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University Web Developers

Currently all web forms at my school are designed and implemented centrally. I'd like to move to a model where each department can create/manage their own web forms with an easy form generator.

What form generators are the best for this?

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I really liked Survey Monkey if you want to go 3rd party. We also use an inhouse program called Simple Forms but Survey Monkey has better usability.
I've been looking at both Wufoo and MachForm. I'm still waffling.
Google Docs/Forms works great for me because it can easily be shared with another Google account.

Just be careful about what personal information you receive.

Survey Monkey is fantastic as well.
Charlie: What in particular do you mean by your warning about personal information via Google Forms? In particular, do you have different concerns for Google versus Survey Monkey or other third parties?
Hey Jon

Putting personal info on a server outside your system could be a breach of some institutional privacy blah blah blah.

For instance, here at Mizzou we have a specific contract agreement with Survey Monkey because the University was freaked out that our data was on someone else's servers.
At Brighton we use surveymonkey as well - its very easy for people to use who don't have any coding skills and offers a (mild) degree of branding within the templates as well as stat analysis out of the box.

Personally I would prefer something more in house (that doesn't mean me hand coding everyone's forms for them..) and the cautious side of me does wonder what the hosts of this product are ultimately going to do with all the info they are collecting...

Do you use a CMS? If so there will more than likely be a forms extension/addon you could utilise.
I've been recently looking at FormSpring and FormAssembly. If anyone has experience with these solutions, I'd like to hear from you.
For all of the responses that have been posted, so far; I'm curious about your impressions of the accessibility and coding standards utilized by these hosted services. I have very limited experience with these hosted solutions. I create each "form" used on our Web site, while our institutional effectiveness office uses a tool like SurveyMonkey (I think that's actually to whom they just recently switched - they were using something else before that) to create all of the quantitative surveys we use at the College.

For the "forms" I generate, I wrote a series of PHP classes that handle everything from building the form (and infinite copies of it if necessary), validating and formatting the data, storing it in a database and/or e-mailing the results, building the administrative back-end, etc. for each form. All we do is create a new file in which we instantiate the necessary classes. It's not ideal, and there are still minor bugs I occasionally come up against, but it's working for our small-ish organization.

However, the forms that I've used from hosted solutions like SurveyMonkey and GoogleDocs always seem to have extremely poor coding standards and poor accessibility. It seems like GoogleDocs at least makes an effort to utilize labels, but they never seem to work the way they should. The SurveyMonkey surveys I've seen all seem incredibly ugly and counter-intuitive. What are your experiences and thoughts?
I'm interested in this problem also if anyone has an update with products that they have tried. Several of our departments currently use WuFoo, but we would like to get an in-house solution for those forms that collect personal information.
Trinity is using SurveyMonkey for surveys and we just recently moved to FormSpring to allow end users the ability to create and manage their own forms. The users have been very enthusiastic because they can deploy very quickly without the need to work thru the web designer or I.T. The downside is that we will need to spend some additional upfront time with each area to discuss the "design standards/practices" that they will need to adopt.

We are happy with the early results.
I use Machform: http://www.appnitro.com/ its cheap and at the time of purchase they were running a special of $200 for unlimited installs, that way you can use it for your different departments. Very easy to use, but has its limitations.
Looking over their website and the demo, that looks like a good solution. What are some of the limitations? Can you create user accounts or does everything have to be done under one login?


I'm also thinking about google docs forms after playing with it a little last night.

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