is really easy to figure out :O)
Installation was super easy. The set up of the forms stymied me at first--mainly because I was dealing with unfamiliar territory. Truly the first errors were mine and I couldn't find answers quickly on the Fabrik forum. I will admit that you have to really comb the forum, but even if you can't find them, you can find helpful users always willing to assist. (It also helps if you read Rob's READ ME FIRST in the forums--which I didn't...and after I had torn a headful of hair from my old gray head, I did go back and read it and found my answer). Duh.
But within three hours I had a BEAUTIFUL database and my users (who are all usually confounded by anything electronic) were happily inputting their data. I then went on to create another form by importing (using the nifty keen Import function within product) from Excel an ENORMOUS database. Once I had figured out that spaces in Excel headings are not happy things from the information in the forum, my data input to perfection with me having to change only a couple of things to get the form just the way I wanted. I didn't even have to mess with templates--they come with the product.
As for improvement: 1) On the extension: though you don't have to know MySQL or PHP functions, it really would help if the terms and functions were more fully explained; 2) a few more information buttons to help "on the fly" would also be great; 3) I really do think that there should be a Wiki page or PDF so that poor Rob won't have to be dealing with the likes of me asking questions he's already answered in his READ ME FIRST!
All in all though, this is a FANTASTIC product and when you're dealing with tons of information which needs to be organized, especially in a genealogical database, this product fits like a glove.
I would like to start with giving my complements for this component! It is a very nice and complete tool. To make a form the way you want it isn't easy but with some help out of the forum pages... yeah it works!
After installing and setting up my first form I tried to use it. The form shows up quite nice but after filling it out and press the send button... Oeps... An error on line 1036 in fabrik.class.php made the use of the component useless...
Because I couldn't find any solution on the web (also not in the forum), I decided to make the line invisible by putting the line between /* and */ in the php script.
I do not know if this solution will help you out but at my site it works quite well.
It is very expensive and the added value is close to zero! It is hard to believe, but there are only three tutorials yet....
In addition, the registration is recurring....
This is really a tough one!
there are WAY too many bugs and the whole thing is completely insecure and vulnerable to hacking.
i'm having numerous issues in the backend....not able to edit elements-getting blank pages.
no validation expressions work-malicious script insertion vulnerability
no spam protection available-like an open invitation for cialis and porn site emails!
there's good potential here, but the devs really should take this off the shelves and finish working on it before releasing it to the public.
they also need to hire someone to give support here in the forums. they seem to be overwhelmed and not able to respond to support requests and forum posts in a timely fashion.
i'm really disappointed and resent purchasing my subscription to the site/component as i have not seen any return on my investment!
PLEASE seriously consider all these points before you think about using this component on a live site!!!