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XOOPS Contacts / Forms - Quick Review

Overview

I wanted to review latest modules for Contact Us functionality and related forms tools for gathering and managing incoming messages and/or uploaded files. It had been too long since last reviewing this functionality. I have been using Liaise 1.26 for several years (2.0.x to 2.4.5 as of this writing) but hadn't tried Liaise 1.27 yet (incorporating Captcha), but I saw reports of problems with with XOOPS 2.4.x and whether or not development for Liaise would continue so decided to look around. I'll also note that some of these modules allow for XOOPS captcha usage, but I've heard that has been hacked (still true?). However, there is a community hack to replace it with reCAPTCHA. Finally, I did not review Formulize which is probably the most feature rich forms toolset (and I've used it on a site to great success), but was looking for something else that was quick install and/or setup for non-technical website maintainers.

  • AM Contact 0.08
  • Contact 1.7
  • Contact Center 0.93
  • Formulaire 3.33
  • Lawsuit 1.11
  • Liaise 1.27
  • xForms 1.2

Not reviewed:

  • Contact Plus (based on original XOOPS contact module, but years old)
  • irtibat From (based on Contact Plus form code, years old)
  • ContactUS with Googlemap 0.1a (never found this)

XOOPS Verison Tested: 2.4.5 using zetagensis theme.

Quick Reviews

AM Contact

AM Contact is a very simple contact us form with just one form and a few other options. The form consists of name (uname or real name), email, subject, text, all required fields. It only sends to the XOOPS Admin email address. You may specify which anti-spam measure to use: None, Q&A (your own), XOOPS Captcha, an image captcha built into the module, or reCaptcha. If this is all you need, it's simple quick and easy. The author recently indicated they will continue this module.

Contact

Contact is also a very simple contact us form with just one form. For administration, you only have preferences. But, you can turn on/off the request of other info: address, url, icq, company, location, comments (rename fields in language files if desired), none required. You can also have one set of check boxes, allow users to get cc'd, specify different SendTo emails (displayed via function/subject), and use the XOOPS captcha. Required fields don't display such (zetagenesis theme). Works. Reasonably active development.

Contact Center

Contact Center allows for highly configurable forms and the ability to store information into the database (none, logging or all form data). Forms are built using a text-based data definition language (similar to a wiki style). Not too hard, but requires you to read and learn a new language. The form intro can be plain text or HTML and has some templating capabilities. Messages may be sent to a group or a registered user. There are access/usage permissions, but you must be a module admin to be able to view data in the database. There are many additional options and custom capabilities including value verification via regular expressions (regex). Interestingly, the module allows for comments. Form submissions require a user to review their form submission and then confirm it with another button press making it at least a 2-click form submission (I didn't find an option to change that). There are some nice screens showing messages sent (by the user) as well as admin screens on the user side for seeing messages info in tabular form (by generic date ranges), downloading the info in CSV format, and via defined status. This module could be used for a simple help desk function as well as many others. Note: there are some spurious menu items showing up in the admin interface - I expect this is due to using a duplicated admin menu function (or something like that, as I've run into this before). In short, a robust module that could likely be useful to users willing to take the time to learn it. I know I could find use of it if the module allowed for permission based access to the results of certain forms but not others. There doesn't appear to be any Captcha style capability. Still under development, but not found in the XOOPS module repository.

Formulaire

Similar to Liaise, Formulaire allows one to build custom forms and list the forms on the site and assign access permissions by form. Submitted form information is stored in a database and can be exported and cleared, and displayed - at least to administrators (and only partial data). Formulaire gives a weird error message when trying to modify the form elements but then allows modification. Formulaire could also be used for polls and allows limiting the number of entries/day (presumably by user and/or IP). You can specify an individual email address (haven't tested multiple) as well as send to one or more groups and a number of options related to who gets what. I'm not sure if this one remains in development or not, but it appears to haven't been updated in a long time. No captcha.

Lawsuit

See separate review. Ad-hoc WYSIWYG pages and customizable forms.

Liaise

Liaise 1.27 add reCaptcha and GIJoe's security tokens class to the forms, but was released by a different author. See my notes on Liaise 1.26. I understand that xForms has picked up where Liaise left off. Liaise was released by BrandyCoke which hasn't been available as a website for a couple of years; likely abandoned.

xForms

xForms is obviously based on Liaise (seems to be 1.26) and can also import forms from Liaise. And like Liaise, is designed to send to groups of users or the site admin email (making it harder to use generic email addresses behind the forms and managing it that way). It provides all the functionality of Liaise but adds captcha (for anonymous users - the assumption being that logged in users are already tested to be human).

Conclusion

I ended up deciding to use xForms (with the reCAPTCHA hack), and potentially will use Contact Center for other projects, but I think it will have a bigger learning curve, especially for those site admins actually maintaining the forms without my assistance.


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Comments are solely the opionion of the author and not to be construed as the opinion of anyone else.

Poster Thread
paulc
Posted: 2011/2/15 16:55  Updated: 2011/2/15 16:55
Just popping in
Joined: 1969/12/31
From:
Posts: 2
 Re: XOOPS Contacts / Forms - Quick Review
Like you I had used Liaise 1.26 for a long time though its development seemed to have ceased. Having tried out most of the form modules above, it's really good to have concise reviews of them all in one place. A mine of useful info as ever, Mark. Many thanks!
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